Lost Bride’s Wedding Band During Wedding Ceremony in Severna Park, Maryland…Found by Ring Finder Who Remarries Couple with Ring
Brian Rudolph, Lost Item Recovery Specialist (Land, Water, Sand, Snow, Leaves, Houses & Vehicles) Will Find Your Lost Keepsake! Call ASAP (301) 466-8644!
As a professional ring finder, you never know where the next phone call will take you. This story certainly takes the « wedding cake »! I received a phone call from a young lady who had just gotten married approximately 18 hours before I was contacted. Michaele, the newlywed bride, shared with me that she sadly could not be married with her wedding band because it had gotten lost sometime around the time of the wedding ceremony. Here is the backstory as to what happened leading up to the moment when I received Michaele’s call for help:
Prior to leaving for the wedding, the bride placed both wedding bands (hers and his) inside a special hollowed out renaissance style book which folds together and then secured by leather twine. It mainly was hard material and very flat (like a book that folded together). There was space between the two bindings to place the two marital keepsakes inside of it. Michaele knew that her husband-to-be, George, loved the book series called The Wheel of Time. This particular « ring holder » that she picked out to use for the wedding was actually a Wheel of Time online product. She thought that George would really appreciate something like this for the ceremony. It was quite creative of her to incorporate George’s sentiment with the series during their special moment when they would exchange rings.
Once the two « circles of love » were placed inside the flat book and the two bindings enclosed the jewelry, the item was tied with the renaissance-style cord attached to it. Lastly, Michaele took the Wheel of Time novelty and packaged it up for safe keeping in its original box. Then, the excited bride gathered up all of the rest of her things needed for the ceremony and finished preparing to leave for her wedding – one of the most special moments in her entire life!
On the way to the wedding, Michaele gave the « book of rings » to her Maid of Honor who had it safely secured inside a bag with some other items that were also taken to Fairwinds on the Severn Beach Club where the wedding ceremony would soon take place.
As soon as the bride’s car arrived at the wedding venue, the person driving the vehicle parked it a little ways down a dead end path just about 200 feet from the front of the club house to keep the bride out of view from guests arriving. Michaele waited in her coach until it was time to make her appearance just prior to the time when the bridal party was to be assembled for the processional. Meanwhile, the Maid of Honor made sure that everything was in place and that the box with the rings inside were secured in the bag up until it was time for Michaele to personally hand the renaissance-style « flat book » to the ring bearer (who was waiting at the bottom of the steps of the lovely gazebo where the wedding ceremony was about to begin).
Eventually, the bride was brought to the front of the club house. She exited the vehicle and almost immediately greeted the young and handsome ring bearer who was excited to participate in the unforgettable event. Michaele took the Wheel of Time book from within its box and handed it to the nervous boy. At that point everything was ready to begin. Within minutes the bride would soon be walking up some steps to the top of the gazebo and then across the long wooden floor where she would be greeted with smiles from her future husband George!
This is now the part in the story when the unexpected drama ensued. The entire wedding party including the bride and groom were assembled inside the gazebo and the time had finally come for the ring bearer to present the renaissance-style book. Then, it was to be opened so that the wedding rings would be revealed. As soon as the ring bearer presented the book to be opened, the Maid of Honor and Best Man moved forward to take the rings out of the book. The plan was for the two of them to hand the « symbols of love » to the bride and groom for the ring exchange to take place. To everyone’s shock and dismay, the Maid of Honor was able to retrieve George’s wedding band from the Wheel of Time book, but the Best Man could not find Michaele’s wedding band anywhere! It was gone! The Best Man looked again and again and he finally confirmed for certain that the wedding band had not made it down to the altar! Panic amongst the bride and groom along with the rest of the wedding party immediately set in. I believe the Maid of Honor went off looking for the lost sacred wedding band (to see if maybe the ring fell out of the ring bearer’s book someplace along the route he traveled). Sadly, the ceremony came to a sudden halt. Not only did the groomsmen and bridesmaids begin looking about, but also many of the wedding guests took flight to see if they could rescue the poor young lad out of the doghouse for supposedly losing one of the most important elements in almost every wedding around the world.
I don’t know how much time had passed before it was concluded that the bride’s wedding band could not be recovered, but at some point the decision was made to continue the ceremony without the precious keepsake. The groom’s mother kindly volunteered to loan her very own band as a temporary replacement for the one that tragically went missing. She quickly slid her ring off of her finger and happily handed it to George’s Best Man who then in turn gave it to the groom. George eventually placed the family heirloom upon his beautiful bride’s finger and Michaele did the same with her sweetheart’s irreplaceable keepsake as well.
Michaele was extremely disappointed that she was not married with her actual wedding band which was specifically designed by the jeweler to nest itself into place with her lovely engagement ring. Nonetheless, the wedding was absolutely magical according to what the bride told me. Following the wedding, everyone was still hunting around for the lost diamond band that had sadly missed its special moment during the ceremony. The Maid of Honor was the most upset out of everyone next to the bride because she was the one that was designated to make certain that the rings made it to the wedding and that the ring bearer was prepared and ready to march them down to the altar. The young lady kept looking in the original empty box that the Wheel of Time book had originally been secured in until the time that the ring bearer was given it to hold for the ceremony. There were guests looking on the road and studying the wooden cracks of the gazebo’s flooring hoping to spot the lost keepsake. Also, people were scanning the grass with their eyes and searching between rocks that were spread apart down by the water. The poor ring bearer began to cry as he was being interrogated by some of the relatives while the wedding pictures were being taken.
Approximately 30 people or more took interest in the treasure hunt for the lost wedding band following the wedding ceremony. Unfortunately, none of the family and friends (who had such passion to recover such a priceless piece of jewelry) were able to solve the mystery of the disappearance of Michaele’s wedding band. At some point the wedding party and guests had to return to their cars and head for the reception. It was time for everyone to switch gears and begin to celebrate the covenant that had recently been made between Michaele and George.
It wasn’t until the next morning that the bride spent a little time looking online, searching for a metal detecting service in the Severna Park, Maryland area. She wanted to see if maybe a professional could find her lost keepsake (if it hadn’t already been found by someone walking around the clubhouse following the ceremony). THE RING FINDERS website popped up on her phone and immediately Michaele searched for a local metal detectorist who might be able to help her recover the special band. My contact information became available to the bride and within a few minutes (while she was getting ready for a special post-wedding luncheon with close family and friends) the young lady had me gripped while I listened to her very dramatic and most disappointing details regarding the disappearance of her beloved wedding band.
As soon as Michaele finished giving me all of the details regarding what took place during her special day, I was struck with such compassion for the young lady and I told her that I would do everything in my power to recover her lost wedding band – the « symbol of love » that never made it down the isle. I told her that I would adjust my schedule for the day so that I could focus just on this particular search which was extremely time sensitive. Though my client shared that there was not going to be another wedding or other special event at that particular venue that day, we didn’t know if people in the neighborhood or other visitors might end up eyeballing the ring if it was lying somewhere in plain sight. The odds of that were very slim simply because there were dozens of people looking on the ground, the front walkway, in the grass and all over the wood flooring of the clubhouse gazebo.
Michaele was so very grateful for my passion and excitement to attempt to redeem the situation as best as one could under the circumstances. I would give it all I had to try and find that which meant so very much to the new bride. As soon as we said goodbye, the newlywed couple began to host their post-wedding brunch while I started to prepare for my own visit to the very place where the couple « tied the knot » less than 24 hours earlier.
In getting ready for the search, I knew that this particular project was a very special and unique type of recovery operation. With a bit of creativity and color in my thoughts, I asked myself what would be appropriate to wear to the former wedding venue. Normally I would just have on some jeans or shorts depending on the weather outside. For this particular special circumstance I decided to dress formal for the occasion! I wore my full black tie tuxedo suit! This included a tuxedo shirt, studs, cufflinks, tuxedo pants, tuxedo patent leather shoes, a vest and of course my James Bond style tuxedo jacket! Because of how unique this particular story happened to be, I felt it would be fun to be festive and do the entire search in a tuxedo outfit! An absolute first for me to do this! I wasted no time in getting ready and within 45 minutes I was in the car driving to Severna Park, Maryland.
I arrived down by the water of this most serene environment within an hour of leaving my home. As I was pulling in to the private property of Fairwinds on the Severn Beach Club, I could see the clubhouse with its marvelous gazebo stretching over most of the building. I immediately could see why the couple wanted to get married in such a lovely environment with an absolutely stunning backdrop. The scene out on the water was beyond spectacular!
As I imagined the whole dramatic moment when people started looking everywhere for the missing ring, I took notice of the front drive where the bride was brought to the front of the walkway (which then takes one up a flight of steps to the gazebo). I observed the long grassy-like bushes on the left and much grass to the right of the short walkway which were potential spots where the ring bearer could have opened up the book and accidentally dropped the ring. That was one of the theories that the bride, groom and some of the wedding party had discussed.
After parking my vehicle in front of the clubhouse where Michaele was dropped off prior to walking towards the altar, I got out my metal detecting gear and began to look over the entire property. The first thing that I wanted to do was to check all of the gaps between the gazebo’s wooden flooring. I took note of where the ring could have slipped down below the planks. In my estimation there were just a couple of places where this was even possible and so I chose to put aside any additional investigating of that area unless it was necessary to take another look later on.
My next location to focus on was the grassy lawn. I metal detected the left side of the front walk and there was nothing found at all but little pieces of scrap metal. On the right side of the front walkway was a much larger strip of grass. Nobody knew whether or not the ring bearer had strolled around on the grass while waiting to be called for the processional walk. Therefore, it was essential that I carefully scan the lawn for the ring.
Slowly and methodically I grid searched for the very small and dainty wedding band that had never reached Michaele’s finger on the day of her wedding. Because the ring was so very petite, there was not a lot of white gold to detect. That is why I needed to go slow and carefully analyze every potential signal that I would come across as I moved in perfectly straight lines. Unfortunately, there was no jewelry to be found in that location. It was then time to move to the next search section.
I wasn’t looking forward to this next leg of the « investigation » but it had to be done. I began using my metal detector and my handheld pinpointer to search between the rocks and crevices located below the clubhouse steps and vestibule. I needed to be certain that the band did not fall between the gaps in the flooring and end up down below near the water. Luckily, gaps that were wide enough to accommodate a « halo » this small were pretty much non-existent in that area. There were only a couple of spots that I needed to check out. My conclusion was that the young boy did not lose the ring in that area while walking up the steps and turning left towards the gazebo to complete his march in the direction of where the bridal party stood.
When I was certain of one more place where I knew the ring wasn’t hidden, I moved on to yet another piece of the property. I metal detected over a section of white stones and rocks that were in a flower bed located to the left of the front walkway and adjacent to the front driveway. With the ring being made out of white gold, it would blend in perfectly with the stones and small rocks spread out in that particular piece of landscaping. I scanned everywhere and over everything in that region (including under all of the bushes and shrubs) and still I came up with nothing.
Truly I say that I was getting a bit perplexed by all of my strikeouts up to that point! In recounting what transpired with the loss of the ring approximately 21 hours earlier, it didn’t make sense as to why I didn’t find the ring or anyone else during the time of the big event. It wasn’t found in the obvious hiding places such as in the grass, between the rocks near the water under the clubhouse, or laying with the flower bed stones, pebbles or under the bushes. This meant that there were only 4 possibilities remaining on the table that would explain why I hadn’t found the jewel up to that point: One, I was negligent and happened to miss hitting the ring while searching. Two, the wedding bridal party and guests missed spotting the band in plain sight and then later on someone else came by and pocketed the keepsake. Three, the ring never made it out of the bride’s vehicle and somehow it came out of the box that the Wheel of Time book was placed inside and landed on the floor of the car (Note: the Maid of Honor did check the seats and floor of the vehicle and found nothing). And four, the ring was lost somewhere on the front driveway (which I hadn’t detected yet) before the book was presented to the ring bearer.
Well, in reviewing all of those possibilities, there were only two of them that I could follow-up with. Before detecting all of the areas that I had previously completed to see if I missed it the first go around, I took the most logical choice: scan the section of asphalt driveway in front of the clubhouse. Though I looked earlier with my eyes all around the concrete and found nothing when I first arrived, I knew very well that one’s vision can find it hard to adjust to parking lot surfaces, driveways and paved paths. I had to be certain that I didn’t miss the treasure anywhere out front. How the ring could have fallen out of the outer box that held the renaissance-style book and then slip out of the tied shut novelty item was beyond my comprehension. Yet, I’ve seen plenty of unexplainable situations take place during my years of ring finding!
Immediately I picked up my machine and started to detect the driveway path in front of my vehicle and behind it. No white gold was discovered. I then put my gear down, retrieved my car keys and reversed the vehicle back some distance away from where I still needed to scan the section that was previously under my car. Next, I returned to that space where the vehicle was in the way and I began hitting that very last area in front of the wedding venue.
Just like with the pavement that I detected minutes earlier, I systematically searched the small remaining patch of asphalt. Then, to my greatest surprise, my detector screen and headphones indicated that a potential target had been picked up on the surface of the driveway. The indicator number showing up on the machine was in the low range which sometimes points to the possibility that I have found a small gold item! I immediately looked down towards the pavement and there it was… Michaele’s lost wedding band that had never made it to the wedding altar! I actually found it! Truly I couldn’t believe it! I looked everywhere and to my utter amazement the little white gold diamond ring had been laying on the asphalt that entire time!
This moment that I was experiencing was beyond thrilling for me! As I went to pick up the precious band that nested perfectly with Michaele’s engagement ring, I was feeling so much excitement about being able to recover the lost jewel. But in addition to that, I was extremely satisfied to be able to solve the mystery as to how the ring had actually gotten lost in the first place and where it had been hiding (or actually laying) all along!
Michaele’s « symbol of love » was found in the middle of the driveway, approximately 5 feet away from the beginning of the front walkway leading to the clubhouse! From where I had found the precious jewel, it was obvious what had happened to it just prior to the wedding processional. While still in the car, the bride had taken the Wheel of Time flat book (which held the two rings inside of it) out of its outer box. She held onto the renaissance-style novelty item as Michaele made her way out of her « coach » and over to where the ring bearer was standing. Just as the fairy princess exited the vehicle, at that very moment the ring must have then slipped out of one of the sides of the book and fell to the pavement! This meant that the ring bearer never had any involvement with the disappearance of the wedding band! It had been lost prior to the little man ever receiving the « book of rings »! And all that time, no one ever saw the white gold diamond ring just laying there in the middle of the driveway! The reason that I didn’t see the ring from the beginning of my search was because the entire time that I was at the site, my car was parked directly on top of the little jewel! I should have never parked so close to the crime scene!
Now that I had successfully recovered the lost band, it was time to surprise the bride with the amazing news! Of course, I found the ring while wearing my tuxedo, so I figured it was only appropriate to remarry the couple with my black tie outfit on as well! The groom finally had the opportunity of placing the bride’s wedding band on her finger and I wasn’t about to miss that moment for the world!
After a few failed attempts to track the couple down on the phone and another failed attempt to surprise them with the ring in hand under another gazebo next to their house, I eventually was able to make contact with the bride and groom who were just about to leave a restaurant where they were at with family and friends. Michaele and George were completely in shock that I had found the ring! They just couldn’t believe it! They told some of their family who were nearby to them and they too were amazed at the outcome! George and Michaele were so grateful for my work and tears of joy rolled down the cheek of the newlywed bride!
Excitedly, I asked the couple if they would like to gather up whoever was available (including the Best Man and Maid of Honor) and meet me back at the Fairwinds on the Severn Beach Club for a Part 2 Re-take of the wedding ceremony! This go around however, the bride would be receiving her beloved wedding band for the first time – the very ring that her groom George was to have slipped onto her finger almost a day earlier!
Believe it or not, it was still less than 24 hours from the time the couple had gotten married! It was our goal to see if we could conduct a second wedding just before the bride and groom made it to their official first-full day-of-marriage mark! The couple rushed back to the clubhouse where we quickly assembled under the gazebo at the very place where the wedding had taken place just short of a day earlier! George’s father took the new role as the groom’s Best Man and Michaele’s new mother-in-law took on the role as Maid of Honor. I had the distinct honor to be the couple’s marriage officiant!
What a very special moment it was for all of us to fill in that one missing moment that never took place just less than a day earlier! With processional music playing on my smartphone, the bride walked down the isle just as she did once before and again her handsome groom awaited her arrival as his proud father stood along side him and I to the right of George. Michaele’s new Maid of Honor stood to my right allowing just the right amount of space for the bride to take her very much anticipated position!
I can’t express how amazing that moment was for me to be able to conduct a second ceremony for the newlywed couple, leading the bride and groom in the « Exchange of Rings » portion that was never fully completed the day before! For me personally it was an extremely powerful time to witness George placing that special wedding band on Michaele’s finger – yes, the very same one that I was called upon to search for and which I successfully recovered for George’s fairy tale bride! All of us that were there that afternoon agreed that we will always feel a certain special connection with one another through what we experienced together at George and Michaele’s wedding venue less than a day after their initial blissful wedding ceremony which they will no doubt cherish for a lifetime…and then some!
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