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Wedding Ceremony: Reserved Wedding Guest Seating?

Q.

My mom has completely taken over the wedding guest list. She has decided to invite her friends we haven't seen in years and their families. She is making our wedding a huge social occasion, but we only have so much space in the wedding chapel (it holds 250 comfortably). I'm afraid the wedding guests that mean the most to us will be stuck standing in the back. My mom is paying for the wedding, but how do we tell her not to go overboard?

A.

The guest list is always a tough sell when parents are paying for the wedding. Of course she should have a say in how her money is spent, but at least you have a bargaining chip: There's nothing anyone can do about the number of people that will fit comfortably in the chapel. If you feel that she's inviting people you don't even know at the exclusion of friends important to you, by all means let her know. She surely doesn't mean to make you feel that way, and you just need to point it out.

As far as making sure the most important people have a good view of the proceedings, there are a few ways to do this. Mark the first five to ten pews as seats of honor with ribbon or flowers. Then, either make sure your ushers know exactly who the honored people are and where they should be seated, or include pew cards in those guests' invitations. These guests can then present the cards to the ushers at your ceremony, letting them know where they should be seated. That way, you'll ensure that the most important people are up front -- regardless of how many people Mom invites!

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