A BEAUTIFUL bride, a handsome groom and all the arrangements in place for the perfect midsummer Saturday wedding in Haslemere.

But all was not as it seemed - as the groom and his brother, the best man were relaxing in the Georgian House Hotel with just a matter of a few hours to go, panic set in when they realised the wedding rings had been lost.

A frantic call to bride Rebecca Russell, combined with a thorough search produced no sign of the essential items.

And by 11-15 am, with the minutes ticking away to the service at St. Bartholomew's Church at 3 pm, it was beginning to look as if it could be the groom Paul Kullich and not the bride who would be arriving late at the altar.

Faced with the every best man's nightmare, for Rob and Paul Kullich help was at hand closer than he could have dreamed of, when the panic-stricken pair sped off round the corner from the hotel. They turned up on the door stop of Griffin Jewellers in West Street where Tony Griffin was busy in his workshop.

He was confronted by the two slightly dishevelled men who he said appeared to be in "total panic" and on an urgent mission to buy two wedding rings.

"They told me the wedding rings were lost and they had spent all the morning looking for them."

Mr Griffin (34) from Lodsworth, who opened up his business three years ago and specialises in commission pieces of gems set in 18 carat gold and platinum, said he he had never seen such a rush job like it.

"I had one ring in stock which I adapted for the bride and a lump of 18 carat gold just about big enough to squeeze another for the groom," said Mr Griffin.

He asked Rob and Paul Kullich to come back at 2 pm but at 1 pm he phoned the hotel to say the rings were ready. The two worried men went straight back to the shop, where they collected the two plain 18 carat bands of gold, beautifully made, and in record-breaking time.

In a letter to The Herald, a good friend of the bride Joanna Migdal said the episode was "an amazing story of service in Haslemere".

"The ring fitted perfectly, was stunningly elegant and all went swimmingly," said Joanna.

"What fantastic service, what incredible generosity and what wonderful workmanship," said a thankful Joanna.

Joanna told The Herald that the happy couple, both in their 30s, had come up to Haslemere from their home in the New Forest area for the wedding - Rebecca to her family home in Polecat and Paul and his best man Rob, to the Georgian House Hotel with his family from Northampton and other wedding guests.

"It was a really hot day and Rob, who has got longish hair, and Paul were both dressed in shorts and they looked a bit scruffy when they arrived at the jewellers," said Joanna.

"But both ended up so delighted, and the wedding was fantastic," she said.

At the reception, said Joanna, the groom threw away his speech and instead told his amazing story to some 80 wedding guests.

"Everyone was so touched to know that you could actually go into a shop in the town and have somebody make you a wedding ring there and then," she said.

Now with their wedding day panic behind them the happy couple are honeymooning in Kenya.

And Tony Griffin who is to be among 80 of the best jewellery craftsmen in the country chosen to exhibit at the prestigious Goldsmith Fair in London's Goldsmiths Hall in the first week of October, was back at his bench busy making exquisite pieces for his special show.