13 months ago I asked the biggest question of my life. Will you marry me? Now sitting one month out from my wedding I couldn’t be happier about getting through the event and being hitched. My wife was not only my high school sweet heart but also my middle school sweet heart. Even though we have known each other for such a long time and have been in love with each other during it there has since been a new found commitment and love found since being married. Though I am happy as could be now the road to the “perfect” wedding was long, winding, and hard to navigate at times.
The part of this story that pertains to the Butcher Shops is that my partner Nick Delauri did the cooking and catering for the event. As Nick knew coming into the event knew, I can be a little bit particular about my food and more importantly, the service. As a trained chef who has worked in high volume upscale kitchens as well as smaller artisanal kitchens I knew he could produce quality, unique plates in a timely fashion. However, I knew it would be a test of our friendship to get through all the small details I wanted. My wife knew that I have big plans for the food so she mostly let me run the show when it came time to make up the plates. I invited nick and his wife over to start going over the possible options. Nicks wife is a pastry chef, and like Nick was nice enough to do all the dessert options for us. So, we started In. Immediately I can tell my desires were a bit too complex for large scale catering. About an hour or so in and a bottle of wine and we had what we thought was a workable starting point. Passed hor d oeuvors, appetizers, entrees, and small desserts were all on paper. At this point we all feel as though we were ahead of the curve; what a fleeting moment that was.
There was really only one moment when I may have strained the relationship and thought “perhaps I’m pushing him too far”. The water dispensers. As a nice touch to the evening I thought it would be a good idea to have some water dispensers for thirsty party goers to rehydrate. BUT, since this is such a nice event we should have fancy water infused with mint, lemon, and cucumbers. While seemingly minor and of little effort this is what almost broke the camels back. A smirk and a “are you serious?” followed my asking for the extra touch. Having dealt with every vendor for months now I went back to basics and pushed back, hard. Thankfully he knew what a trying time it was a let my brief lapse in sanity go. He even agreed to prep the ridiculous water request. perhaps it was his true gift to me, that being said, I still think it’s what brought the whole party together. What all of this reinforced for me is that no matter what the feat, whether personal or in business having people you trust and love working with you makes all the difference. This principle will be felt by everyone when they come into contact with you. The same thing goes for our business together. While we are expanding and becoming ever busier with running things, we still have good people around us to rely on. I could not be happier knowing I have support from all the people around me and I think it flows into all facets of life. Whether that be a welcome feeling when you come in our shops or the way everyone should feel when they get home, you should be comfortable.
Now having some time to reflect on the event, I could not have been more lucky to have found such a wonderful woman and I am now a happily married man. With the exception of one fairly loud F bomb from the kitchen during the ceremony (it sounded like Nick to me…) it was a perfect afternoon. For everyone that is currently going through the hurdles of preparing their perfect day there are only a couple of pieces of advice from your neighborhood butcher. Firstly, accept that things will be out of your control at times. You can’t account for every renegade family member or figure out a way to control every second leading up to the “I do’s”. Second, always remember its just a party. The night is important but it only the very start a life together and as long as the bride or groom are having fun during it - that’s all that matters. Third, people will always give you their two cents on things you should do. If it’s something that makes you uncomfortable less excited to get married don’t do it. If you don’t want to do a first dance don’t do it, if you don’t want to have a big cake cutting ceremony don’t it, if you don’t like giving speeches DON’T DO IT. Its your night, do only the things you like and it will be everything you hoped. We were blessed with good weather which was lucky but that’s what they make tents for. As with all things in life, it can get overwhelming but just remember you will get through anything an that its just a party.