My mother has taken over our wedding guest list. It wouldn't be that big of a deal (she is footing the bill, after all), except that the wedding chapel we've chosen for the wedding ceremony isn't exactly enormous -- it holds about 200. Is there any polite way we can rein in her list?
It's always tough when parents are paying for the wedding. Of course they should have a say in how their money is spent, but what happens if they get out of control? At least you have a bargaining chip: There's nothing anyone can do about how many people will fit comfortably in the chapel. If you feel that she's expanding her list at the exclusion of people important to you, by all means let her know. Avoid playing the blame game though -- start with a general intro, something like, "I'm worried with the number of people we're inviting, the ceremony will be overcrowded. Do you think we can hammer out a compromise?"
If you still feel you've got more guests than unobstructed view seats, fear not -- there are a couple of tricks you can use to make sure that your honored guests get the best seats in the house. Mark the first five to ten pews as seats of honor with ribbons 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. Guests can then present these cards to the ushers at your ceremony, letting them know where they should be seated. This way, you'll ensure that the most honored guests are up front, regardless of how many others Mom invites!
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