Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Vows (on keeping the monogamy out of our wedding)

When Danny first found me on OkCupid, the first line of my profile read, “If you are looking for monogamy, I am not your girl.” He, obviously, liked this (and my references to Princess Bride, Doctor Who, and Vonnegut), and sent me a message. I sent him one back, we talked, then met in person at Cuyahoga Valley National Park, where, three years later, we were married.

In those three years, I had people ask me on several occasions if we would become monogamous when we “got serious” and decided to get married. Well, no, that isn’t really how it works. We were serious about each other when we moved in together, we were serious about each other when he got offered a job across the country and we moved our lives, and we would still be just as serious about each other if we never decided to get married.

Marriage ≠ monogamy, at least not for us.

Over the course of our relationship, we have definitely hit some non-monogamy speed bumps, but at no time did we even entertain the idea of being monogamous, so when we were planning our wedding, we wanted to make sure there was no hint of, “forsaking all others.” The ceremony had to be authentically us, though not so obvious as to shock the more conservative members of our families.

First, the rings. Danny was adamant that he wanted titanium bands to symbolize our relationship and its extremely strong yet very light nature. We chose matching bands with three inset gemstones—sapphire in the middle, and two green garnets on the sides to represent nature and the colors of our eyes.

The wedding party was made up of people we loved, some of whom we have played with, one of whom is my girlfriend.

We chose two readings for the ceremony: Gibran’s On Marriage, and a Victor Hugo/Walt Whitman mash-up that we created because we could. The Gibran reading was particularly important because it said everything we felt about the nature of couplehood:

Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.

After this, we both read our statements of love to one another (awwwww!).

Then the vows—very short, very to the point, and very, very us:

Do you promise…

To respect and cherish each other as partners and equals, and to honor each other as individuals?

To laugh together in the good times and comfort each other in times of struggle?

To take the adventurous road in pursuit of one another’s dreams and to delight in what you know of each other and trust what is yet undiscovered?

We did, and we do—and we look forward to many, many years of wedded, non-monogamous bliss.