Gay and lesbian couples lined up in Boulder and Denver to become the first to tie the knot as Colorado's civil unions law took effect on Wednesday.

In both cities, officials opened clerk offices at 12:01AM to issue civil union licenses.

Alicia Smith and her partner of 15 years were the first couple in line at 2PM Tuesday outside the Denver Office of the Clerk and Recorder at the Webb Municipal Building. However, Joey Bunch, a reporter for the Denver Post, tweeted that the first license went to Fran and Anna Simon, who testified in favor of the law. The couple, outfitted in white dresses, clutched their license as the clerk herself snapped a photo.

Several elected officials, including Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and Colorado Rep. Diana DeGette, were expected to preside over some of the state's first ceremonies.

Anthony Aragon, who was making his 16-year relationship with David Westman official, predicted β€œtears of joy and tears of true love.”

Earlier on Tuesday, Brad Clark, executive director of One Colorado, the state's largest gay rights advocate, told local NPR affiliate KUNC about other celebrations taking place around the state.

β€œIn Colorado Springs we'll be hosting actual civil union ceremonies that evening at city hall. And then in Grand Junction we'll be hosting a community reception at the Center for Independence,” he said.

Colorado lawmakers approved the law earlier this year on the third try. A 2006 voter-approved constitutional amendment defining marriage as a heterosexual union prevents lawmakers from considering extending full marriage to gay and lesbian couples.

Civil unions are also legal in Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, Delaware and Rhode Island. Rhode Island lawmakers, however, last week approved a marriage bill, and Illinois and Delaware are considering following suit.