Home / National News / Bride and groom ride to reception with fire department after wedding bus fire

 

(NEW YORK) — A New York City couple that wed Saturday in Connecticut put “for better or for worse” to the test almost immediately after tying the knot.

After Maria Leonardi and Justin Stone exchanged vows inside the West Avon Congregational Church in Avon, Conn., they headed off to their reception. That’s when, according to the Avon Volunteer Fire Department, the couple’s bus caught fire.

“On arrival, crews found a trolley bus with an engine compartment fire. It was knocked down by a fire extinguisher the bus driver had,” a statement from the fire department read.

Firefighters realized that the couple, who met in business school at the University of North Carolina, were en route to their wedding reception at Leonardi’s parents’ backyard.

Leonardi, 30, and Stone, 31, became engaged in May 2016 after more than a year of dating.

“One of the firemen came around and asked us, ‘Do you want a ride to the reception in the fire truck? We’re sorry that we can’t take the whole party, but we can take the two of you,'” Stone told ABC News. “We both jumped at that opportunity.”

Not wanting to miss their first party as husband and wife, the pair hopped on board the fire truck, making it a moment they’d never forget.

“I thought it was the best thing ever and they were so incredibly nice,” the bride gushed. “They were just so gracious and wonderful.”

The volunteer firefighters not only made the couple’s day special, but they also made their chief happy.

“I’m very proud of our volunteer fire department and the men and women who are a part of it,” Chief Michael Trick told ABC News. “We were able to assist and make their memorable day just a little bit more special.”

The newlyweds plan to take two honeymoons as they begin their lives as husband and wife. Next week, they’ll trek to Napa Valley in California, and later this year they’ll head to Australia, New Zealand and Tahiti.

For now, they’re continuing to enjoying whatever life throws at them.

“People think that getting married is this life-changing event, and everything changes, but you’re reaffirming to spend the rest of your life with your best friend,” Leonardi said.

Her groom added, “And that’s more than anything what it’s all about.”

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