She dressed up in a T. rex costume to shock him with one last laugh before walking down the aisle.
“I was a little worried he’d be like, ‘Come on babe. This is once in a lifetime thing and you can’t take it seriously?’” Gardner, 28, told ABC News of their magical day. “But he knows me long enough to know I can never be serious. I just took a shot in the dark in the dark and it worked out. He always tells me, ‘You do you.’”
Luckily her now-husband, Tom Gardner, absolutely loved it, giving a good laugh before helping her out of the cumbersome costume to reveal her gorgeous gown beneath.
“I had always wanted one of those costumes because I have so much the T. rex gear,” she said. “I kept watching it on Amazon until the price dropped to something I could afford. I wanted to save it for something fun so I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, I’ll save it for the wedding because that’s when it occurred to me that I wouldn’t be a Rex anymore.”
Gardner’s middle name prior to marriage was Rex, her mother’s maiden name. A lot of her friends call her Rex and it’s a running joke between her and her husband.
“He knows that I’m obsessed with them, so he’ll always buy me a T. rex shirt or a little T. rex necklace,” said Garnder. “He knows I’m crazy about them.”
She said the costume was actually the perfect layer she needed to keep her warm on the chilly, windy day.
“It protected me from the crazy wind we were having that day,” she recalled. “It added like 10 degrees which made it bearable because I was so cold throughout the entire ceremony.”
And as for it messing up her hair or wedding dress?
“The skirt was made of a very, very light skirt. It just filled in the leg holes of the costume,” Gardner said. “It didn’t even wrinkle the skirt which was great. And that’s the upside to having very short hair, you’re never worried your hair.”
Gardner said her wedding planner, Sarah Munroe, did have her reservations on whether the fun-loving bride would be able to pull off the stunt on such an already hectic occasion, “but she’s obviously very happy with how it ended up.”
This quirkiness of the day didn’t end with the T. rex costume, though. The entire wedding party erupted in a water gun fight as the reception was coming to a close.
“Once I told my photographer about my T. rex idea, he was like, ‘Ok, I’ve always brought this up to other brides but they’ve never been game because they don’t want to ruin their hair, makeup and dress, but I feel like you’d go for this,’” Gardner recalled of her photographer’s idea. “I said, ‘Oh my gosh, yes! If we can swing it, I totally want to get this done.’”