I am excited to announce that I’m getting married!
My partner Ryann and I have been talking for months about how we want to express our commitment to each other. We’ve grown close and developed a deep mutual trust over the years. In this post, I want to share some thoughts on how my perspective on marriage has changed throughout my life, how my partner and I met and got to know each other, and how we plan to celebrate our legal union.
How we met and got to know each other
Ryann and I have been friends since 2017. We connected through a Facebook group for disabled people. We realized we were both writers and had similar views on the world, especially about justice and environmental awareness. As we shared our stories with each other, we grew more comfortable with talking almost every day. Our communication has always been very honest, clear, and understanding. We lived in the same state but were unable to meet in person until 2020. We talked about how we were interested in getting to know each other better, and when we met face-to-face, it solidified those feelings.
I’ve been polyamorous for as long as I’ve known the term. My first relationship was with two people, and I’ve often dated more than one person at a time. Getting together with Ryann was no different. I’d been with my other partner since 2016, and Ryann and I started dating in 2020 before we moved in together. We kept this period of our relationship offline to give ourselves privacy, referring to Ryann as a “roommate.” It was funny to us that we were living a truly gay and polyamorous stereotype in referring to each other as roommates.
The three of us lived together from late 2020 to late 2021, when I broke up with my other partner. The past year has been one of tremendous growth. Ryann and I have grown closer than ever, and we feel for each other a mutual trust that neither of us knew previously. Our engagement, like the rest of our relationship, didn’t take place in one single moment like a traditional proposal. It was something that blossomed out of dedicated research and planning. Once we accepted that it made the most sense for us, we started excitedly telling each other that we can’t wait to marry each other. We both came from conservative backgrounds, and marriage meant something totally different in that context.
Weighing the pros and cons
Since my partner and I are both disabled, there are unique details to consider. My partner receives disability benefits of two kinds – federal and state funded income. I do not receive these, but I’m looking into the process for myself. Because I make money on my writing, I’m in a gray area that makes my situation complex. I’m not fully employed and can’t do regular work but I do work from home as I’m able. Getting married means that Ryann will lose some of his benefits, but it is not significant enough that we think this disadvantage outweighs the advantages.
Getting married has legal advantages. It will be easier to change my name this way than the more expensive route Ryann took. It will also be easier to give each other legal rights to our legacies – that is, if one of us passes away, our spouse will have the right to see that our desires are met. Without this, each item will need to be paid for individually, and our birth families might still retain prior legal rights. We’ve been doing a lot of research on what this means legally and financially, and it makes the most sense to get married.
The plan from here
We still need to pull together the funds to make a wedding happen. The costs of a full wedding can be astronomical, and our parents certainly won’t be helping with the expense. Rather than get a whole venue and everything, we plan on doing a small courthouse wedding with a couple of close friends as witnesses. Then, if we can afford to, we will host a larger reception later.
Rings can cost thousands of dollars. We aren’t interested in funding the diamond industry, and we want to do something unique. To get long-lasting matching pride rings would only be about $200 per ring. Outfits can be extremely costly, too, but neither of us want lace-covered white dresses. We want to get non-binary style suits tailored to fit, something that will cost about a few hundred dollars. The marriage license itself costs $72 locally. The ceremony is $80, and it’s $20 for each witness present, and we’ll have two. This adds up to about $1,200 – not bad at all for a wedding, but our income doesn’t cover our basic living expenses and we’re fundraising to make ends meet. Hosting a reception would be an additional cost in catering and getting a venue.
We are excited to have found love in each other, and we’re hopeful that we can make this happen with your help. So after a great deal of discussion, we’ve decided to announce our engagement and ask for your help to make our wedding possible. If you’d like to help us celebrate, please send a gift!
We are able to receive funds through the following links: PayPal, CashApp, and Venmo: @ArtStardust.
Thank you all so much for your support over the years!