Broken Engagements: How To Deal When ‘I Do’ Becomes ‘I Don’t’

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It’s a tale as old as time: goofy comedian meets pop superstar and they fall in love. This time it was Pete Davidson and Ariana Grande. The duo visibly (some may say grossly so) fell in lust on each other’s social media accounts. A ring and a series of love confessions followed while the internet waited patiently for the inevitable: a broken engagement.

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Everyone endures heartbreak at some point, but with a broken engagement there’s usually more to deal with than a simple breakup.

Don’t Feel Obligated To Explain What Happened

You’re going to have to say something, but you don’t need to tell people everything. Truthfully, they’re not entitled to know why things didn’t work. If you and your ex-fiancée decide to keep things private, that’s fine. If the ceremony date is far off and you haven’t sent out invitations, you’re not obligated to even tell anyone. However, if you’ve sent invitations, it’s tradition to send a formal notice informing guests of the cancellation. The message doesn’t need to explain what happened. It just needs to inform them of the cancellation of plans.

Returning The Ring

Speaking of engagement rings, the baseline protocol for dealing with it is simple. Whoever paid for the bling gets the ring. In the case of Pete Davidson and Ariana Grande, after the split, the pint-sized pop star handed the 3-carat, $100,000 honker of a diamond back to the distraught comic, who paid for the ring. If you paid for it, the ring is yours. Essentially, how much money you put into the ring is how much you end up with.

Gifts Go Back…Sort Of

This applies to engagement and wedding gifts. Wedding etiquette dictates that you must attempt to return all gifts. You can contact the sender by phone or email to ask how they prefer to have their present returned. Chances are, they won’t want it back because it’s also etiquette for gift-givers to not accept gifts returned. It’s likely you may have to sort out who keeps what between you and your ex.

Contacting Vendors

When it comes to a broken engagement, it’s unlikely you’ll keep your deposits, but reread all the vendor contracts you signed to make sure. Also, you and your ex will likely be slammed with cancellation fees. If you both signed a contract, you’re both liable. Many small claims court cases have ruled in this way, but look up the laws in your state to make sure.

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Ending a relationship is never easy. That goes double for breaking an engagement, but doing the right thing can diminish any possible blowback. This way you can quickly sort through all pertinent matters pertaining to calling off your wedding and move on with your life.f

Have you broken an engagement? How did things turn out? What advice would you give someone going through the same thing? Sound off in the comments!