October 25, 2009
By Roger McBain

The groom will appear as a leering, dagger-tongued figure with his hair in a topknot and his face painted in the grotesque mask of the Demon, rocker Gene Simmons' KISS stage persona.

The bride will wear the Starchild face paint used onstage by Paul Stanley, another founding member of the iconic rock band.

And the minister, a dyed-in-the-skin fan with band tattoos inked into his arms, will come as Catman, former KISS drummer Peter Criss' stage character, when he steps up to pronounce Anthony Yates and Lisa Harlen of Chandler, Ind., man and wife in a Halloween ceremony. The couple also are inviting the entire Tri-State KISS army to attend.

"All KISS fans are welcome to the wedding," Harlen said. They can come as band members, in other Halloween costumes "or however they want," she said.

If the weather cooperates, the open-air ceremony will start about 2 p.m. Saturday at the Newburgh Lock and Dam overlook. In case of rain, the wedding will move into the pavilion at Newburgh's Old Lock and Dam Park, where the reception will be held rain or shine.

Yates, 45, and Harlen, 46, were KISS fans for decades before their shared passion brought them together outside a Huck's convenience store in Chandler.

Harlen spotted Yates well before they met; He drove a car with a KISS plate on the front bumper.

"We didn't get together then, but I knew he liked KISS, and I was attracted to him," she said.

When she saw him going into the Huck's on May 17, 2007, she decided to wait in the parking lot for him. When he came out she called through her window to ask if he was going to see Ace Frehley, a former KISS member, at an appearance in Nashville, Tenn.

"I didn't even know his name," she said, "but he came over to my car and we exchanged numbers, and we ended up going together to see Ace Frehley."

Once they decided to marry, they barely needed to discuss the wedding's theme. The bride will make her entrance to a recording of "I Was Made For Lovin' You," walking on a carpet of confetti that Yates gathered at KISS concerts.

Harlen will wear the same wig and face paint she's used for other KISS events, but with a strikingly different costume, she said.

"I will have Mr. Stanley's face on, but I will wear a white wedding dress."