Honeymoon’s Over: Niece Borrows Handmade Wedding Arch, Wrecks It, Throws It Away


Weddings take a lot of planning and coordinating, no matter the venue or date. Something requires a firm hand and keen eye for detail. The last place you want drama to come from is your own family. Sadly, one family found that as they unified with those they loved, they also broke apart after two relatives destroyed a handmade wedding arch – and destroyed a lot of trust.

The story went to Dear Abby, the advice column founded by Pauline Phillips under the alias Abigail Van Buren. Her daughter Jeanne now carries the torch, so she read this somber tale that has everyone rattled. Learn just what went down below.


A couple lends out a treasured piece of their wedding

A couple allowed another to borrow their one-of-a-kind wedding arch / Wikimedia Commons

The individual who wrote in to Dear Abby, calling himself “Wedding Mess in Arizona,” outlined the situation. His wife went to their daughter, who had gotten married in a friend’s backyard. The wife asked if she could allow “a niece of hers” to borrow the daughter’s wedding arch for her own ceremony. The daughter consented to lend out this decorative, one-of-a-kind piece.


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One-of-a-kind because the daughter’s husband had spent $285 acquiring good-quality walnut wood, which he used to make the walnut by hand by himself. The couple intended on keeping the arch forever as a sentimental token of their special day. That choice, however, was taken from them when the arch itself was taken away and never returned. Instead, the niece ended up destroying it and throwing it away. Without an apology, the newlyweds offered to pay back the $285 for the cost of materials. They only revealed the wedding arch’s fate when the original couple asked and insisted on getting it back.

A wedding arch unifies, divides, and teaches

With his family torn, a man sought advice from the Dear Abby advice column, now that his daughter is upset with multiple parties /

The advice column recognizes this as a particularly tricky situation. Published on February 22, this conflict comes after a year in quarantine with loved ones in danger from the pandemic anytime they leave the house. First, the Dear Abby response acknowledges the daughter’s frustration and grief from having this treasured piece of the couple’s history destroyed and dismissed. It’s good, the response admits, that the niece wanted to pay back the cost of materials, but condemned the absence of an apology.

The daughter feels angry towards not just the niece, though, but by her mother who’d approached her for permission to lend the wedding arch out. Here, Dear Abby notes the importance of family and forgiveness, especially these days. “It takes strength of character to forgive,” the reply reads to the father seeking advice. “This does not mean your daughter must forget what happened and how poorly it was handled. In the uncertain times we are experiencing, relationships and family unity are primary. I hope that, with time, your daughter and her husband will realize this and repair the rift while recognizing the niece’s shortcomings in the future. (“Neither a borrower nor a lender be …”)”

What do you think about the whole situation? What would you want, feel, and expect after everything that happened?

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