Clare Crawley recently revealed that her wedding dress was stolen, but that there was a happy ending to her stroke of bad luck.
On her Instagram Story Saturday, the former Bachelorette told the wild tale of how the gown went missing, and why she believes "everything is for a reason."
"I know I always share this, but I am deeply, deeply in the belief that everything is supposed to happen how it's supposed to happen, regardless of if it looks good or it looks bad or it's what I want or not what I want," Crawley, 41, related in one video.
"I trust to the depths of my soul that everything is for a reason. And we might not know what that reason looks like right now but it works out. So let me tell you what happened," she continued.
"When [my fiancé] Ryan Dawkins and I got back from Hawaii at the beginning of this week, my car had been broken into while we were gone. And guess what was in the car? Keep in mind my wedding is very soon," the reality star reminded her followers.
She then dropped the shocking news: "My wedding dress was in my car! It was in there because I was supposed to take it to get its last alteration and I wanted to remind myself not to forget it. And my wedding dress was taken."
"In the moment, I was like 'Ughhhhh, what do I do?' And I thought, 'It's okay. It's about the moment and what we're celebrating," Crawley told herself. "'I can wear anything, and I'll be happy that we're getting married.' "
Crawley decided to return to the bridal shop where she'd purchased her dress and where her wedding veil was still waiting to be picked up. After she explained the unbelievable turn of events, the store's owner swung into quick action to help fix the situation.
"Basically, within three days, I got a brand-new dress altered, pressed, completely altered again in the best way, like even more fitting," Crawley detailed.
She then added a final surprise twist regarding her replacement gown: "Turns out, that was the wedding dress that was on my Pinterest board three years ago. It's the dress of my dreams."
Getting emotional in the video, Crawley extended her deepest appreciation and gratitude for the shop owner, who took it upon herself to re-create an even better version of her "dream" wedding dress.
"She actually picked the dress out and was like, 'Here wear this one.' And I was like, 'Okay, I'll wear anything!' " she said. "And it literally turns out ... it's the most beautiful dress, and it's better than I could have imagined."
"[I'm] still crying happy tears," Crawley noted.
Earlier in the day, Crawley posted a photo of a white handkerchief with "Happy Tears" embroidered in blue alongside two conjoined hearts.
"...something borrowed. Something blue 💙" she captioned the post.
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"How cute is that handkerchief? I'm not gonna lie, when I opened that up, I bawled my eyes out," she said on her Instagram Story.
"I am over the moon!" Crawley told PEOPLE exclusively. "This was the last thing I expected right now, especially coming from where I was a year ago. It's just been a serious journey, and Ryan has been by my side since the very beginning."
She added that her fiancé is not in the relationship for notoriety: "Really what he's in it for is my heart, and he is so consistent and so vocal about how much he loves me. It is something I have never experienced ... It's been such a gift having him in my life," she said.
Crawley was previously in a relationship with Dale Moss, to whom she became engaged after just a few weeks on The Bachelorette. The engagement came so early in the season that Moss and Crawley left the show in the middle of filming the season to pursue their relationship off-screen.
They split up twice after the show, making it final in September 2021, when a source told PEOPLE "it was mutual."