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CROWN POINT | Howling winds, sleet and snow joined guests at the outdoor wedding of Bobby Samar and Nick Stavitzke on Halloween morning.

“Halloween is my favorite holiday. I always wanted a Halloween wedding,” said Stavitzke as a dozen guests sprinted across Main Street from the east lawn of the Old Lake County Courthouse to a brick-lined courtyard between two restaurants.

Plan B called for the wedding in a friend’s living room if the predicted weather became problematic.

However, as the men stood on the courthouse lawn, they opted for their original plan to be married in the outdoor courtyard in a ceremony performed by friend Jim Bilow, of Crown Point.

“Time to man up,” quipped Stavitzke, 33, as his partner and guests waited for traffic to clear before crossing the busy downtown street, buffeted by strong northwest winds.

Asked if the unusual weather was what he had in mind for a Halloween wedding, Stavitzke said, “Yes, and no” while Samar, 61, responded, “I’m freezing.”

The men have been partners for the last 11 years and live in DeMotte with their dog, a maltipoo named Topo Gigio.

Ten years ago, Samar and Stavitzke, welcomed about 120 friends to their commitment ceremony at a friend’s home. Since then they have lived in DeMotte.

“Nick proposed to me 10 years ago. We wanted our friends to witness our commitment and love for each other,” Samar said of the original ceremony.

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On Friday, the couple wore the same black suede tuxes with three-quarter length jackets they wore 10 years before.

The decision to marry came instantly once gay marriages became legal in Indiana, said Samar.

Originally an award-winning dancer and actor in theater groups in Florida, Samar returned to Northwest Indiana in 2000 to care for his mother and grandmother. He is a bartender at Bronco’s in Crown Point, and Stavitzke works as a mechanic for an Illinois-based company.

“I had a medical problem several years ago, and the doctors asked me what family member they should call (instead of Nick),” said Samar, explaining that gay couples could not make medical decisions for one another because their unions weren’t legal.

During the marriage ceremony that took less than five minutes, Samar and Stavitzke proclaimed their love and commitment to each other, and exchanged wedding bands.

“Without you, I am nothing,” Samar said to Stavitzke. “Having a man like you in my life completes me.”

During his vows, Stavitzke turned toward guests and said, “I don’t have a partner in life. I have a husband.”

“Now I pronounce you husband and husband,” said Bilow, who received his license to perform marriages 10 years ago so he could officiate at the marriage of his son and daughter-in-law.

The newlyweds will share their names and be known as Bobby and Nick Stavitzke-Samar.

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