Bride Kait Villegas-Payne and groom Bobby Villegas eloped in Seattle in May with just one other person in attendance: Kait's daughter Scarlet, who took on the role of ring bearer.
The 7-year-old looked damn cool, carrying out her duties in a blue H&M blazer with a bow tie and ballet flats.
The bride told The Huffington Post that she wasn't trying to make any kind of statement about gender roles when asking her daughter to be the ring bearer instead of the flower girl. It just happened that way.
"It really came down to the fact that we needed somebody to hold the rings for us and she was the only other person there," Kait said. "The planning of our wedding was very low key. I honestly don't remember specifically telling her she would be the ring bearer, it just ended up playing out that way."
Originally, Scarlet was going to wear a dress to the wedding. She and her mom picked one out online, but when it arrived in the mail, Scarlet couldn't stop talking about how itchy it was. So they went in a different direction.
"Scarlet is all about comfort, she doesn't even like to wear denim," Kait told HuffPost. "The last thing that I wanted her to be was uncomfortable on such an important day. I remember we decided when we were suit shopping for Bobby. I looked at her and said, 'Do you just want to wear a suit then?' I don't think she cared what she wore as long as it was comfortable and she could run around in it."
Kait, who gave birth to Scarlet when she was 19, said she couldn't imagine not including her daughter in the wedding.
I wanted to give you this pin. It says “Constant” because you have always been and will always be mine. You’ve been here with me for all of it. I appreciate your patience with me and your continuous joy throughout everything we’ve been through together. You will always be my number one. I’m so happy that you’re here right now to be a part of this day. You were pretty much our cupid and I am so grateful for that. Thank you for being my ride or die. I love you. Way way more than you know.
As she mentioned in her vows, it was actually Scarlet who brought her mom and Bobby closer together.
"We were roommates for a while with some other people when I was a single mom," Kait said. "Even after he moved out he would always offer to watch her for free so I could work and even put her in gymnastics. They definitely had a strong bond from day one. Bobby and I were best friends for a long time, the kind of best friends that always laugh it off when people say they are going to end up together."
"I'm glad we did," she continued. "I feel like he's been helping me raise her for years, it's exciting to see bits of him develop in her personality. She basically handpicked her stepdad and I'm so happy she has him in her life as an example of how a man should act. His enthusiasm and patience really set him apart from anybody else I've met and she picks up on that."
The very best part of the day, according to the bride, happened just as the sun was going down and they were all hanging out on the beach.
"Our photographer had brought smoke bombs out," Kait said. "Scarlet was running around in the smoke, laughing from the bottom of her stomach. I put my head on Bobby's chest and there was just so much joy everywhere. I remember thinking to myself, 'This is the feeling people are supposed to have when they marry the love of their life.' It was pure comfort and almost triumph? I realized everything had gone perfectly and my family was safe and happy. It has been the three of us for a while, but it all seemed very cemented in those moments."
H/T A Practical Wedding via BuzzFeed
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