DEAR MISS MANNERS: Last year, my boyfriend and I attended the wedding of a colleague. At the reception, the bride and groom got into an argument that turned into a brawl. They left the reception separately, and later in the week filed for divorce. They have not reconciled.
Since then, colleagues at work have occasionally asked each other if their wedding gifts were returned. None have been.
When I've been asked, I really didn't know what to say. I think the circumstances are very unfortunate, but I really haven't thought about whether our gift should be returned. I've never been in this situation before. But I have NO intentions of making this an issue with my colleague, who provided a beautiful wedding and didn't expect the unhappy ending.
GENTLE READER: Wait -- what was the argument about?
Of course, it's none of Miss Manners' business, but you can hardly blame her for wondering what got the couple so quickly from vowing to brawling.
Oh, yes, the etiquette question, even though that seems rather tame now.
The technical rule is that presents should be returned if the marriage does not take place. Whether the ceremony itself is enough or the bond should last through the reception could be debated. Miss Manners admires your wisdom in letting it go.