(LONDON) — As Elizabeth Gray and Lewis Aubrey were in the final stages of becoming husband and wife at a church outside London, the ceremony was interrupted by a loud ping.
“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,’” Gray 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,” Aubrey said. “When I looked down to see, there was no sign of it.”
They lifted drainage grates, tore apart floral arrangements and searched formal wear, but no one in the congregation was able to locate the ring.
“No one knew where it had gone at all,” said Gray. “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.”
Gray had spent six months looking for the perfect ring and the best man who dropped it wasn’t just Aubrey’s closest friend, it was his brother, Matt. Unable to find the ring, they went on with the wedding ceremony, using Gray’s mother’s wedding ring.
“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,” Gray told ABC News.
Following the service, the newlyweds took photos and headed off to the reception, while guests stayed behind and scoured the church for the ring to no avail. After eating dinner the vicar returned to the church, determined to find it.
“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.”
Calver made his way to the site of the reception with the ring and gave it to Matt Aubrey, who entered the reception hall holding it triumphantly.
“My brother was holding the ring like Frodo from Lord of the Rings, and everyone erupted,” said Lewis Aubrey. “The vicar actually blessed the marriage then and so I kind of got married twice.”
“The vicar is definitely a hero,” Gray said.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Holly Yan, Chuck Johnston and David Williams, CNN
Kevin Liptak, CNN