Hempstead Town Hall’s wedding chapel hosted its first “spooky” wedding ceremony on Halloween.
Seaford’s Alexander Castro, 30, decked out in an all-black three-piece suit with a purple tie, strolled into the Marriage Department with his bride-to-be, Amanda Caroleo, 27, of Garden City. The couple’s 7-month-old daughter, Lily, came as well.
Joining the couple were a group of Town Hall employees, all dressed in costume. This was the chapel’s first Halloween-themed wedding, though it has hosted Valentine’s Day nuptials.
“It’s been something I’ve wanted since childhood,” Caroleo said. “I’ve always been a Halloween freak, and because our friends are getting married on Halloween next year, we didn’t want to miss that, so we wanted to come on down and make it official.”
Caroleo is a law student at Touro Law School, and is scheduled to take the bar exam in February. She went on to explain that she felt as if she and Castro had been married “for years,” and her new husband echoed those sentiments. Now that they had made it legal, she planned to move in with Castro in Seaford.
“We felt like we’ve already been married, because we’ve been together for so long and we have a kid already,” he explained. “She’s always wanted to get married on Halloween, so she’s happy.”
The couple met on a blind date at a bowling alley, Castro recounted. “She showed up with a cast on her arm,” he said, “and I thought, ‘This is interesting.’” He chuckled as he recalled Caroleo having to use the bowling-assist ramp to finish 10 frames. Last Thursday, however, the only assist she needed was from Town Clerk Sylvia Cabana and Town Supervisor Laura Gillen, both of whom presided over the wedding.
“This is a nice part of the job, that we get to marry people, and I like that,” Cabana said. “We’ve both put a lot of emphasis on this department since we’ve been in office.”
Cabana went on to detail the town’s Destination Wedding Program, whose participants can be married on one of the town’s many beaches for a cost of just $40 — the price of the marriage license. Last year, 26 couples from the Town of Hempstead took part, and thus far in 2019, there have been 31 beach weddings.
“We discussed how can we make things more special for the residents,” Cabana said. “The holidays are a special time for everyone, and if you ask a lot of people, Halloween is one of their favorite holidays, so why not offer a fun little ‘spooky’ wedding?”
For Castro and Caroleo, Town Hall’s marriage office, as well as the chapel, sported Halloween-themed decorations. After exchanging their vows, the newly wed Mr. and Mrs. Castro embraced each other and their daughter before walking past the rows of uniquely outfitted Town Hall employees and out into the street to continue their life together.