He was shocked when he “dino-saw” her.
Tom Gardner was understandably surprised before his wedding last fall when he turned around to find that his bride had been supplanted with a T-Rex.
Paul Seiler, a Raleigh photographer, captured the moment before the Bald Head Island wedding when Gardner, standing on a pier, expected to see his bride, Elizabeth Rex Hundley, in her wedding dress. Instead, he saw a dinosaur – OK, Hundley in a dinosaur suit – in place of his future wife.
Hundley, originally from Chicago, had the idea to surprise her groom. Seiler went with it for the Nov. 6 wedding.
Hundley (now Gardner) said she chose to dress up as the T-Rex because her mother’s maiden name, and her middle name, is “Rex.”
“I thought it would be funny to wear the costume on the day I would go from a Rex/Hundley to a Gardner,” she said in an email to The News & Observer on Thursday. “I even had my bridesmaids take pictures of me the day before the wedding holding a sign that said: ‘Today a Rex, tomorrow a Gardner.’
I’m also just obsessed with the T-Rex as a result of my name. I have so many T-Rex items around my house!
Elizabeth Rex Hundley, who is now Elizabeth Gardner
“I’m also just obsessed with the T-Rex as a result of my name. I have so many T-Rex items around my house!”
Tom is from Rhode Island, where his family owns an oyster farm. Gardner, who grew up mostly outside the U.S., said she chose Bald Head Island for her wedding because her family used to vacation there when she was young.
“I moved around a lot as a child,” she said. “After many family reunions, this island just became my concept of ‘home.’”
Tom Gardner wrote in a Facebook post that he “was totally floored when I turned around and saw her in this.”
Gardner said she’s still processing her first-look video going viral.
“It’s still sinking in,” she said. “I thought the video would just be sent among family and friends but it has just taken off! It is just so great to see so many people got a laugh out of it as well.”
And for those wondering, Hundley said her vows in more traditional wedding garb. She had on her white dress under the costume and made a quick change.
Abbie Bennett: 919-836-5768; @AbbieRBennett