STAINLAND millionaire Terry George and his partner will be among almost 700 gay couples getting married on Wednesday.
Businessman and Examiner columnist Mr George is entering a legally recognised partnership with Michael Rothwell in Leeds.
Britain's first same-sex civil partnership ceremonies - informally known as gay marriages - were taking place in Northern Ireland today.
In Scotland, gay and lesbian couples can marry from tomorrow.
But Wednesday is the day when arrangements for the new civil partnerships come fully into operation across England and Wales.
Thirteen couples have already formed civil partnerships under special arrangements since the law permitting them came into force on December 5.
But in most circumstances, couples must wait 15 days after giving notice that they intend to do so, making December 21 the first day in England and Wales on which ceremonies can take place.
The Civil Partnership Act enables same-sex couples to obtain legal recognition of their relationship, granting them new rights in areas such as employment, pension and inheritance.
In all, a total of 687 civil partnerships are due to be formed on Wednesday.
The authority expecting the most is the City of Westminster, where 20 male couples will be recognised.