Tom and Brad got married a year ago, and wanted to further celebrate their love with an anniversary photo session! They met in San Francisco, so naturally, we wanted to weave in the beauty of the Golden Gate Bridge and city to their session. We first met at Cavallo Point Lodge for Tito’s martinis, before moving down towards the water and capturing the beauty of the bridge and bunkers. As the sun began to set, we drove over to Rodeo beach and these two snuggled under a blanket as the sun dipped behind the ocean.
Tom was sweet enough to share their wedding vows with us… queue the waterworks!
Brad to Tom:
“Well, our day is finally here. It’s surreal to be standing up here with you, affirming our commitment to one another, in front of our dearest friends and family. I feel so blessed that my heart feels it will burst.
Where to begin? I’m positive that at this point you understand and realize just how very much I love you. But I don’t think you understand how very proud of you I am. I’m proud of the man you’ve become. You bring such joy, loving, understanding and support to me, and for that, I’m eternally grateful. You teach me lessons every day–not even directly–I see the lessons in how you enter the room, how others react to you at parties, how you treat strangers, how one should NOT leave the room during a fight, and how to lead by example with all the kiddos in our life.
The very best thing about you is your heart–I think everyone who knows you would say the same. You RADIATE care and compassion–it makes perfect sense to me that you’re in the line of work that you do. Whether it’s our dearest friends or simply the lady you just met at the antiques store, I sit back and watch you take a genuine interest in who they are, what they’re doing, and if they’re living their best life. I’m humbled by your compassion.
Before I met you, I had a very rough 5 or so years–broken bones, a titanium leg, a car accident, chronic pain, and a 5-day stay in the ICU from a bleed out that they could not stop. There’s no doubt in my mind that the good Lord above brought me you–a nurse–to help in healing all those wounds. We continue to heal each others’ wounds as each year goes by. I’m convinced that’s why we were brought together.
I knew deep in my bones that I was certain I wanted to marry you when well into our relationship we were coming home from a party at Nik and Caitlin’s and you began talking about Siena–she was a baby at that point–and how important it was for us to get in the habit of telling her she was “smart” before “pretty”, but more importantly, how crucial it was for her to see you and I treating each other with love and respect–not because of how she would feel toward us growing up, but because of how she would remember us, well after we’re gone. To me, that was a level of care and forethought that I had never seen before, and I don’t think I’ve ever been more in love with you than that moment. I knew I had made the right choice and could not believe how lucky I was to have found you. To this day, I literally cannot imagine my life without you!
Now to the vows!
I promise to keep listening to you when you give me fashion advice. I promise to keep my temper in check while driving. I promise to keep enjoying the little things that truly matter. I promise to keep cooking for us. I promise not to work too much. I promise to wear sunscreen. I promise to keep asking about your day each evening. I promise to always keep kissing you on your back as I get out of bed each morning. I promise to love, honor and respect you, for the rest of my life.
I promise all these things because you have–as you’ve always had–my full heart. I cannot wait to spend the rest of my life with you by my side.”
Tom to Brad:
“Bradley Alan Dunshee,
Thank you for choosing me to be your lifelong partner and husband. Every day I feel so lucky that we found each other. You are my better half. You are my everything.
I love you not only for what you have made of yourself but for what you are making of me. I love you because your love is unconditional without ultimatums. You never try to change me or dampen my flame. I mean look at me – short shorts and unicorns! That’s quite a lot of flame! 🙂
I love you because you put effort, thought and so much care into me and our family. You always want what’s best for all of us. You always make sure all the kids in our life feel loved, supported and protected. Hearing the joy in Siena, Avary and Sophia yell “Uncle Brad” is the sweetest thing.
I love you because no one has ever given me the love that you have given me and you are the only one that could ever love me this way.
I love you because you always make me feel that I am worthy.
I love you because you awakened a smile in me that had been almost forgotten.
I love you because of your big, beautiful, honest heart. You possess such incredible empathy and a strong moral compass which ignited a passion inside of you to create a podcast with the hopes that it would reach any and every gay kid out there to know they are not alone.
I love you for you and all your BRAD-ISMS that make you my one and only.
Today I give myself to you in marriage. I promise to challenge you to be everything I know you can be. To encourage and inspire you. To help you see in yourself what I see in your, which is an amazing man whom i have the greatest pride and admiration.
I promise to laugh with you and to comfort you in times of sorrow and struggle.
I promise to love you in good times and in bad. When life seems easy and when it seems hard. When our love is simple and when it is an effort.
I promise to cherish you and to always respect you, our love and our commitment to each other.
Today is particularly special because it is also the wedding anniversary for your beloved grandparents Buzz and Flo and also our dear friends Linh and Vitali.
I also recognize how blessed we are to be surrounded by this amount of love and support from our tribe today on this hillside and those sending their love and those looking down from heaven smiling.
I promise to spend the rest of my life trying to make you feel that with me you are always home, you are always safe and you are always loved.
Just like Martha always says to me “I LOVE YOU. NO BUTS. PERIOD.”
These things I give you today and all the days of my life.
As I’ve given you my hand to hold so I give you my heart to keep always.”