Tell us your love story!
(Told from Michael’s perspective) Tom and I first met through friends in the beginning of 2011. I did not think much of that initial interaction besides the fact that I thought he was a very nice guy. We hung out in groups here and there for a few months and I continued to think he was just a nice guy, marriage-material even - but for someone else. I never looked at him in a romantic way. At the end of 2011, we spent some time talking alone at a party and we really got to know each other and the next week he asked me out on a date. I was a bit surprised and did not know if I wanted to enter dating territory with a friend because I just didn’t see him in that way. But I knew he was a nice guy and we had fun at the time so I thought I would give it a shot.
Our first date was at one of my favorite restaurants, Maggiano’s, and we talked for HOURS that night. I still remember exactly which booth we sat in and especially that moment when we realized that we were there until past closing. I learned so much more about him in that one night than I did during the year I hung out with him. We talked about art, family, our childhoods etc. and I knew instantly that he was someone special. We started dating continuously and within two months into our relationship we told each other “I love you.” We, of course, talked about our future and Tom was pretty expressive when it came to marrying me. I, on the other hand, was not as sure because it was the first time I had felt this way about another human being. I viewed marriage as an irreversible investment that I knew I had to be sure about. And I was not 100% sure.
Like any couple we hit some rough patches and had fights that made us think we were not right for each other. Then, in our 3rd year of being together, we hit a crossroads. It was that plot point in our story that would change it all. We had to make the decision to stay on the path of life together or to go our separate ways. We decided to fight for each other, and after staying resilient when our love had been so shaken, I knew I wanted to marry Tom.
Since Tom was the sure one about marrying me, it was up to me to propose. I wanted to make a big splash on this moment because I knew how important this was going to be for him. I decided I was going to propose to him on his birthday celebration in Palm Springs where we rented a house and invited our closest friends. His prior birthday was also in Palm Springs and was when we hit that crossroads to continue or quit so I thought it was the perfect place and time to make up for the last year and to show how far we had come after that dark time. I set the stage by reinforcing to him that I was not sure if I wanted to marry him, or get married to anyone for that matter. I had this going for about two months. I ended up inviting my family (his family was on the east coast but knew this was going to happen) and some of my other closest friends to the house on the night I was going to propose. The only people who knew about the proposal was my family. None of our friends knew. I wanted our friends, who we love like family, to feel that surprise and share that energy with Tom. I am a vocalist so I told everyone to gather into the living room so I could sing a special song for his birthday. I decided to sing “All I Ask Of You” from the Phantom of the Opera.
The lyrics of the songs were so meaningful to our relationship and my hidden meaning of the words were actually that his hand in marriage was all I wanted to ask of him. He was stunned and said yes and cried for about an hour. Mission accomplished - I made my splash.
Preparing for the wedding was such a joyous time in my life. We were just excited for the fact that we found each other in this crazy world and moving to the next level in our relationship. Plus, living in a time where our marriage would be legally recognized added a huge element of excitement and appreciation as we planned our big day. I know it is cliché, but our wedding day really was the happiest day of our lives. I had a lot of epic moments that day but my most favorite moment was when we read our vows to each other in front of all of our friends and family. What we wanted our guests to take away from the wedding is the understanding of our journey, how much we loved each other, and that a "gay wedding" truly is no different than a "traditional wedding.” Everything was absolutely perfect, all thanks to the amazing companies that we decided to be part of our wedding - we couldn’t have asked for a better venue, coordinator, florist, and photographer/videographer. Tom and I still can’t believe we are married sometimes. Not because we are two men, but because we were two souls wandering this earth to find a soul mate and out of the billions of people in this world, we were able to find each other. That is why we believe #lovewins.