Ask Amy: Unflattering photos cause engagement angst

  • Article by: AMY DICKINSON
  • January 11, 2014 - 2:00 PM

Dear Amy: I recently got engaged. Our engagement was joyfully announced on his family’s Christmas card and family newsletter. The pictures on the card included two professionally taken photos of his siblings and their families — both very lovely.

The photo of us, however, is horrendous. It is a snapshot that his father took at a party; we are mid-laugh and a little sweaty. It’s really garish and unflattering.

This is a pattern: His dad has aired such photos of us (and others) before.

I am appreciative of the love they have shown, and I know his father has no malicious intentions and is completely oblivious to the embarrassment caused, but my fiancé and I are pretty irritated that this photo accompanies our engagement announcement.

My fiancé doesn’t want to say anything because he thinks it’s spilled milk, but I especially want to safeguard us from having a similar experience at our own wedding. What should I do?

Amy says: Your fiancé should try to speak to his father: “Dad, we’re so thrilled about our announcement. But come on, Dad, we think we look like orangutans. I’ll e-mail you two or three shots of us we like, if that would help.”

Please remember that your future father-in-law might be one of those guys who truly don’t see the difference between Kate Middleton’s wedding photo and a Polaroid of cousin Wendy from fat camp. Try to see this as something you will laugh about later.

And remember to laugh about it later.

She wants ring back

Dear Amy: My aunt gave me her engagement ring and told me she wanted me to wear it rather than have it sit in a box. I told my son that when he was ready to marry, the ring would be his.

A year or two later, he called to say that he was going to ask “Josie” to marry him. I stupidly gave him the ring.

They got engaged and picked out matching engagement and wedding rings. Josie now keeps my aunt’s ring in a box.

Is there any way I can ask for this ring back (to be worn until my passing) without causing hurt feelings? I wouldn’t mind if Josie were wearing it, but I haven’t seen it on her since they got married nine years ago.

Amy says: I realize this must be painful, but you cannot expect that a ring you gave to your son for his wife must be worn because of the wishes of a long-deceased aunt. If you do ask for it back, do not judge or cast blame — simply say that you miss the ring very much and wonder if they would return it to you so you could wear it again. They might be very happy to comply.

Send questions via e-mail to Amy Dickinson at ask­

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