Love officially won yesterday, with the same-sex marriage legislation passing the House of Representatives months of campaigning during the postal survey and weeks of debate in Parliament. Australia has now become the 26th country to legalise same-sex marriage - slow to hop on the bandwagon, but at least we got there in the end. So what happens now that the union of any two people is equal under Australian Law?

Don't expect to be getting hitched or receiving an invite to a wedding this year. Senator Brandis has revealed that the reforms will officially be signed this Saturday, December 9, meaning that the first same-sex weddings could happen from January 9.

"These historic reforms will commence on Saturday 9 December 2017," Senator Brandis said in a statement. "As from Saturday, same-sex couples will be able to lodge a Notice of Intended Marriage to commence the one month minimum notice period required before the solemnisation of marriages under the Marriage Act."

Generally couples need to lodge paperwork at least one calendar month before the planned wedding (hence the first weddings occurring from January 9). Paperwork can be obtained from a celebrant, minister or registrar, and can also be found on the Attorney-General's website.

The new paperwork will refer to the Marriage Act's new definition: "Marriage will now be defined in the Marriage Act 1961 as the 'union of two people to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life'," Senator Brandis said. "Same-sex couples now have the same rights under the Marriage Act as all other couples. My department is making necessary arrangements to implement this significant social change recognising the outcome of the postal survey and the legislation. This includes updating marriage forms and certificates and information to assist marrying couples and authorised celebrants."

Forms and other information can be found at the following websites after the bill is announced:
ag.gov.au/marriageforms
ag.gov.au/marriageequality

Australia has FINALLY legalised same-sex marriage: what happens now?