So I am now legally attached to my partner of five and a half years, Arna (photos here). The day was fantastic, everything went smoothly, and everyone involved seemed to enjoy themselves. Nice to finally meet Span in person, too -- she's known both Arna and other members of this blog for quite some time, but we've never been in the same place at the same time for some reason.
This site seems like a suitable venue to address the obvious question: "Why a Civil Union? Aren't they for Teh Gayz?"
Basically, marriage seems to us to be a religious institution, and since neither of us is religious, we figured that a Civil Union made for a better secular option. This way religion stays out of our life, and we don't cynically rubber-stamp an institution that other people attach significance to. Arna's feminist sensibilities also twitched at the historical connotations of marriage (the symbolic transfer of ownership of the bride from her father to her husband).
In the event, it worked out very well. Because there are no traditions associated with Civil Unions, and hence no expectations, we were free to organise things however we wanted -- formal and meaningful, but not rigid. It all made for a very relaxed and friendly atmosphere. The only real problems were the complete lack of "Happy Civil Union" cards for people to get us, and the similar lack of vocabulary for describing our relationship to each other now (hence the title of this post)...