16: Ringing In Our Wedding

16: Ringing In Our Wedding

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Here Comes the Bride

Ringing In Our Wedding

I have always felt a gift diamond shines so much better than one you buy for yourself.

~Mae West

“Don’t panic,” my mom announced as I dressed for my wedding at our church, “but your wedding ring is missing.”

The guests were already arriving, so how could I not panic? My fiancé, Eldon, and I had agreed to follow tradition and not see each other before the ceremony. Maybe his groomsmen had set this up as some sort of bad joke. However, the look on my mom’s face told me that it was serious. I tried not to raise my voice.

“My ring is missing? What happened?”

“Well…” she paused. “It may have actually been stolen.”

“Stolen?” I felt the blood drain from my face and feared no amount of make-up would be able to turn me into a blushing bride.

She told me that Eldon’s brother, Rolland, had been entrusted with the job of delivering my wedding ring. Neatly dressed for the ceremony, he’d placed the jewelry box containing the ring to his right on the car’s bench seat before driving himself to the church. Moments later, he saw a hitchhiker and stopped, offering a ride to the straggly stranger. After dropping off the hitchhiker, Rolland arrived at the church. It was only then that he realized the jewelry box was missing.

The car had been searched, my mom said, but the box hadn’t been found. The reality of the situation began to sink in. My wedding ring had disappeared right before the nuptials. It had vanished — poof — and its loss could put a big crimp in our ceremony.

I was a young bride — barely in college — and like most brides I’d dreamed of my wedding since childhood. My parents had offered to give us the same amount of money they’d spend for a wedding if we eloped. Without actually saying it, I realized that they probably thought that our youthful marriage wouldn’t last, so why go through with the ceremony? But I believed in our love and wanted the wedding of my dreams. I turned down their offer before discussing it with Eldon. Nothing was going to get in the way of our big church wedding. Not even an absent ring.

Determined, I said, “So my ring’s missing. Now what?”

“Eldon was really worried that you were going to get upset about this,” my mom said. “But you seem to be taking it better than he thought. He’s already found someone who will lend you her wedding ring for the ceremony.” She opened the door and waved in a middle-aged, brunette woman I had never seen before.

“I’m Eileen,” she introduced herself, “a friend of your soon-to-be in-laws. Eldon thought my wedding band might fit on your finger.” She twisted off the ring. “Why don’t you try it on?”

The thick gold band clashed with my engagement ring’s delicate white-gold braid, but it slid onto my finger easily. I waved my hand, and it was neither too loose nor too tight. “It fits!”

“You may not believe this,” Eileen said, “but you’re the second bride I’ve lent this ring to for her ceremony. We’ve been married for a long time, and that couple’s also been married for several years, so I think it brings good luck.” Her smiling face reassured me that the wedding would turn out okay after all.

Not long after meeting Eileen, Eldon and I exchanged our vows at the altar, sealing our marriage with that borrowed ring.

Following the service, many people wanted to see “my” new wedding bands. At first, I was a bit embarrassed by the mismatched rings. But soon I was calmly repeating, “My wedding ring went missing this morning, so a lovely woman lent me her ring for the ceremony. It’s my ‘something borrowed.’” Some people seemed confused, but I smiled, and they smiled back.

When Eileen and her husband came through the line, she was positively beaming. “I enjoyed your wedding even more knowing you had my ring.”

I gave her a big hug. “Well, I’m getting used to wearing it and might have some trouble giving it back.”

Before the reception, Eldon and Rolland searched the car again for the jewelry box. Lo and behold, they found it, jammed in the corner of the seat right next to the passenger door.

Now, thirty-eight years of marriage have passed, and I’m sure of one thing: I don’t remember all the little details that went right on our wedding day. But I’ll always remember the episode of my missing wedding ring — and the borrowed wedding ring that still holds a huge place in my heart.

~Ronda Ross Taylor

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