Preparations are underway in New Jersey for possibly hundreds of joyous weddings as a court order that allows gay marriage in the state officially takes effect on Monday.

“Some have been together for 30 or 40 years, some of them like the symbolism of the early wedding, and there are some couples where it's vital – people who are ill, where a day might make all the difference,” Troy Stevenson, executive director of Garden State Equality, told The New York Times. “People normally have months if not years to plan a wedding, and we have days.”

More than a dozen city halls started issuing marriage licenses to gay couples after the New Jersey Supreme Court on Friday unanimously denied Republican Governor Chris Christie's request for a stay on the lower court's ruling until the issue is settled.

(Related: New Jersey Supreme Court won't delay start of gay marriage.)

While its uncertain how the high court will rule in an appeal to the case, Friday's ruling casts a dark shadow on the state's prospects.

“We applied settled legal standards and determined that the state has not shown a reasonable probability it will succeed on the merits,” wrote Chief Justice Stuart Rabner in the decision.

On her weeknight MSNBC show, Rachel Maddow nudged on-the-fence New Jersey couples worried that the issue was not entirely settled: “While marriage rights are still being adjudicated, just get married. It has an effect.”

Possibly the largest obstacle to a large turnout on Monday is New Jersey's 72-hour waiting period. Only a handful of city halls began issuing marriage licenses to gay couples on Thursday; most waited until after the court acted on Friday.

(Related: Cory Booker plans to marry 10 gay couples on Monday.)