Miss Manners by Judith Martin, Nicholas Ivor Martin and Jacobina Martin

Should I Match the Bridal Party’s Colors or Not?

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have always been under some impression or guidance that guests wearing the bride’s chosen color scheme were honoring the bride’s family.

The rationale was that guests would send the message that they were so happy for the couple that they would appear to be part of the wedding party, even if only casually. Also, the wedding party would appear much larger than it actually is to an outside observer, and in photographs.

However, I have since learned that wearing the bride’s theme color, determined by save the date and invitation colors, was in fact offensive. Some brides have made a point to make their themes a secret, and I have wondered if that was the reason why.

GENTLE READER: Were you really under the impression that a bride’s childish affinity for a bubblegum-pink unicorn wedding had some secret underlying meaning? And are you now worried that if you sussed it out or paid tribute to it, you would be in danger of exposing the secret or falsely posing as family?

Miss Manners understands that unity in the bridal party is often symbolized through matching clothing. But the idea that a color may only be reserved for a certain category of attendees is just silly. She suggests, instead, that everyone stop thinking so much about this superficial detail -- and focus instead on the most important element of the wedding: the cake.