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Wait a year to give a wedding gift? How dare you!

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June 9, 2008

THE GASP you heard at 6:50 Thursday morning was me clutching my pearls as I read Beth Teitell's words "You have a year to give a wedding gift" ("No time to lose," Style & Arts, June 5). No self-respecting citizen of the civilized world with even the slimmest sliver of social savvy would ever be so remiss as to wait a year to give a gift for any occasion, weddings included.

Especially since we are in June, the height of wedding season, to have this misinformation printed in a large font, in red, on the front page of The Boston Globe's Style & Arts section almost made me spill my perfectly brewed cup of English breakfast tea. (Luckily, my pinky was politely tucked in, thus stabilizing my china teacup. Phew!)

You have fallen victim to one of the nastiest manners myths out there, the First Year Fallacy. Someone somewhere began a vicious rumor that a guest can wait up to a year to give the wedding couple a gift. The twisted reasoning states that the guest can then be sure the couple will stay together before having to give a gift. This is simply not true. Ideally, gifts should be given before the wedding. If the wedding does not take place, the gift will be returned.

Your readers deserve to know the truth.

JODI R. R. SMITH
Marblehead
The writer consults on etiquette.

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