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.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: My 10-year-old daughter was close friends with a 12-year-old girl in her class. Now, my daughter told me she has stopped talking to her friend because she consistently says “mean things,” uses profanity and physically displays jealousy (grabbing her arm) if my daughter pays attention to other friends.

My daughter said she has blocked her friend from communicating with her, and specifically requested that I respect her wishes and not communicate with the friend’s mother (whom I don’t have any relationship with).

I work in the law enforcement profession, and know that the friend’s family is involved in domestic disputes and other negative behaviors. I am torn, because my heart is sad that her friend behaves this way and that my daughter lost a friend, but I am proud of my daughter for making what I feel to be a mature, positive decision.

I can’t help but want to “meddle” and talk to the friend’s parents, but I want to respect my daughter’s wish to leave it alone. What advice do you have?

GENTLE READER: That you meddle, but indirectly and with discretion.

If you have real reason to believe that your daughter’s friend might be in danger, it seems to Miss Manners that your moral -- and professional -- obligation is to get involved. Since you are in law enforcement, you could see if it is possible to pass the task along to someone else with whom you work and trust. That way, it cannot be directly traced to you -- either by your daughter or by the girl’s family.

(Please send your questions to Miss Manners at her website, www.missmanners.com; to her email, dearmissmanners@gmail.com; or through postal mail to Miss Manners, Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)