Ziggy Gruber had no idea at the time that the young woman asking about the dishes he was serving at Rabbi Roy Walter's retirement party two years ago would become his personal acupuncturist much less his wife. But that was the beginning of a relationship that culminates next week in Budapest, Hungary, where Ziggy and Mary McCaughey say their "I do's" in the synagogue where his grandfather was bar mitzvah'd.
The gregarious owner/chef of Kenny & Ziggy's New York Delicatessen and Mary, owner of Houston Therapeutic Acupuncture Clinic, expect some 50 friends and family members to join them for three days of festivities including the wedding where world-renowned cantor Jack Mendelsohn of New York will sing and chief Rabbi Robert Frolich will conduct the ceremony.
Next, he held up a "Mary, Will You Marry Me?" sign. The answer, of course, was yes.
While the wedding will surely be a show-stopper, their engagement was a story unto itself. The bride is from Louisiana and introduced Ziggy to Mardi Gras frivolities in New Orleans last winter. Although it was his first Mardi Gras, the creative Ziggy had a plan.
While Mary and her family waited along the parade route, Ziggy and one of Mary's cousins left the party under the pretext of checking out the beginning of the parade. He had still not returned after the parade had started and she was getting worried. That is until she looked up at the float coming toward her and saw Ziggy, who first tossed her some beads. Next, he held up a "Mary, Will You Marry Me?" sign. The answer, of course, was yes.
And so the wedding planning began. The couple is set to wed July 18 in the grand and historic Dohany Synagogue.