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After Exchanging Vows, They’re in It for Life


On Oct. 31, Ms. Deleski and Mr. Peguero and their dozen wedding guests, including Lukas Avery, who was napping in his infant carrier, met Ms. Schwartz on the prison steps. Ms. Deleski wore a champagne-colored gown and held a feathered mask over her eyes. Mr. Peguero was dressed in a white button-down shirt and black chinos with a gold face mask. They were Belle and the Beast, from “Beauty and the Beast.”

“That’s my favorite Disney movie,” Ms. Deleski said. “In the beginning, there’s a masquerade ball.” This explained the masks. The opportunity to be wed as Belle was the realization of a childhood fantasy for Ms. Deleski.

“She’s so much like me: She’s odd, she’s a little different. And she loves to read,” Ms. Deleski said. Mostly, though, it was the Halloween aspect that had drawn her to the prison steps.

“I’m a superstitious person and I’ve always loved dressing up,” she said, after exchanging handwritten vows with Mr. Peguero and handing off her bouquet of fall-colored mums to her sister and maid of honor, Kelisey Paige Deleski. “For us, this was perfect.”

Perfection was not the goal of every couple Ms. Schwartz married on Halloween.

Karen Riggins, 58, and Jeffrey Weisinger, 54, of Beverly, N.J., didn’t plan to combine a Halloween celebration with their wedding. “We just chose the day,” said Ms. Riggins, who is a career coach. Mr. Weisinger is a youth therapist. “All of this was a surprise,” she said of the handful of costumed spectators who watched as Ms. Schwartz, in a witch costume, married them outside the museum.

Still, the trappings of the holiday came in handy. Ms. Riggins and Mr. Weisinger wanted to partake in the African-American tradition of jumping over a broom to symbolize sweeping away their single lives and leaping into the new, but they hadn’t remembered to bring a broom. So, using Ms. Schwartz’s witch costume prop, they jumped hand-in-hand toward the prison entryway, where the warden once sat.


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