Daniel Mobbs and Vince Bresciano made a commitment to each other in 2003 before same-sex marriage became legal. They legally married two months after it became recognized in New York in 2011, at which time they only expected “to sign a piece of paper,” Bresciano said.
“When we actually got inside, I was like, ‘Wow, this is more than a certificate’ and we were just sobbing through the whole thing,” Bresciano, 48, added about the experience.
“The minute [the officiant] said, ‘Face each other and hold hands,’ that was when the waterworks started,” Mobbs, 50, added with a laugh. “It became rather real.”
Mobbs noted that same-sex marriage was never on either of their radars.
“In the moment of the ceremony, it became rather shocking that this was actually happening to us, that we had made this decision, that it was about to bind us for life, legally,” Mobbs said. “It was such a beautiful moment to realize that we were equal in the eyes of the law in our commitment, as it was to us.”
The couple will celebrate 16 years together Nov. 7 but their courtship extends even further. They met while playing pool at a Center City bar in 1993. Mobbs was playing the game with a group of people and Bresciano asked if he could play the winner, who turned out to be Mobbs. The two engaged in what they both call a “very flirty game.” They tied in the first two games and Bresciano came up with an idea for the third game.
“Vince’s idea on the third game was, whoever wins gets to ask the other one on a date,” Mobbs recalled. “The third game was extremely competitive. He won and, like a gentleman, gave me a little kiss on the cheek and said, ‘I’ll call you sometime’ and left me hanging with complete excitement and frustration that that’s where it ended.”
Bresciano called Mobbs a few days later and they had their first date at Copa, which was on 17th Street at the time. The pair went on a few more dates but, while they both liked each other, it ended up fading. They both eventually moved to New York, with neither of them knowing the other was living there.
Ironically, they reunited in Minneapolis, Minn., in 2001. Mobbs, an opera singer, was traveling to the city for work and heard from a mutual friend that Bresciano was living there. He decided to look him up and the two reconnected.
“It turned into something bigger [from there],” Bresciano said.
They dated long-distance for more than a year, got a place together in New York City in 2002 and then finally moved back to Philadelphia in 2009.
Mobbs proposed to Bresciano at a park in downtown San Francisco in 2003.
“It was a complete surprise, though I knew something was up as we were trying to find the perfect spot in the park,” Bresciano said. “But at that point, there was no question that I wanted to be committed to Daniel. I thought it was incredibly sweet and I was very proud of him for doing it.”
When it came to falling in love with each other, Mobbs said he was “smitten” with Bresciano when they met in 1993 and felt it again when they reconnected in 2001.
“But I knew to play my cards right,” Mobbs said. “He had come out of a relationship and wasn’t ready to jump into another relationship. I tried as best I could to be a very patient, quiet, non-pressuring boyfriend and it worked.”
Bresciano said he will “never forget” the moment he told Mobbs, “I love you.” Mobbs was readying to leave Minneapolis, suitcases in tow as he was about to get in a taxi.
“He had told me that he loved me [earlier],” Bresciano said. “He said I didn’t have to say it back and I wanted to be really sure. I was saying goodbye to him. We hugged and kissed goodbye, and I whispered in his ear that I loved him and he dropped every single one of his bags and started crying.”
“The poor cab driver had to wait quite a while before I got my composure,” Mobbs added with a laugh.
The couple will celebrate their anniversary by going to a taping of “The Wendy Williams Show,” which they have watched together “since day one.”
They noted a number of qualities they still love about each other after all these years.
“Besides the physical traits — I thought he was handsome and still do — we are good friends, which is really important to me,” Bresciano said. “We just enjoy hanging out together. We make each other laugh. We can talk about anything with each other.”
“I always found Vince to be gorgeous and after 16 years, I still think he’s gorgeous,” Mobbs said. “The special things for Vince to me are he’s really generous in his affection with friends and family. He’s a very devoted, loyal person and, as someone who lives his life on the road, having that kind of husband is very important.”