Hard feelings over precious wedding ring

Dear Ella,
I’m feeling guilty and I’m not sure I should. My grandparents were married after the Holocaust in a displaced persons camp. My grandmother’s wedding ring was a thin, plain gold band. When my parents got married, my dad bought the ring from my mom’s dad for $1 and he married my mom with that same ring.

Now I’m getting married and my parents want me to get married with the ring, since it has so much meaning. I am honoured that they have given us this important, sentimental gift.
My sister, however, is very upset and feels this is not fair. She is older than me and feels strongly that the ring should be kept for her marriage one day down the road. Yet my parents feel very strongly that they want their first daughter to get married to have the ring. What am I supposed to do?
Difficult Spot

Dear Difficult Spot,
That’s an incredible story and one that you will carry with you on your finger every day, and hopefully also pass down from generation to generation.The ring carries so much meaning, so I can understand why your sister is upset that you are the recipient of this historical symbol that holds so many memories.

Your sister may be going through some difficult emotions now. Her younger sibling is getting married before her. That can bring up all kinds of negative emotions. Also, as a bride-to-be, you are the centre of attention. This can also be a negative trigger.
This situation calls for a family meeting. Usually there is more than one sentimental piece of jewellery, Judaica, china, book or something that is of equal sentimental value.
Is it possible that your parents have a plan for something special to hand down to your sister, as well?

At the end of the day, this is your parents’ decision, not yours and not your sister’s. There is only one ring and in your parents’ minds, their first child to be married will receive this honour.
Don’t let this ruin a beautiful sentiment. There is no reason to feel guilty. Enjoy your simcha and may that ring on your finger symbolize a happy, fulfilling marriage. One day, you may be faced with the same decision and this can be a learning experience for you.

Mazel tov!

Dear Ella,
My husband and I have been invited to a cousin’s wedding out of town, but we aren’t sure if the invitation includes our four children, all aged seven and under.
We’d like to go and share in their simcha, but we won’t be able to if the kids can’t come. How do we broach the topic?
All or Nothing

Dear All or Nothing,
It’s pretty easy to tell if your children are invited by simply looking at the invitation.
If your kids are part of the invitation, their names will be listed. The invitation might say something like, “The Cohen family is invited …” Otherwise, it’s safe to assume they are not on the guest list.

So the next question is: how do you ask if you can bring them along? You could make a phone call, but I suggest writing an email. This way, you will not put your cousin on the spot and force a quick response over the phone. Give them some time to think about whether they can accommodate four small children at their simcha, or arrange childcare so you can still attend.

Don’t be offended if the answer is no. There are reasons why a simcha may not be appropriate for four small children. It’s possible that there will be no kids at the wedding, or that only the children of immediate family members will be attending.
It’s great that you are willing to take your whole family to celebrate with your cousin. I’m sure if there is any way this is possible, you will all be on your way.