Share This Page

Wedding's off and the deposits are gone

| Sunday, March 24, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hi, Carolyn:

My daughter was supposed to get married soon but, upon finding out about several affairs, she has canceled the wedding. She is devastated, but has an excellent support system.

However, we have an issue with her ex-fiance's family. My family put down non-refundable deposits on services like the venue, florist, photographer, etc. I think, given the circumstances of the split, her ex-fiance should reimburse us for the deposits. He caused this wedding to be canceled, and now he is just walking away, leaving thousands of lost dollars in his wake.

My daughter is adopting the attitude of just wanting to move on; she would rather not get involved with his family.

Because about half the deposits are mine, I do want to get involved. My son is a lawyer and told us we have absolutely no legal recourse for this money and we should assume it is gone.

It is hard for me to let this money go, through no fault of my family. Any advice?

— Canceled

Yoga, punching a pillow, throwing darts at a photo of the ex, Zumba, a cocktail at 4:55 p.m. instead of 5, a mock funeral service where you bury thousands in Monopoly money — pick your method and use it to bid farewell to the cash.

Wanting people to behave as you want them to is a great way to waste a good chunk of your life. Better just to waste the money, and accept that your daughter is the luckiest person on earth right now; if this money is what it cost for her to reach this mountaintop, then, arguably, it was well spent. Or well set on fire.

Besides, you don't want to get on the “no fault of my family” road, because, for example, your daughter might been immersed in signs that her beloved was cheating on her, and so her wishful thinking and/or foot-dragging are part of the reason you're now out these nonrefundable deposits. I actually don't believe in such finger-pointing unless it's part of a process of self-examination — but I'm putting it out there as a caution against such me-good-you-bad thinking.

Re: Canceled:

Don't let your daughter think you care more about money than about her. I called off a wedding, too, and my parents lost some deposits. They didn't say a word about the money, and I can't tell you how much that meant to me. I was humiliated and devastated and needed more emotional support than I let on. I imagine your daughter is feeling something similar.

— Anonymous

So well said, thanks.

Re: Canceled:

This family could possibly recoup some of their “lost” deposit money. A canceled wedding brokerage service can “sell” your wedding package at a discount to another couple.

— Anonymous 2

Brilliant, thanks.

Dear Carolyn:

Another approach to the lost deposits is to use them. Send some flowers to a hospital. Send the DJ to a nursing home unit at the VA. Send the caterer to a shelter.

— D. (Via Facebook)

Even brillianter.

Email Carolyn Hax at tellme@washpost.com, or chat with her online at noon Eastern time each Friday at www.washingtonpost.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.