While it may sound like a disaster, misplaced wedding bands won't completely derail the ceremony. Whether the ring bearer dropped them or the best man left them at home, there are ways rectify this situation. We talked to several wedding pros about what they would do if the rings are missing ahead of the ceremony.
Send out a search party.
Wedding planner Brie Owens of Chancey Charm Weddings says she experienced this situation firsthand when one of her brides lost her engagement ring prior to the ceremony. They searched high and low, but it wasn't until the fourth time they searched the trash can that they finally found it. If you ever find yourself in this situation, Owens says your first step should be to keep the bride calm—make sure she knows that everything is going to work out no matter what.
Look for something borrowed.
Owens also suggests calling a local jewelry store and asking if you can borrow whatever they have that is closest in size and style to the missing rings. "Most places are willing to help any bride in that predicament," she explains. In some cases, a pair of back-up rings may be closer than your nearest jeweler. Ivory Coats, of Peachy Weddings, LLC, says that many planners keep an extra set on hand. "But if you are not as prepared as a professional planner my recommendation is to use someone else's rings," the pro says. Coats suggests borrowing them from a parent, grandparent, or any other married guest with similarly sized hands.
Decorations can pull double duty.
Your big-day elements might be able to serve as rings. As Justina Michaels of Fitting Fetes points out, many ring bearer pillows have faux rings tied on for decoration. Anything that can be slipped onto your finger during the ceremony will work in a pinch.
Skip the ring exchange all together.
If none of these options work for you, or if getting married with someone else's bands just doesn't feel right, try something a little different. Emily Sullivan of Emily Sullivan Events suggests the Irish tradition of handfasting (where the couple's hands are loosely bound together) instead. Cecilia Reyes of Better Together Mexico also suggests alternatives to the ring exchange, like a knot tying ceremony (wedding planners usually carry a lot of ribbons), a wine glass ceremony, or a red thread ceremony.
Keep your rings in good hands.
Whatever you do, remember to keep them in a safe place to begin with. Wedding planner Hovik Harutyunyan of Harutyunyan Events says that one of the conversations he has with this couples before the wedding is about the safety of the rings, saying, "I have an honest conversation with my couples before the wedding. If they don't feel the best man is the most responsible, I will usually end up holding onto the rings the whole day."