Wedding Woes: What to do with gifts after a wedding goes awry

Q: My sister was left at the altar, literally. What is to be done with the shower/wedding gifts which she may have removed tags from/opened from packaging? Having already purchased a home together, and having no clue this was going to happen, she did open some items and is unsure of what to do about returning those to the people who gave them.

A: If they are returnable, she returns them, with a brief note of explanation – no details necessary. If she had not already written her thank you notes, she must express thanks, as well. If they are not returnable there is little she can do.

Widow Wedding Band: When is the proper time to stop wearing the wedding band?

Q: I have been widowed for two months. I would like to know what is the proper time to stop wearing my wedding ring. I do prefer to wear it at this time but know at some point I should not.

A: No, there are no rules. You may wear it as long as you want to wear it, or remove it if you wish to. Naturally if you were to marry again you would not wear it any longer, but until that time, it is entirely your choice.

I Love You But…:Can I Ask My Fiance to Change my Engagement Ring Setting?

Q: My boyfriend recently proposed to me, and I said yes. However I do not like the ring. Is it proper or ok for me to ask him to change the setting?

A: Rather than saying you don’t like it, you could say there is a setting you have always loved and wonder if he would go with you to help pick that setting and change it – and you would pay the difference, of course.

Invitation Separation: What to do About Inviting a Guest Who Could Cause a Problem

Q: I am the maid of honor at my little sister’s wedding – a very low-key, low budget affair. Our Mom & Dad are paying for “some” of her wedding and have added people to her list that are family friends. While I understand, this is customary, they also want to invite a peer who is not friends with anyone and – actually – is disliked by some in the wedding party. Is it correct that anyone that my parents invite should be ok with the bride and groom?

A: The basic guideline is that invitations are divided into thirds – one-third for the bride’s parents, one-third for the groom’s parents, and one-third for the bride and groom. If one “group” doesn’t need all its invitations, they get divided between the other two groups.  It is presumed that those invited are people who are meaningful in the lives of those on whose list they appear. If there is a conflict, however, there is nothing wrong with, as in this case, your sister talking to your parents about the perceived problem with the person on their list who is troublesome to others. Hopefully, clear communication can help them reach accord. Particularly if this person presents a problem for your sister, your parents should take her concerns seriously.