-- As if losing your diamond wedding band into the ocean right before saying “I do” on your big day isn’t terrible enough, try losing your actual engagement ring just two days later.
That’s exactly what happened to Alena Gale Smith during her romantic, sunset nuptials aboard a sailboat in the Charleston, South Carolina, harbor.
“We decided to elope very last minute after throwing this wedding together in about 11 days,” Gale Smith, of Moncks Corner, South Carolina, told ABC News of their Aug. 9 nuptials. “We were on the bow of the boat. We arranged for a sailboat, the Alize, to take us out, to sail for about an hour and half and we’d anchor close to the Battery right at sunset to do the vows. It really was perfect and very romantic.”
Everything was going swimmingly until her groom, Trent Smith, reached into his pocket to pull out the small pouch where he was keeping her new diamond wedding band to place on her finger. But then, Mother Nature had different plans.
“The boat was rocking and the wind picked up. The pouch got caught in the wind and went flying overboard,” Gale Smith, 30, explained. “We said, ‘Oh my gosh, the ring went into the water! The pouch went into the water!’ I asked the captain if he could quick grab a net, and as soon as I said that, Trent without hesitation just dove overboard. It was loud and kind of scary at first.”
The couple was anchored right off the Charleston Battery in water about 12 feet deep when Smith, quite literally, dove head first into their marriage.
“He was hoping he could just dive right on top of it and grab it, but once he got back in the boat and opened the pouch, to his dismay, the ring was not in the pouch.”
Even though the diamond band may have sunk, the ceremony floated on.
“Bill, the captain said, ‘Change shirts with me so you can at least have on a dry shirt,’” Gale Smith recalled, thankful her new husband wouldn’t be soaking wet for photos. “I said, ‘Hurry up, the sun’s about to go down. Let’s just move on. We need to get our pictures. We had a little kiss and got it finished and still had a really great time.”
The newlyweds carried on smoothly with smiles on their faces, not letting the overboard wedding band sink their celebratory spirits.
But that unfortunately wasn’t the end of their wedding ring woes.
Just two days later, Gale Smith lost her actual wedding ring, too.
“The following Tuesday, I don’t know happened,” she said. “I was doing some crafts with my son, I had cleaned out the closet and the refrigerator, did about five loads of laundry, and then we played baseball in the fields and walked out dog that day.”
It was a typical busy day for the new bride who had only worn her wedding ring for about four days due to the extremely short engagement. It was a bit big, however.
“I called the jeweler to see what size I wore before he ordered it, but that was when I had just had my son and now I’ve lost weight,” said Gale Smith.
She thinks the ring must have slipped off somewhere during her many activities.
“I retraced all my steps and it’s nowhere to be found. I have a very bad history of losing everything,” she said. “I was just starting to get used to it and now I miss it so much.”
Her groom is now out about $5,000 and has no plans to immediately replace the rings.
“I would never ask him to do that anyway,” said Gale Smith. “He still wants to replace my band but I wouldn’t replace the band without it matching the ring.
“He was like, ‘I’ll just buy you another one on our 100-year anniversary,’” she said her husband joked. “He has no plans on replacing it because he’s hopeful that it will turn up. I’m not giving up hope yet, either. It’s still a hefty penny and even if it had cost less money, you hate to not have it anymore.”
The lovebirds are remaining optimistic though, saying they wouldn’t change a thing about their big day.
“This is one of those things where you could really let this bring you down, but it’s just materialistic,” Gale Smith explained. “We still have our marriage. We still have each other. It’s a really perfect example of how things don’t always go as expected, but it’s up to you have the right attitude to get through it. We wouldn’t change it because it’s been such a great story and something so memorable. We’ve just been laughing about it, because what else can you do?”
She’s also happy to report that yes, the groom still has his wedding band safe and sound on his finger.