When Graeme Youngs was born, homosexual relationships were illegal in the UK.

But times have changed and yesterday Graeme and his partner Jamie Hakim became the 680th gay couple to get married in Brighton and Hove.

The men, who have been together for almost 13 years, tied the knot on the first anniversary of the day civil partnerships for same-sex couples were made legal. They held their ceremony at Brighton Town Hall in front of more than 100 relatives, friends and wellwishers at a service performed by a personal friend, registrar Trevor Love.

Graeme, 41, who runs gardening business Gorgeous Gardens, said: "It feels fab. We are really pleased about doing it.

It means a lot to us.

"He spoke to me a year ago and said, Do you want to do the partnership thing?' I said, Shall we put it off for a year to see how it goes, how seriously people take them?' He took me at my word and booked it in, a year to the day."

He added that gay people had been forced to wait too long to have their relationships legally recognised.

Jamie, 36, co-owner of Brighton gay magazine 3SIXTY, said: "We have been together for a long time. It is great to do it here in a city we love. That makes it extra special."

The couple already had commitment rings made two years ago from a melted-down heirloom from Jamie's grandmother with two diamonds, one in each ring.

As the happy couple left the town hall they were serenaded by Brighton and Hove (actually) Gay Men's Choir.

At the service were the couple's white boxer dog Humphrey and drag queen bridesmaid Joan Bond, a friend who has led Brighton's pride parade for the past three years.

Among the guests were Gino Meriano and Mike Ullett, one of the first couples to have a civil partnership ceremony in Brighton and Hove and who were celebrating their first anniversary.

Mr Love said: "It has been a momentous year. I feel very proud to be doing this. It is a great privilege for me because they are friends of mine. I feel very emotional. It is an honour."

Jamie's step-mum Jenny Hakim, from Surrey, said: "We are very happy for them. I personally think love supersedes all. That is what it's all about."

The reception was held at the Hilton Brighton Metropole.

More civil partnership ceremonies have been performed in Brighton and Hove than anywhere else in the country.

About two thirds of participants have been men.

Deputy council leader Sue John said: "We are delighted to have been at the forefront of civil partnerships in Brighton and Hove and overwhelmed by how many people feel this is the right place to make it a really special day."

Councillor John has attended three civil partnership ceremonies, including one between a couple in their 80s who had been together many years and had lived through more difficult times.

She said: "It is wonderful for those people to see their relationships recognised in that way."

Bob Carden, deputy mayor of Brighton and Hove, welcomed Graeme and Jamie to the town hall for their service.

Councillor Carden, who was mayor when civil partnerships became legal, said: "This is quite an auspicious occasion. The last year has been exciting and busy for the register office of Brighton and Hove.

"We are delighted you have chosen to make your civil partnership with us. We wish you both happiness in your future together."

To see a video report on the wedding, click here