Miss Manners: Months after their wedding, a couple is divorcing … should the gifts be returned? – NJ.com

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DEAR MISS MANNERS: My son married his live-in girlfriend of 10 years at a destination wedding at an expensive resort in the Dominican Republic with about 40 people, mostly from our family. Then they came home and had a hotel reception, with dinner and dancing, for about 200 people. Everyone who went to the Dominican festivities also came to the reception and gave gifts or cash.

Two months later, the couple separated and are planning a divorce. Should they be returning gifts? And should they apologize to guests — especially those who went to both wedding events?

Many of the reception guests were our friends, colleagues and relatives, and they didn’t know the couple well. My brother has “joked” that he wants his $3,000 for the trip back.

GENTLE READER: The requirement to return wedding presents is generally reserved for canceled weddings, not divorces, even though this timeline feels similar.

But those who willingly went to the destination wedding knew what they were getting themselves into — and presumably still enjoyed a vacation, even if it was somewhat forced upon them.

As for apologies, there is no need. Surely your brother and the other guests must realize that no one is suffering the irony and cost more than the couple — except perhaps you.


(Please send your questions to Miss Manners at her website, www.missmanners.com; to her email, [email protected]; or through postal mail to Miss Manners, Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)

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