Best man loses ring – at the altar!

A frantic groom and his guests search for the dropped wedding ring minutes before it is to be exchanged. Image: Alex Stedall

A frantic groom and his guests search for the dropped wedding ring minutes before it is to be exchanged. Image: Alex Stedall

Ping! That’s the one sound a bride and groom don’t want to hear just as they’re about to exchange rings.

But that’s precisely the noise heard by Londoners Elizabeth Gray and Lewis Aubrey (and a church full of their guests) as the best man (and groom’s brother) dropped one of the wedding rings – moments before the groom was to slip it onto his bride’s finger.

“Suddenly you just hear this noise that sounded like metal dropping and with that the vicar said to the best man … ‘Was that the ring?’ and he went, ‘Yeah,’” Elizabeth told ABC News.

“Then all eyes turned to the floor.

“When I heard the ring I just assumed it had fallen on the floor and was just going to be a foot away from my foot,” the groom said. “When I looked down to see, there was no sign of it.”

The groom and a number of guests ended up on their knees, desperately searching for missing ring.

They ripped apart the delicate floral arrangements, lifted ancient floor grates and scuffed shoes and knees to no avail.

“No one knew where it had gone at all,” the bride said.

“I was kind of just thinking, Oh, God the show’s got to go on. I’ve stood at the altar, all my friends and family are here, I want to get married.”

So, unable to find the dropped ring, the bride’s mother stepped up and offered her own wedding ring – and the ceremony went on.

“It kind of felt nice and it felt right to use my mum’s because it means something. So I used that and then the service continued,” the bride told ABC News.

After the couple were finally proclaimed man and wife, they departed for photographs while a number of guests remained back to search for the ring.

Putting disappointment behind them,the couple then headed to the reception for a night of fun and dancing with family and friends, but the priest, Reverend Nicholas Calver wasn’t about to leave things that way.

He slipped out of the reception after dinner determined to find the missing ring.

“In the end, there was a crack between the step and the raised dais,” Rev. Nicholas Calver told The Telegraph. “I thought it must be down there so I levered them apart with a spade to make the gap bigger, shone a torch down and saw the ring. I was delighted to find it.”

The good reverand charged back to the reception and gave it to the clumsy groomsmand who, he says, entered the reception hall holding it triumphantly.

“My brother was holding the ring like Frodo from ‘Lord of the Rings,’ and everyone erupted,” Aubrey told The Telegraph

“The vicar actually blessed the marriage then and so I kind of got married twice.”

“The vicar is definitely a hero,” cheered the bride.

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