One lucky couple will be given the chance to make double history when same sex marriages come into force later this year.

Brighton and Hove City Council is offering one couple the chance to become one of the first in the country to take part in a same-sex marriage at one minute past midnight on March 29.

As well as the city’s first late-night wedding the council will be opening up the Royal Pavilion’s music room as a wedding venue for the first time.

The council is also waiving venue hire and registrar fees, saving the lucky couple thousands of pounds on their special day.

This opportunity is open to any same-sex couple planning and legally able to be married in Brighton and Hove on March 29 and the couple with the most compelling case will be selected for the honour.

The selected couple will be able to invite up to 80 guests. All other wedding costs, including accommodation, transport, catering, reception or other room hire must be met by the couple.

The council has also stipulated the couple must be willing for the media to be present at the ceremony and to appear in publicity about the historic moment.

Couples in existing civil partnerships cannot apply as the legislation to convert a civil partnership to a marriage has not yet been announced.

Councillor Leo Littman, lead councillor for city services, said the Royal Pavilion was a venue close to his heart following his own wedding at the opulent Regency landmark in 2007.

He said: “You can feel the excitement build towards the city’s first same-sex wedding in March.

“Holding the first ceremony in our grand, historic Royal Pavilion gives the city the chance to show itself for what it is; egalitarian, forward looking and also with a real respect for our history.”

Trevor Love, senior ceremonies registrar, said: “We’ve been taking enquiries for more than a year from couples wanting to know when we will be able to offer same-sex weddings.

“Even before the government announced the official date we were inundated with people wanting to be married as soon as the law allowed and asking to go on a waiting list.

“The ceremony we have planned is going to be a wonderful celebration for the happy couple and the city.”

Couples are invited to write or email Brighton and Hove City Council Register Office explaining why the Royal Pavilion is special for them and what it would mean to be married there.

The closing date for applications to be received is January 31 and the lucky winning couple will be announced on Valentine’s Day.