So when Volusia County opened its domestic partnership registry Monday morning in Daytona Beach and DeLand, the same-sex couple thought signing up would be no big deal.
"Then we got there," Papini said afterward, "and really, all day, we've been close to teary-eyed."
The same-sex Deltona couple joined 19 other couples Monday on Volusia's registry, an official list designed to make it easier for unmarried people to have the same legal rights they'd have if they were married.
"It somehow feels more secure, safer, more real," Papini said after she and Drye became the seventh couple on the list. "It's not that we love each other more ... It's just a really great day. I'm so grateful for this moment, I really am."
Volusia's registry is one of several new ones opening across Central Florida and around Florida, which defined marriage as between a man and a woman in a 2008 constitutional amendment. Of the 20 couples to register Monday, 16 were same-sex couples.
Supporters of the registry say it will grow to include many straight couples, mostly retirees, who are in long-term relationships but would lose certain benefits if they married.
County Councilman Josh Wagner, who worked with Equality Florida and others to bring the registry up for a vote, served as a witness for the county's first officially recognized partnership: Carlos Murphy and Larry Glinzman, who also was instrumental in getting it passed.
Then Murphy and Glinzman, partners of 30 years, stayed to serve as witnesses for the next wave of people.
"I feel a little more legal," Glinzman said later. "It's nice to have a little more protection. We're very happy to have that, and we're very appreciative that we're able to have it here."
Wagner said the mood inside the county's revenue offices -- where people standing in line are generally dour about paying taxes -- was a happy one, for once. Since the council passed the measure in May, he said he routinely has people thanking him while he's out in public.
"Of anything I've done, or been a part of with the County Council, I've never been thanked more," he said. "If I'm out in a restaurant, or out at an event, it's just been a great experience, and it's shown how much this is appreciated in our community and how this was the right time for it."
Read the rest at the Daytona Beach News-Journal.