"We were afraid of further legal challenges in the state," Kehoe said.
Bricker is a French citizen living in the United States on a student visa, and the couple has contemplated moving to France once he completes his studies next year.
Now that the Defense of Marriage Act has been struck down and California's gay marriage ban lifted, Kehoe can sponsor his husband for U.S. citizenship or permanent residency.
Hong said 81 same-sex couples wed in San Francisco on Friday just hours after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a brief order saying it has dissolved a stay it imposed on gay marriages while a lawsuit challenging the ban, known as Proposition 8, worked its way through the courts.
Within hours of the appeals court's action Friday, the two lead plaintiffs who in 2009 sued to overturn Proposition 8, Kristin Perry and Sandra Stier of Berkeley, became the first couple to marry in San Francisco in a hastily arranged ceremony.
The city, home to both a federal trial court that struck down Proposition 8 as unconstitutional and the 9th Circuit, has been the epicenter of the state's gay marriage movement since then-Mayor Gavin Newsom ordered his administration in February 2004 to issue licenses to gay couples in defiance of state law.
A little more than four years later, the California Supreme Court, which is also based in San Francisco, struck down the state's one-man, one-woman marriage laws.
City Hall was the scene of many more marriages in the 4 1/2 months before a coalition of religious conservative groups successfully campaigned for the November 2008 passage of Proposition 8, which amended the state constitution to outlaw same-sex marriages.
Standing amid the beaming couples on Saturday, John Lewis and Stuart Gaffney of the advocacy group Marriage Equality USA looked like proud fathers. The men have been together 26 years, got married in February 2004, had their union invalidated six months later and then became one of the 18,000 couples estimated to have tied the knot in California before Proposition 8 was enacted.
"I don't think getting a license means as much to anyone who hasn't worked so long for it and fought so hard for it," Gaffney said. "It's been a very long engagement."