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Advice for broken engagement - modern
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amother




OP
 

Post Tue, Aug 02 2022, 12:53 am
Hi,
I’m looking for advice in a situation where the chosson broke the engagement. Couple is modern, as well as kallah’s parents. All deposits were paid by kallah’s side with an understanding that the chosson’s side would pay up to a predetermined amount and kallah’s side was free to decide which hall, caterer, etc. Now that the engagement is off, what is the proper way to go about the financial responsibilities? Each side pay half? Can chosson’s side stipulate half not including wedding gown? So far she is not returning the ring so let’s leave that to the side for now.
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essie14




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, Aug 02 2022, 5:57 am
Hashkafa has nothing to do with this, IMO.
She needs to return the ring. This is standard in secular and jewish circles. No bride keeps the ring if the wedding didn't happen.

If it was me or my child, I'd split the costs of all non refundable deposits - hall, band caterer, etc. (Not including the dress)

Can they find someone who wants to get married on the date they reserved? Maybe they can recoup some of the deposits.
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amother




Daffodil
 

Post Tue, Aug 02 2022, 6:42 am
Being that the boy called it off, his side should pay.

The kallah should return the ring though, why would she want to keep it? She'll hopefully get another one from someone who actually wants to marry her.
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Bnei Berak 10




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, Aug 02 2022, 6:47 am
Din Torah is the answer in case there are different opinions from kallah and chassan's side.
It's standard rings and other jewelry to be returned. Who wants to wear jewelry from a broken engagement?
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singleagain




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, Aug 02 2022, 7:06 am
When I got divorced and we were splitting up the stuff in our apartment, my parents had gone before and made a list of the big stuff. The first thing my ex said was that my engagement ring wasn't on there. I said "you asked me to marry you with that and I said yes and did. That's mine." He didn't argue after that.

I do agree that everything else should be divided by half, if it can't be refunded completely.

As to the dress.... If it's still at the dress shop or whatever.. maybe ask the proprietor to like pay it forward. You know offer it to someone who can't afford it.
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amother




Butterscotch
 

Post Tue, Aug 02 2022, 7:09 am
singleagain wrote:
When I got divorced and we were splitting up the stuff in our apartment, my parents had gone before and made a list of the big stuff. The first thing my ex said was that my engagement ring wasn't on there. I said "you asked me to marry you with that and I said yes and did. That's mine." He didn't argue after that.

I do agree that everything else should be divided by half, if it can't be refunded completely.

As to the dress.... If it's still at the dress shop or whatever.. maybe ask the proprietor to like pay it forward. You know offer it to someone who can't afford it.


I think that it is different when you are engaged and not yet married.
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amother




Blue
 

Post Tue, Aug 02 2022, 7:12 am
essie14 wrote:
Hashkafa has nothing to do with this, IMO.
She needs to return the ring. This is standard in secular and jewish circles. No bride keeps the ring if the wedding didn't happen.

If it was me or my child, I'd split the costs of all non refundable deposits - hall, band caterer, etc. (Not including the dress)

Can they find someone who wants to get married on the date they reserved? Maybe they can recoup some of the deposits.


Bnei Berak 10 wrote:
Din Torah is the answer in case there are different opinions from kallah and chassan's side.
It's standard rings and other jewelry to be returned. Who wants to wear jewelry from a broken engagement?


A guy breaking the engagement is a huge embarrassment and will hurt her future Shidduch prospects, without question!

A Rov has to decide what she should do with the ring. She wont wear the ring ever, but she can sell the ring!
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singleagain




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, Aug 02 2022, 7:35 am
amother [ Butterscotch ] wrote:
I think that it is different when you are engaged and not yet married.


That's my point. Bc I had gotten married I said I'm keeping the ring. And thankfully he didn't argue past that.

Had it been a broken engagement, unless the guy had gone to her family and asked for an heirloom ring I think it should be returned.
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imasinger




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, Aug 02 2022, 8:00 am
That must be devastating!

If chosson's side is stipulating half except for the cost of the gown, I think that's fair enough that kallah's family should gladly agree to the deal. Yes, she should return the ring.

Both sides should keep as a mantra, "it's still way cheaper than divorce", and "Hashem runs the world". If DD can't return the dress, she can either sell it privately, or give it to a gemach, and her family can at least write off the expenses for taxes.
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amother




Honey
 

Post Tue, Aug 02 2022, 8:19 am
amother [ Blue ] wrote:
A guy breaking the engagement is a huge embarrassment and will hurt her future Shidduch prospects, without question!

That used to be the case. But not anymore. For whatever reason, this scenario has become more common. I know quite a number of people who had broken engagements, and it really did not affect them long term at all. Just about all of them have gone on to get married to their true bashert and are happily settled, and their prior broken engagement is in the past and just about forgotten. Some did consult with a rav to figure out financial compensation if the other side had already laid out money etc. In every case, any jewelry was returned. Yeshivish/JPF.
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amother




Turquoise
 

Post Tue, Aug 02 2022, 8:27 am
imasinger wrote:
That must be devastating!

If chosson's side is stipulating half except for the cost of the gown, I think that's fair enough that kallah's family should gladly agree to the deal. Yes, she should return the ring.

Both sides should keep as a mantra, "it's still way cheaper than divorce", and "Hashem runs the world". If DD can't return the dress, she can either sell it privately, or give it to a gemach, and her family can at least write off the expenses for taxes.


I have no clue, and sorry to stoke fires here....

but please explain why kallas family should "gladly" agree to terms plus return the ring when gown is a major expense? Why do they need to bear that particular very large cost themselves? I assume flops was included in the mix here.

I think it depends on cost of ring, and maybe im petty but ring was a gift in exchange for her agreeing to marrying.she did He is pulling out. If used ring resale (much less than cost to buy unfortunately) is ballpark price of the costs he is not covering, then ring can go to pay for that and they'll be relatively even.

If she got a very expensive ring or this a gemach gown then more argument to return.

I do hear to be mevatter for sake of sholom, and that's good too. Also, as I said before, I have no idea of community norms.
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amother




Cerulean
 

Post Tue, Aug 02 2022, 9:28 am
Return the ring!!
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imasinger




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, Aug 02 2022, 9:42 am
amother [ Turquoise ] wrote:
I have no clue, and sorry to stoke fires here....

but please explain why kallas family should "gladly" agree to terms plus return the ring when gown is a major expense? Why do they need to bear that particular very large cost themselves? I assume flops was included in the mix here.

I think it depends on cost of ring, and maybe im petty but ring was a gift in exchange for her agreeing to marrying.she did He is pulling out. If used ring resale (much less than cost to buy unfortunately) is ballpark price of the costs he is not covering, then ring can go to pay for that and they'll be relatively even.

If she got a very expensive ring or this a gemach gown then more argument to return.

I do hear to be mevatter for sake of sholom, and that's good too. Also, as I said before, I have no idea of community norms.


I think we agree more than we disagree, Turquoise.

The reason I say gladly is that a) the original agreement was that any additional expenses be the bride's family's obligation, and an expensive gown is part of that; and b) there could have been a much bigger fight over the expenses. In the grand scheme of things, I think this is a reasonably good deal.

Why do you mention gown in the same breath as FLOP(S)? First of all, I'm not seeing that acronym used in the MO world, and second of all, the gown isn't one of those 4 or 5 things, so what is your point?

In short, getting stuck on one thing, even if it's an expensive one, that can legitimately be seen as not the other side's responsibility, is ultimately harmful.

Like you said, being mevater for the sake of shalom is going to help both families heal and move forward. It's not so much about should, it's about finding something everyone can live with, and moving on.


Last edited by imasinger on Tue, Aug 02 2022, 12:54 pm; edited 1 time in total
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amother




Cappuccino
 

Post Tue, Aug 02 2022, 11:11 am
An engagement ring needs to be returned. There are actually lawsuits on this because the engagement ring is a gift conditioned on a promise - the promise to be wed. Once you are married, the ring is now the property of the wife and doesn't have to be returned because the condition was satisfied.

I don't understand why the non-refundable deposits wouldn't be paid by the side which called off the engagement. They are the ones who made that decision and should make the other side whole. This seems to be only fair. If both parties had decided to call it off then a split would be appropriate.

I think the bridal gown is a bit different than wedding costs and engagement rings which are clear in terms of what should be done.

Technically the bride "owns" the dress but it is probably useless to the bride since many brides would not want to wear the dress when they actually get married - and that is not taking into consideration that the dress might not be in fashion or might not be appropriate for the wedding - I.e. a summer wedding versus a winter wedding.

Unfortunately there is very little way to recoup the cost of the gown. The bride can forfeit the deposit and have the shop keep the gown. Resale is very difficult. I guess it could be donated and the tax deduction and it would be counted as masser and a mitzvah for other brides.
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singleagain




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, Aug 02 2022, 11:43 am
amother [ Cappuccino ] wrote:
An engagement ring needs to be returned. There are actually lawsuits on this because the engagement ring is a gift conditioned on a promise - the promise to be wed. Once you are married, the ring is now the property of the wife and doesn't have to be returned because the condition was satisfied.

I don't understand why the non-refundable deposits wouldn't be paid by the side which called off the engagement. They are the ones who made that decision and should make the other side whole. This seems to be only fair. If both parties had decided to call it off then a split would be appropriate.

I think the bridal gown is a bit different than wedding costs and engagement rings which are clear in terms of what should be done.

Technically the bride "owns" the dress but it is probably useless to the bride since many brides would not want to wear the dress when they actually get married - and that is not taking into consideration that the dress might not be in fashion or might not be appropriate for the wedding - I.e. a summer wedding versus a winter wedding.

Unfortunately there is very little way to recoup the cost of the gown. The bride can forfeit the deposit and have the shop keep the gown. Resale is very difficult. I guess it could be donated and the tax deduction and it would be counted as masser and a mitzvah for other brides.


Maybe the bride can tell the dressmaker to "pay it fwd" and offer it to a financially challenged bride?
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Bnei Berak 10




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, Aug 02 2022, 11:48 am
amother [ Cappuccino ] wrote:
An engagement ring needs to be returned. There are actually lawsuits on this because the engagement ring is a gift conditioned on a promise - the promise to be wed. Once you are married, the ring is now the property of the wife and doesn't have to be returned because the condition was satisfied.

I don't understand why the non-refundable deposits wouldn't be paid by the side which called off the engagement. They are the ones who made that decision and should make the other side whole. This seems to be only fair. If both parties had decided to call it off then a split would be appropriate.

I think the bridal gown is a bit different than wedding costs and engagement rings which are clear in terms of what should be done.

Technically the bride "owns" the dress but it is probably useless to the bride since many brides would not want to wear the dress when they actually get married - and that is not taking into consideration that the dress might not be in fashion or might not be appropriate for the wedding - I.e. a summer wedding versus a winter wedding.

Unfortunately there is very little way to recoup the cost of the gown. The bride can forfeit the deposit and have the shop keep the gown. Resale is very difficult. I guess it could be donated and the tax deduction and it would be counted as masser and a mitzvah for other brides.

I do tend to agree with you that the side who broke should be paying up.
However some families would prefer to settle it between themselves and some take it to a Din Torah.
This is a situation where asking a shayla of going to Din Torah or not.
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amother




Cappuccino
 

Post Tue, Aug 02 2022, 12:34 pm
Bnei Berak 10 wrote:
I do tend to agree with you that the side who broke should be paying up.
However some families would prefer to settle it between themselves and some take it to a Din Torah.
This is a situation where asking a shayla of going to Din Torah or not.


Well the issue is which side - morally and ethically should cover expenses.

It is what I would pay if I were the side that broke it off and it is what I would ask if I were on the other side.

If someone asked my advice I would tell them that is what I think is appropriate and fair and I would look less favorably upon people who didn't step up to the plate and attempt to make the other side as whole as possible.

If the other side doesn't want to proceed in what I think is the appropriate manner, it is a different issue in terms of how I would proceed as a compromise might then be the best outcome because most *normal* people don't want to get involved in a big involved mess if it can be avoided.
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amother




Cappuccino
 

Post Tue, Aug 02 2022, 12:40 pm
singleagain wrote:
Maybe the bride can tell the dressmaker to "pay it fwd" and offer it to a financially challenged bride?


There is actually a Facebook group in which brides offer their gowns to needy brides.

Of course in the frum world there would be gemachs.

I just singled out the gown as being a bit different than the engagement ring and the deposits on the event as being more of a gray area and there are more possibilities in terms of how it might be handled.
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#BestBubby




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, Aug 02 2022, 12:46 pm
Off topic, but I read in the secular news about a non-jewish bride whose groom backed out
shortly before the wedding.

The wedding was fully paid for, so the bride made a party for poor and homeless people to enjoy.
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amother




Mint
 

Post Tue, Aug 02 2022, 12:56 pm
1) MAZEL TOV!!!!
They should be zoche to find their true bashert easily and quickly.
This should be a kappa rag for them both and they should have obviously bracha moving forward.

2) legally, the ring needs to be returned to him. It is given under the tna’I that they are getting married and they didn’t. If they are married for 1hour, it is hers to keep. (Should I admit that I learned that on Judge Judy?)

3) I think expenses should be split. People should just be a mench as how this is handled will say a lot about you and your family for many years. I understand not taking the dress into account. I would ask if the dress can be donated to a Gamach and if the cost can be deducted from maaser.
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