Special Wedding Issue

Our Big Day: Nick Scalzo and Mark Budwig

Alexander Kacala
Written by Alexander Kacala

1. How did you two meet?

NS: At a club in Chicago called Paradise, 33 years ago. It was Thursday night – $5 cover, 25¢ drinks. Mark had his friend introduce us and within two months, October 1st we moved in together.

MB: We met in August of 1982 in a gay bar in Chicago called Paradise. We danced until the bar closed. Nick invited me back to his nearby apartment and we slept together that night. I wasn’t going to let him go – I knew I was in love with him!

2. What is your favorite thing about your partner?

NS: His organizational ability to plan and achieve any long term goal.

MB: That would have to be his long hair! Actually, number one is his great personality, number two his sense of humor, number three his smile and number four his hair!

3. Who is more romantic in the relationship and how?

NS: Mark is. He remembers dates and events and always has the greeting card on time with a lovely prose to accompany it.

MB: That would be me although Nick’s close behind. I’m just that kind of guy.


4. Describe your big day to our readers.

NS: This may sound unromantic, but it went just as we had planned it. It was just another day in sunny Fort Lauderdale (Paradise). We spent the morning working and at noon, we closed the office to get ready to sneak away to the Broward County Courthouse to tie the knot. We were joined by Mark’s sister and niece as well as two of our dear friends who arrived with a large box which we weren’t supposed to know was a cake, but was quite the surprise.

Mark’s sister had arranged for a limo to get us to the courthouse. We were whisked away to BCC to do the do. We arrived and took a number, waited a bit and entered the Chapel. The ceremony was brief and now a bit of a blur. I recall that there were rings, “I do’s,” kisses and photographs. Why do people always smile bigger than usual at weddings?

We all returned to our home and celebrated. We cut the cake, drank Champagne and opened lovely gifts.

Later that evening we went to a monthly Mega Member Mixer at the Tower Club, where we are members. There were about 300 friends, business associates and other members in attendance. We like to fondly refer to this as “Our Wedding Reception.”

MB: We celebrated our 33rd anniversary on October 1 when we got married. We wanted it simple and just like any other day. With this in mind, my sister flew in from Chicago, my niece drove up from South Beach and our best friends surprised us with a huge wedding cake and champagne. My sister did surprise us with a big stretch limo to take us six blocks from our house in Victoria Park to the Broward County courthouse. We were very impressed with the County’s wedding service.

5. Tell us your favorite memory from your wedding day.

NS: Maybe not quite favorite, but most memorable was arriving at the Broward County Courthouse and having to take a number to be served. The number was “69.”

MB: As mentioned, being together for 33 years, we wanted this day to be a typical day (another day in Paradise together). I think the best part of the day was the fact that it was our special day and we spent it with close family and friends.

6. What were you feeling at the exact moment you said “I do”?

NS: After 33 years, is this really happening?

MB: Wow – I can’t believe we’re actually doing this after living together for 33 years!