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Halloween wedding can't mask their love

Denise Palazzolo and Erik Heuler, who live in

Denise Palazzolo and Erik Heuler, who live in Bay Shore, were married on Halloween 2009. "We love our family, but we don't particularly enjoy weddings," Erik said. "They can be very cookie cutter and boring." They were married in a house on Atlantic Beach. Credit:

When Denise Palazzolo and Erik Heuler decided to get married, they knew they weren't going to have a white wedding.

"We are not traditional people," says Denise. Indeed. When Denise, 39, and Erik, 35, met about 12 years ago at a radio station, she was into Goth fashion, black nail polish, black clothes and hair dyed Morticia Addams black. Erik hosted a local music show, was in a band and was interested in "creative people."

They hit it off as friends after realizing that they both loved indie rock and animals.

"My initial attraction was that she was easy to talk to," adds Erik.

PHOTOS: Halloween wedding on Long Island

Sparks didn't fly, however, until three years later, when Erik invited Denise out to see a band called Mindless Self Indulgence. After that first date, the couple became inseparable. About a year and a half ago, they decided to make it official. Erik was the one who suggested a Halloween wedding.

"We love our family, but we don't particularly enjoy weddings," he says. "They can be very cookie cutter and boring."

Some of Denise's older relatives at first balked at the idea of a Halloween wedding where guests dress up in costumes. But eventually, they warmed to the idea. Denise's 95-year-old cousin, who initially declared that she would not wear a costume, arrived in a witch's hat after reconsidering her original choice: a dominatrix.

The ceremony and reception were at the spacious Atlantic Beach home of New York Post columnist Linda Stasi, who is Denise's cousin, and her boyfriend, Sid Davidoff. Stasi decorated their home, which is on the beach, with cobwebs, bats, ghosts and other ghoulish adornments. About 100 guests arrived in various costumes - including a butcher in a bloodstained apron, a ninja, a vampire and several flappers.

Denise's wedding gown was a dazzling red dress from David's Bridal. She added red straps, a black velvet corset and a lacy jacket. She added red streaks to her hair to match and topped it off with a small netted veil.

"Ever since I saw the movie 'Beetlejuice,' I wanted a red dress," Denise says. Her bouquet, which she made herself, was filled with an array of black and red roses and small white calla lilies wrapped in red velvet and covered with fake spider webs. She walked down the aisle to "A Warm Place" by Nine Inch Nails. Erik wore a suit with an ascot decorated with skulls and a tie pin that was shaped like a bat.

Denise had her mother's white gold wedding ring melted down to create a new ring with several diamonds. She put the rest of the diamonds into a pendant that she wore. Erik's ring was custom-made of cherry wood and features a strand of Denise's hair.

The ceremony was short - about five minutes - recalls Denise, because "we both feel awkward standing in front of people."

Guests and the couple dined on chicken, stuffed sole and pasta primavera, and boogied to Depeche Mode and other electronic music. Later, the couple held an impromptu costume contest.

"It was a lot of work," says Denise. "The best part was just hanging out with all our friends and family."

The couple lives in Bay Shore.

PHOTOS: Halloween wedding on Long Island

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