My recent self-employment brought up concerns, especially from my Mom and Jon about health insurance. While domestic partnership doesn’t seem very romantic at first because of how practical it actually is, our experience turned out to be really fun, stress-free and all about us, which weddings often lack for the couple. And it was $35 not $35,000 dollars and I’m insured!

While we don’t get a lot of the benefits of being lawfully married, aside from health insurance, we do get the right to conjugal visits! Win.

It really was the perfect day. We got up, put on fancy, but not too fancy clothes, grabbed a coffee and our collection of cameras, got on the train and headed to the county clerk’s office, where actual weddings take place.

The building is gorgeous and fit for multiple weddings – casual or super fancy. After you pass through the revolving doors you are ushered to a kiosk. As if we were checking into a flight at the airport, we entered each other’s personal information. It was like a love game show quiz. If that isn’t romantic, then I don’t know what is!

Then like we were waiting on line at the butcher to get salami and provolone sandwiches, we waited for our number to be displayed on the overhead monitor. During the very short wait, we looked at all the reasonably priced flower bouquets and got to take our photo in front of the giant mural of the outside of building. Much cheaper than hiring a florist and photographer.


The scene inside really had great energy, with little flower girls and ring bearers running around and smiles everywhere. Jon called it, “the DMV of love.”

Once our number was called we went to a station and verified all the information on the screen and showed our drivers licenses. No witnesses necessary. Jon paid for the paperwork while I instagrammed our Domestic Partnership photo. That was it. We became officially domestic partnered or as our friends called it, “gay married for straight people” in about a half an hour.

As we returned to Brooklyn we were giddy at all the facebook love we received from our friends and family, which is really all we need, like this one from my Dad Rocco (who was informed of the Domestic Partnership beforehand): “You could have at least told me in advance. The shock of it…the surprise…I have nothing to say except go for the Valium. On the bright side I do not have to pay for a wedding. I guess that good manners lead me to say congratulations,” to which Jon replied, “You’ll still have to spend your Italian pension on a wedding.”

Another friend wrote: “Congrats … you’re officially a lesbian couple in the 1990s!”

Then we enjoyed a fantastic boozy lunch at Roebling Tea Room followed by the Northside Senior Center Art Show, which really got us in the mood for some things not fit to be mentioned on this blog.

After getting domestic partnered, I wonder why anyone spends so much money and mental energy on a wedding. An upcoming wedding we are going to is $240/plate for 300 people. That’s a guido wedding for you – $72,000 just for the food. I bet you the bouquets won’t be $22 and the whole endeavor from planning months, maybe years ahead, and just saying hello and good bye to that many people will leave the bride and groom exhausted and broke. I bet they won’t even “do it” on their wedding night.

Geez – what I would do with $72,000 – other than getting married! Not that I’m knocking marriage. I respect marriage, but this showed us what a fun and simple time we can have without all the fuss and money.

What was so nice about the day though was that it was all about us. We didn’t have to please anyone but ourselves, which made it truly romantic, but to the point.

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  1. Bonus: The fee for Domestic Partnership Termination is $27 by credit card or money order payable to the City Clerk.

    Much less than divorce!

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