The pair wed in a July 13 ceremony in Port Jefferson on Long Island.
Aguanno, 25, is a software engineer and Smoak, 24, is pursuing a Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biophysics at the University of Pennsylvania.
The couple has been together since December 2009.
They initially met on Myspace but soon learned they had a number of mutual friends, and that their parents lived only minutes from each other.
Aguanno said it was about a week until he met Smoak in person, but that their initial interactions on Skype convinced both of them that a lasting relationship was already forming.
“Honestly in those first couple Skype dates, we knew that this was pretty much it,” Aguanno said. “It was like that disgustingly gross cuteness. Even before we physically met, we knew that this was the last person we were ever going to be with.”
In the past few years, with a move to Philadelphia and the launch of their respective educational and career endeavors, the couple said they’ve thrived by approaching their shared experiences with humor.
“It’s been a lot of laughing,” Smoak said. “We’ve had to deal with big things like wills and health-care proxies, and then just your everyday things like trips to Home Depot and paint-color choices that went awry, and you just have to laugh a lot together.”
The couple has become so in tune with one another that they unwittingly planned near-simultaneous marriage proposals.
During a June 2011 trip to Italy, Aguanno planned to pop the question in Venice on the first leg of the vacation, while Smoak intended to wait until later in the excursion, in Florence.
“Zach proposed in Venice so I kind of counter-proposed at the same time,” Smoak said. “Zach’s family knew he was going to propose, and my family knew I was going to propose, but they didn’t say anything to one another about it. So when we stepped off the plane and they asked to see the ring, they were pretty confused that there were two of them.”
About 150 family and friends celebrated their union with them.
Both men were raised in the Roman Catholic Church, which does not sanction same-sex unions, but the pair said they maintain a spiritual element to their relationship and had an interfaith minister and ceremony.
Aguanno took Smoak’s last name, a process that required approval in Philadelphia as well as through a number of courts in New York, and ultimately cost the couple about $2,500.
They spent an additional $2,000 on other legal protections to ensure their connection is documented through wills and other measures.
Although their marriage is not legally recognized in Philadelphia, having it sanctioned in their home state is significant to them.
“There was almost an immediate legitimacy to our relationship that we both felt in the days afterward,” Smoak said. “And there are societal implications that go along with saying that you’re married. People understand. They expect that you’ve gone through the rigorous process of planning a wedding and, even more than that, a marriage is about uniting two families. There’s so much more to a marriage than just the legal benefits.”
Aguanno said the couple is enjoying their post-wedding downtime and is planning a honeymoon for early fall.