After working to secure equal marriage rights in Luxembourg, the tiny country's openly gay prime minister, Xavier Bettel, is preparing to marry his civil partner.

Bettel and Gauthier Destenay will exchange vows on Friday, making Bettel the first active official in the European Union to marry a person of the same sex, Reuters reported.

“It won't be a flashy ceremony but the symbolism's very strong,” a long-time friend told the Luxemburger Wort about the ceremony.

Bettel, a former mayor of Luxembourg City, predicted in 2013 – shortly before he became prime minister – that the mostly Catholic nation would legalize such unions within a year. Gay couples started exchanging vows in January.

Shortly after Luxembourg's parliament approved a same-sex marriage bill last year, Bettel told The Los Angeles Times that he had accepted Destenay's marriage proposal.

“I said 'yes.' I have just one life and I don't want to hide my life,” he said.