A bride recalls two near-disasters.

When I began planning my wedding, one of my bridesmaids gave me some really good advice. She said something inevitably would go wrong, and that I should focus on one or two details. The first thing that meant the most to me was my dress. The second thing was bringing my horse up to the venue so we could get pictures. I figured those would be the two highlights for me. It’s ironic that the two things that were the most meaningful to me were the things that went wrong.

The dress fit really, really well at the final fitting a couple of weeks before the wedding. The week before the wedding, I got sick with food poisoning and didn’t eat for four days. When we went to put the dress on the day of—it’s a strapless dress—it was too big.

We started panicking. My matron of honor rummaged through her bridal emergency kit, looking for anything that could help. We were all standing there going, “What do we do?”

Thankfully, my mom thought to reach out to our wedding coordinator. She came running in and said, “No worries. I got this. I used to own a bridal boutique.” She literally altered the dress. She sewed me into it 30 minutes prior to the ceremony.

We had gotten permission to bring my horse, Honor, to the venue for photos after the ceremony. My friend agreed to bring him in his trailer. In her haste to get there, she left the key to the padlock that secures the rear door at the barn. There was a group of people trying to figure out how to get him off the trailer. They tried using two different bolt cutters to cut off the padlock.

They tried for about an hour to get him off the trailer. It was becoming very apparent that these pictures were probably not going to happen. That was devastating.

Brett and I went into the reception. When we walked back outside to do our sunset photos, my Aunt Janette stopped me and said, “I can get your horse off the trailer, but I have to open your wedding present.” The Dremel tool kit she had gotten us cut the padlock off in like two seconds, and I finally got my pictures.

Little did we know a wedding gift would save us.

Lauren and Brett McPherson married on July 15, 2017, at Irongate Equestrian Center.