Starting December 7, gay and lesbian couples in Northern Ireland will be able to convert their civil union to marriage.

Gay couples started exchanging vows in February after same-sex marriage abruptly became a reality following years of stagnation. Changes to the marriage law were implemented by UK lawmakers last year as the Northern Ireland government remained at a standstill.

Northern Ireland was the remaining holdout without marriage equality in the United Kingdom.

According to Amnesty International UK, Northern Ireland has more than 1,000 civil unioned same-sex couples.

The first civil union conversions are expected to take place on December 7 as the law change comes into effect.

Couples in such unions will have three years to convert their civil union to marriage. Fees will be waived during the first year.

Amnesty International Northern Ireland Director Patrick Corrigan described the law change as “the final piece of the jigsaw in bringing marriage equality to Northern Ireland.”

“It’s a huge day of celebration,” Corrigan said in a statement. “We fought to change the law so it would cherish all couples and all families equally and now we have achieved that – first with civil marriage, then religious marriage and now finally, with civil partnership conversion.”