NEW YORK – Hector Irakliotis, 26, and Tatyana Sandler, 25 brought smiles to the faces of their fellow straphangers on the N Train on November 28.
On New York City’s subways, when a young man surrounded by a group of people makes an announcement, riders grit their teeth. When he blurts out “it’s showtime” and his colleague blasts his boom box he is greeted with a mix of delight and groans depending on the quality of the “show.”
The response was completely positive, however, when Irakliotis said, “Everyone, hi. I have an announcement to make…I am going to be getting married in 20 minutes,” when the train would pass over the Manhattan Bridge famous for its fantastic views of the City’s skyline.
The rapid transit nuptials were well-planned, apropos of the skills of Irakliotis, a game designer. At approximately 3:30 PM he and his groomsmen got on the train at the Kings Highway stop and proceeded to decorate the poles and seats with white ribbons.
Tatyana Sandler, who is a film editor from Ukraine, entered the train at 36th St. “in a glamorous white gown and accompanied by her maid of honor. She walked down the subway aisle — dodging poles — as the best man held up an iPhone blasting ‘City Love’ by John Mayer,” the News reported.
“Oh my goodness!” said Debra Solomon, when she was the 20 wedding guests who greeted her. She told the News, “This is something new, something very different…I think it’s very cute! It’s romantic. This is definitely a first. And look how cooperative everyone is! That says a lot.”
The couple picked the N train because they spent so much time riding it during their courtship. Irakliotis timed the special subway event so the skyline would be visible as an interfaith chaplain married them.
When they were pronounced man and wife their old and new friends broke into applause. The wedding party left the train after the bridge was crossed and after they posed for pictures on subway stairs at Canal Street they disappeared into a local bar.
“Sandler, beaming with joy, said the unorthodox wedding venue was just another example of her new husband’s incredible thoughtfulness,” wrote the News, which quoted her “I’m originally from Ukraine, and each time we’d come back here, I’d say to Hector, ‘It doesn’t feel like home until I see the skyline as we’re crossing the bridge.’ And he remembered that.”
Irakliotis said “We’ve been through a lot. Good times, bad times, and a lot of the good times have taken place on the train…Confessions of love, reconciliations, goofy, ridiculous conversations — the whole spectrum. In New York, you spend so much time on the train, we thought why not.”