Just after midnight tonight, King County Executive Dow Constantine will be opening up the county recorder's office for its first ever gay marriage business.

"I don't want couples to wait a minute longer than legally necessary to get the rights that voters have recognized," Constantine says.

Hurrah! I'll be there to let you know what the history looks like, but in case you want to be part of that history, details in the jump:

Numbered tickets will be issued to applicants lining up on the North Plaza (James Street side) of the Administration Building, starting at 10:00 p.m. on Dec. 5, two hours before the office opens. Marriage licenses will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis. All couples who are inside the official queuing area two hours before closing time will be served.

Before arriving at the Recorder’s Office, couples should download and complete a marriage license application from www.kingcounty.gov/marriage, and bring the completed form with them along with photo identification and the license fee of $64, payable by cash or check only.

Because space is extremely limited, only couples applying for a marriage license can be accommodated in the queuing area and licensing annex. A photo station will be established in the fourth floor lobby on the Fifth Avenue side of the Administration Building. Family and friends can greet exiting couples there and take pictures with the couple and their newly-issued marriage license.

To help gauge interest in the event, licensing officials urge couples to register for the licensing events on the King County Facebook page at www.facebook.com/KingCountyWA. Registering for a Facebook “event” does not guarantee a spot in the line or a marriage license. Couples can also signal their interest for the Dec. 7 or 8 events by clicking the small "By King County, WA" link under the title at the top of the Facebook page.

People in line on Dec. 6, 7, or 8 will also be able to “check in” on Facebook at the Recorder’s Office via QR codes posted around the Administration Building.

In addition to Facebook, King County will be on Twitter at @kcnews, www.twitter.com/kcnews. Throughout the day on Dec. 6, get real-time updates as events unfold, check the status of the wait in line, and much more. Executive Constantine will also be tweeting at @kcexec. Follow the hashtag #MEDayWA to join in the conversation.

As always, weapons, alcohol, and illegal drugs are strictly prohibited on King County property. Out of consideration for others in line, couples are asked to refrain from bringing large signs, noisemakers, and similar items with them to apply.

The Recorder’s Office in the Administration Building will be the only location in King County where licenses can be obtained in person on these three days:

Thursday, Dec. 6, from 12:01 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Friday Dec. 7, from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 8, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

All couples applying for a marriage license on these dates, regardless of gender, will need to wait in line. After this special event, marriage licenses will again be available at all normal locations, including the Recorder’s Office downtown and at Community Service Centers located throughout King County, which are listed at www.kingcounty.gov/csc.