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(USA TODAY) Note:This story contains mild spoilers, so consider yourself warned.

It wasn't really aBoneswedding until the bride -- forensic anthropologist Temperance "Bones" Brennan (Emily Deschanel) -- turned to the guests after being given away by her father (Ryan O'Neal) and clarified something: "This is not one man ceremonially handing over a woman to another man as property."

Yup, that's the Bones fans know and love.

"It's still Brennan. She's got to have vows that make sense for her," Deschanel says of the Vulcan-like scientist's slow road to the altar. Finally, she marries FBI partner Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz) Monday (Fox, 8 ET/PT) in an episode more than eight seasons in the making.

The sight of Brennan -- who's dismissed marriage as an outmoded social construct for years -- in a wedding gown was not something many fans (andeven Deschanel herself) might have pictured when the series began in 2001. "She has faith in Booth and marriage now, which she didn't have for so long. For Brennan, that's as close as she'll get" to full-blown romanticism.

That faith directly inspired her wedding vows, a callback to Season 2's "Aliens in a Spaceship," in which she and Hodges (TJ Thyne) were buried alive in a car by the serial killer known as the Grave Digger. Before going through with a risky plan to blow their way to freedom by exploding the car's airbags, each took a moment to write a goodbye message in case their bodies were ever found.

On Monday night, Brennan will finally share the contents of her note to Booth. Here's a taste: "If I ever get out of here, I will find a time and place to tell you that you make my life messy and confusing and unfocused and irrational and wonderful. This is that time. This is that place."

Boreanaz says that Booth's vows didn't come about quite so easily. "My vows were not where I wanted them to be after the first pass (at the script). I had to go back to Hart (Hanson, the show's creator and executive producer) . We needed to find a vehicle that was more of a personal moment for Booth, which I think we achieved."

That moment came from the pilot episode, during one of Booth and Brennan's first arguments, in which Booth resisted letting the scientists (or "squints") from the Jeffersonian Institute go out in the field with the FBI. That fight took place in the Jeffersonian courtyard, which becomes the wedding venue after a church fire takes out the couple's original site.

Oh, and that fire? It's highly likely it was started by Booth, who suggested that he and Brennan's father light a candle for her late mother during the wedding rehearsal.

"The church scene with Ryan was great," Boreanaz recalls. "We lit the candle and had a nice moment and then you realize that the church burned down. Everyone has a tragic story that happens at their wedding, so I thought that was funny."

Had their church wedding actually gone off, the couple would have been married by a priest played by Deschanel's real-life husband of three years, actor/writer David Hornsby (It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia). "I have two major Davids in my life, and I married both of them," cracks Deschanel.

Fans may see the finished wedding episode before Boreanaz, who tends not to watch full episodes unless he's directing them, and doesn't plan to make exception for this one, titled "The Woman in White."

"I know where the moments are," he explains. " I was pleased with what we shot. It was a full-circle event for me - to see Brennan come down the aisle. Little did we know where these two characters would end up today. I'm proud of the characters and happy for the audience. There's definitely some history here." But he doesn't wax nostalgic for too long. "It's an exciting journey and a new beginning as to what the show has to offer."

Before Mr. and Mrs. Bones can settle into married life, there's the small matter of a post-nuptial bachelorette party in coming weeks. "They're about to have aSons of Anarchymoment," Boreanaz hints. "When you put Brennan in a bar with drinks and bikers, things are going to get interesting." The bachelorette party will also provide Booth with a chance to patch up his relationship with matron of honor Angela (Michaela Conlin), who was angry with him for breaking up with Brennan at the end of last season.

But why marry them off now, before the end of the season or even November sweeps?

"We knew it was going to be this season for certain that Booth and Brennan got married, so the big discussions we had was when," explains Hanson. "Typically, it would be a big 'end of season' kind of event, but that didn't interest us. We felt we should front-load Season 9 with a flurry of payoffs for our loyal audience. We felt it was time to move things along."

Even though the series has now married off two sets of characters -- Angela and Hodges, after several attempts, exchanged vows in a jail -- and each has welcomed aBonesbaby, don't look for the show to head into the sunset anytime soon. And Boreanaz, who, like Deschanel, receives a producer credit, promises the show won't go downhill now just because the two main characters got hitched. "It's not the end. It's the beginning of something tenfold."

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