First figures for same-sex marriage are published

More than 1400 same-sex marriages took place in the three month period after they became legal.

There was a rush of couples who tied the knot within days of the legislation coming into force on March 29 – 95 weddings had been held in England and Wales by the end of the month.

Ceremonies steadily increased over the next quarter, with 351 in April, 465 in May and 498 in June.

The greatest number of marriages were among 30-34-year-olds and more women said ‘I do’ than men.

The figures from the Office for National Statistics are the first official measure of how popular the changes to the law have been.

The statistics show that uptake for same-sex marriages was lower than for civil partnerships, which were introduced in 2005.

However, the 120,000 people in civil partnerships will have an option to convert the union to marriage from December.

Richard Lane of Stonewall, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights charity, said: “It’s fantastic to see so many couples tying the knot and celebrating with family and friends.

“Equal marriage sends a powerful signal that same-sex relationships are every bit as loving, committed and valued as those between opposite sex couples. That’s an incredibly important message for people growing up gay in Britain.”

The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act became law last June, despite opposition from some backbench MPs and religious groups. Similar legislation was agreed in Scotland earlier this year, with the first same-sex marriages north of the border expected to take place in October.