Melbourne (CNN)The happy couple wore matching cream flower garlands in their hair but, although they were married in front of thousands of witnesses, their union isn't legal.
Jane Mahoney, 28, and Josie Lennie, 26, danced and kissed in front of the crowd after a celebrant officiated a "mass illegal wedding" in Melbourne, Australia Saturday.
"We've been together for over four years and we just want to be able to make it official in the future," Mahoney told CNN.
The couple were among as many as 20,000 people who marched through the streets of Melbourne, in the state of Victoria, to call for same-sex marriage to be legalized.
The rally comes weeks before the start of a nationwide postal vote on whether the law should be changed to allow same-sex unions.
Australia is one of the few Western nations where same-sex marriage isn't legally recognized, and the issue has become increasingly divisive.
Amid competing campaigns for a "yes" or "no" vote are calls for the postal vote to be scrapped altogether, to spare the gay and lesbian community a public debate about the validity of their relationships.
Thousands on streets
Students, couples and children joined politicians, celebrities and leading advocates as they marched through the city's central business district.
The crowd was so unexpectedly large that authorities were forced to close tram routes and nearby streets.
Canadian tourist Erin Dietzel, 26 and Joel West, 28, a film set dresser from Melbourne, arrived