We will end up having an engagement of just of 20 months. Unfortunately, life doesn't get put on hold during this blissful time and good and bad things happen.
One major life change was the death of my maternal grandmother. Her death was not unexpected but the ramifications in the family were. I'm not going to go into any details but it has been hard. We have it easier than my parents for sure. We're a few states away but that also makes it more difficult. Flying out after the funeral was so very hard for me and Ben not being there didn't help very much either. We're looking onwards and upwards and trying to stay optimistic about the situation and supportive of my parents.
With Ben's birthday this summer, he aged out of his family's health care coverage. I get coverage through work but Ben is an independent contractor. This means health insurance is VERY expensive. Even if he joins the freelancers union, it isn't a very cheap option. So we decided it made sense for us to become legally married in the State of New York so I could add him to my coverage at work. We had tossed around the idea for a few months before we came to the decision that this would be the best for us. We talked about when we would celebrate our anniversary (wedding date), when I would change my name (after honeymoon), and a few other things. I also wanted to be very sure my parents were comfortable with this decision and supportive of it. It took a few conversations before they understood and fully supported us.
On July 28, 2012, we were legally wed by a city clerk. (On a side note, this was the first week of gay marriage and it was very exciting to see gay couples there too!) Our recently married friends were our witnesses and within 20 minutes we were married and on our way to dinner to celebrate. Everyone once and awhile we call each other husband and wife and remind each other that we're married but we still introduce each other as fiance/e. Most of our friends and extended families don't even know (until now...). We're not keeping it secret (obviously) but it is a grey area but the more people that know the grayer it gets.
With our new legal status came an avalanche of paperwork. We first worked on all the insurance papers and are now consulting with our CPA (Ben's mom) about taxes. Because Ben is an independent contractor and his own business our taxes are confusing (to say the least) so she's analyzing whether if we should file together or keep it separate.
We also are starting to combine our finances. We've opened new accounts closed others and are still getting our new cards, checks, etc. Totally boring and not fun, especially when you add in budgeting with our new combined finances (I'll write a whole post on that in the next month as we are working with said budget).