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Long Island

Love story: Christine and Robert Wulff of Mineola

Christine Targia and Robert Wulff of Mineola surprised family, friends and neighbors with an "impromptu" wedding. Robert explains.

When things are just right, you know it. That is what happened when my wife, Christine, and I first met online in September 2006. Within a few months, we were living together. We knew we were going to be married, and we knew we didn't want a formal wedding. Going to city hall, though, seemed very bland.

In 2008, we were the coordinators of our neighborhood block party, and we came up with the idea to get married at the party. What's more, we decided not to tell anyone and have a surprise wedding. We had to let a few in on the plan, but other than that it was a complete secret. Even though friends and family would later tell us they would have come had they known we were getting married, we never let on.

On Sept. 13, 2008, moments after announcing the winner of the 50/50 raffle, I announced that I wanted to marry Christine and yelled down the block for her hand in marriage. She came to me and we embraced, and the block erupted. Still not letting on that this was planned, we started asking for wedding rings, a bouquet of flowers, and even asked if there happened to be a minister attending - all of which was strategically placed beforehand.

We cut the minister's readings from four pages to about a page and a half. We did not want this wedding to drag out. We wanted it to be fun, and short, and then get right back to the party.

In about 10 minutes' time, and with the entire block surrounding us, the minister said, "I now pronounce you man and wife," and Bon Jovi's "Born to Be My Baby" blasted from the DJ booth.

The neighbors embraced us and congratulated us, some still with looks of utter shock on their faces. Christine, wearing a tank top and shorts, and I, wearing a tuxedo T-shirt and top hat, then danced as "You Really Got Me," by Van Halen started to play.

My mother-in-law, Carol, approached me and said, "This was the best wedding I was ever at, I did not have to wear a dress." Others told us that we made the party legendary, that they will never be able to attend another block party without sharing this story, and we gave them a memory for a lifetime. We're cool with that!

Christine and I own and run Quintessence Hair Salon in Hicksville.

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