Kimberly Moreno and Wendy Torrington, of Long Beach, Miss., planned to get married in Massachusetts after Moreno graduated from nursing school in May 2012.
They had it all planned out-- Torrington's brother would serve as the officiant, and the family would then travel to an aunt and uncle's home on Long Island for the reception.
After watching the same sex marriage bill pass in New York in June, though, their plans changed.
"We knew that this was pivotal and that this was going to be it," said Moreno, reached at their hotel room Sunday evening at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Times Square. She had never been to New York City before, but felt the vote would finally "put into motion" the rest of the country guaranteeing her rights.
They planned their three-day trip as soon as the vote was passed, and were thankful when their names were called in the lottery.
The couple of three years was up at 3 a.m Sunday morning, and were one of the first couples on line. They lined up just for a marriage certificate, since they planned a Monday ceremony in Central Park.
Rainbow umbrellas shielded them from the protesters who were not far away, but Moreno said it didn't hurt the happy atmosphere on the line.
"It was love," Moreno said. "Just all love."
After getting their marriage license, the couple bounded down the steps of The Louis J. Lefkowitz building, with the roar of the crowd cheering them on.
"It was the most incredible experience of my life," said Moreno. "It was like being the quarterback and running out of the tunnel."
The rest of the day was a blur. Friends called them from all over to let them know they saw them on TV and online. They were so overwhelmed by the day they could hardly speak, she said.
Tonight they'll celebrate at The View restaurant, high atop Times Square, but the real celebration is tomorrow.
The couple will meet their officiant at the Museum of Natural History --Torrington in a long white gown, and Moreno in a vest and rainbow tie she bought at a store in the Village. They will walk through trees and flowers to Shakespeare's Garden, where a small crowd of family members will watch them say, "I do."
Getting married allows them to secure what they have together, Moreno said. And getting married in New York secures their spot in history.
"We talk about southern hospitality, and it's true," she said. "But we have encountered some incredible people in this city."