Hugh Hefner’s broken engagement came as a great surprise to many, but not as big of a surprise as it was to the quintessential â€œPlayboyâ€ himself who learned just days before he was scheduled to walk down the aisle for the third time that his young fiancÃ©, Crystal Harris, had a sudden change of heart. Was he bitter? Was he embarrassed? Did he seek revenge? NO! Instead he conducted himself like a true gentleman.
It is customary that when a bride-to-be calls off the wedding prior to walking down the aisle, that she give back the engagement ring. In this case, the ring in question was a 3-carat diamond ring worth an estimated $90,000, and probably quite difficult to part with. Nevertheless, former fiancÃ© Crystal Harris did the right thing by offering to return the ring back to Hugh Hefner. No one could have guessed, especially his former fiancÃ©, that the pajama clad millionaire would refuse the gesture and let her keep the ring. A true gentleman indeed! As it turns out, Hef placed more sentimental value on their pooch, a King Charles dog, than the actual ring so when Crystal returned their dog back to the mansion that was all he needed and he was truly appreciative. This celebrity breakup before the alter had us thinking about broken engagements, rings and how to best handle a potentially very sad situation.
Broken engagements are always met with shock and disbelief. No one ever sees them coming, least of all the soon-to-be betrothed couple. Almost immediately emotions run into overdrive, feelings are hurt beyond repair, and on top of this, the couple is faced with the unpleasant responsibility of informing family, friends and relatives. Worrying about others is the last thing on their mind, but how the couple chooses to conduct themselves in the days and weeks ahead truly makes all the difference. One can never go wrong with taking the high road, putting on a brave face and maintaining composure. Here are etiquette tips for putting forward your best self after a broken engagement.
Live and Learn. Rather than wallow in despair, seek solace in the fact that perhaps the marriage did not come to fruition because ultimately it was not meant to be. In retrospect, you will find that it is better to experience this loss beforehand rather than sticking it out and having your marriage end in disaster years later.
Be Civil. A lady should try her hardest to be civil and retain her dignity and self-respect by not acting with bitterness or condemnation towards her former fiancÃ©. Regardless of her true feelings, she should refrain from bad-mouthing her fiancÃ© to family and friends. If she needs to vent, she can speak honestly to a close confidant, but by no means should broadcast her feelings for all the world to hear.
Know the Rules. As we mentioned, traditional etiquette dictates that the lady always returns the engagement ring if it has been her decision to call off the wedding. On the contrary, if her fiancÃ© calls off the wedding for any reason, she is absolutely entitled to keep the ring.
Under No Obligation. It is not expected that the lady has to make any kind of formal announcement or offer an explanation as to why the engagement ended. Such occasions are best kept private. If it is too difficult for her emotionally, it is perfectly acceptable for her mother (or a dear friend) to send brief notes informing guests of the broken engagement.
Notify the Papers. If any announcements have been made to the local papers, then a notice of the broken engagement might be inserted in the name of the person or persons who first made the announcement.
Return the Gifts. It is expected that when an engagement is broken, all wedding presents that have been received previously and/or any monies that have been given to the couple, be returned with a handwritten note expressing sincere gratitude and explaining that the wedding did not take place.
Do you have a broken engagement story to share? Any other sage advice? We’d love to hear from you!