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Gay couples set to say 'I do' in Maryland

Friday - 12/28/2012, 5:43am  ET

WASHINGTON - It can be stressful for couples to plan their weddings. But for one Maryland couple holding a New Year's holiday wedding, the stress is just a bit shy of tenfold.

Hours after having their own marriage ceremony, they'll host eight other weddings.

Bob Zuber and Tracy Staples co-own the Black Walnut Point Inn on Tilghman Island. And when Maryland voters passed a referendum allowing same-sex marriage in the state, Zuber and Staples made a point to be among the first gay couples to get a marriage license in Talbot County.

Because they wanted to be the first couple to marry at their own inn, they've planned to hold a ceremony of their own New Year's Eve. Then, just hours later, the celebratory couple will play host.

At the stroke of midnight, they'll host two other marriage ceremonies. Then on New Year's morning, they'll head to the Two If By Sea Café, where a "Wedding Jitters" brunch will be held.

Are they nervous?

"No!" says Staples who then jokes, "Bob's father called us yesterday and said 'I want to make sure that both of you guys are going to meet each other at the altar!'"

They both break up laughing at the recollection.

Asked about the reception they're getting since publicizing their own pending marriage and the fact that they'd be hosting a group of same-sex couples for marriage ceremonies, both Zuber and Staples say the community has been incredibly supportive.

While some court clerks in St. Mary's County reportedly won't be officiating same-sex ceremonies because they have religious objections, Staples says they're not experiencing anything like that in Talbot County.

"Our motto here for the entire Tilghman Island is, 'Why go where you're tolerated? Come here where you're celebrated!'"

Once everyone ties the knot New Year's Day, Zuber says the couples will head over to the Tilghman Island Inn for a wedding feast and cake-cutting.

And, as far as a honeymoon for Zuber and Staples, Zuber laughs as he says, "Uh, yeah, at the Black Walnut Point Inn."

And Staples adds "We're staying right here."

WTOP's Kate Ryan contributed to this report. Follow @KateRyanWTOP and @WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)