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Stefan and Caroline are married, you guys! Married!

Sure, the wedding was rushed in an effort to lure Katherine out of hiding, and it ended in a fiery explosion and the bride’s best friend passing out in the groom’s arms after Vicki returned from the dead to ring that damn bell, but they did get married, and it was beautiful. That’s all that matters in the end, right?

We really don’t understand how Caroline (Candice King) pulled that wedding together so quickly at such late notice, but we’re not surprised. And we’re also not surprised that Katherine didn’t actually show up, in the end (since Nina Dobrev was only supposed to return for the finale anyway).

Instead, we got the surprise of Matt’s mom and sister, who returned from the dead to carry out Katherine’s demands. Kelly (Melinda Clarke) was given the task of starting a gas leak and burning the wedding down, which was meant to distract everyone from Vicki’s (Kayla Ewell) bell ringing.

But before we get to all that, let’s talk about that wedding. While it was moved up in order to lure Katherine out of hiding with Stefan’s happiness, it was legitimately a wedding, cake and all, and in spite of everything, it was kind of perfect.

Bonnie (Kat Graham) walked Caroline down the aisle after ghost Enzo (Michael Malarkey) forced her to reconsider her Stefan boycott, and Damon (Ian Somerhalder) officiated thanks to the fact that you can get ordained on the internet. Most of the guests may have been compelled, but it was still nice to have them there!

And those vows, man. Caroline and Stefan (Paul Wesley) didn’t bother writing them beforehand, since they didn’t think they’d actually get to the vow part of the ceremony, but they were beautiful. They both remembered that time (all the way back in season 4) that they danced together at prom, and Caroline promised Stefan that someday he’d “meet someone new, and fall madly in love.”

In fact, this was a night filled with callbacks, since the title of the episode was a reference to Caroline’s line in the pilot, right after she saw Stefan for the first time and announced to Bonnie, “We’re planning a June wedding.”

After a screening of the episode, Paul Wesley explained to reporters that he didn’t remember this line from the pilot, but knew it was important to the fans.

“It’s funny because you know I had heard about this June wedding for the first time at Comic Con,” he said. “I had no idea what everyone was talking about and I still kind of don’t really know what it’s about, but apparently there’s some June wedding, like, the fans talk about a June wedding, so when they first told me that we were going to have a June wedding, I was like, ‘Oh, cool. We’re paying homage to the fans.'”

Based on the way the show started, Wesley was a little surprised that it was Stefan and Caroline who made it to the alter.

“It was kind of amazing,” he said. “Stefan and Elena were such like the pair for, you know, so many years and I never in a million years thought Caroline and Stefan would end up being, you know, that kind of—I don’t want to say true love because I think true love can exist in many forms, but I never knew that they would be equally as powerful as a couple. So it was equally surprising to me.”

However, as soon as Stefan proposed (the first time), Wesley knew the wedding would have to happen.

“If we hadn’t gotten married, I thought I’d be a real twist. Once you dangle that carrot, I kind of was like we’re going to have to get married here,” he said, then added, “[Creator Julie Plec’s] way too nice of a person. You know, she wouldn’t do that.”

Of course, after the wedding, everything fell apart.

Ghost Enzo had to convince Bonnie that she still had her magic so that she could help the twins save her and themselves from the burning Lockwood mansion, but then once Vicki started ringing that bell in an effort to unleash hell on earth, Bonnie couldn’t take it.

We’ll have to wait until next week’s series finale to find out what happens, but knowing that a major character is dying is not really helping us survive this week of waiting.

At least we have the return of Elena (and possibly also Katherine?) to look forward to next week, so we’re just going to focus on that instead of all the tears we’re going to be shedding.
The Vampire Diaries series finale airs next Friday at 9 p.m., after a series retrospective at 8 p.m. on the CW.

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