Richard Carlbom, who successfully led the effort to legalize same-sex marriage in Minnesota, will marry his longtime boyfriend in St. Paul on Friday evening.

Carlbom and Justin Schramm are expecting about 239 people to attend their ceremony at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church. Expected guests include Democratic U.S. Rep. Tim Walz and St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, both are Carlbom's former bosses.

The Rev. Grant Stevensen, who served as faith director for Minnesotans United for All Families, will preside over the ceremony. Carlbom and Schramm will have 12 people in their wedding party.

"It's happening!" Carlbom said Thursday. "To be able to stand in front of friends and family and be able to commit to one another forever, well, it means everything."

The couple will hold their reception at A'BULAE in the Lowertown area of St. Paul. Mintáhoe Catering will include a mini hamburger bar and "mashtini" bar, where attendees can help themselves to different kinds of mashed potatoes in a martini glass, and then choose from array of toppings.

The reception will also include a late-night fiesta bar.

"That way I can walk out with a taco in a bag," Carlbom said. "It is everything I wished my wedding night would be."

Carlbom had wanted to include a long thank-you in the wedding brochure, but Schramm nixed the idea, saying it sounded too much like the talking points from the campaign to win passage of same-sex marriage.

In planning the wedding, Carlbom said he learned something that had not fully occurred to him during the campaign.

"This one day is important, but what is really important is how you prepare and live your lives as a couple for the next 50 years," he said.

Schramm is a public school teacher in the Twin Cities. Carlbom is the director of state campaigns for Freedom to Marry, a group pushing to legalize same-sex marriage in other states.

Carlbom noted their wedding comes one day after the New Mexico Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in that state.

"New Mexico gave us a nice gift," he said.

After the wedding, the two will honeymoon in Puerto Rico.