OLYMPIA, Wash. -

Seattle City Hall will open for several hours for wedding ceremonies on the Sunday after Washington state's new law allowing gay marriage takes effect.

Aaron Pickus, a spokesman for Mayor Mike McGinn, said Friday that eight municipal judges are donating their time to marry couples between noon and 5 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 9, three days after Referendum 74 takes effect.

While couples will be able to pick up their marriage licenses on Dec. 6, because Washington has a three-day waiting period, the earliest a certificate could be signed, making the marriage valid, is that following Sunday.

The Seattle weekly newspaper The Stranger wrote Thursday that it is donating $2,000 to help pay for materials and that Stranger staff members will volunteer their time to help organize the event.