So heres my issue that I'm needing advice on, sorry for the long length:
I have a very large family (40ish people) and FI has a VERY small family (5 people). Traditionally there is the brides and grooms side. However, that would be very lopsided so we are just letting guests sit where they please. Also traditionally I have read that the first two rows on each side are reserved for parents, siblings, grandparents, etc. We would LOVE for our close family members to sit in the first row. On my side thats not a problem. My dad, mom and brother and grandma and her husband will sit in thefirst row. We are having 8 rows of ten ( 5 seats on one side of the aisle and 5 on the other) for our 70ish guests. So my first row will be filled up.
The big issue is with FI's family and how to seat them. His family is only his mom, his brother and GF, his dad and stepmom. His brother is in the wedding, so he'll be up with us. His mom will be in the first row and she said she wouldn't come if the stepmom was also seated in the first row. She said thats disrespectful. I know its proper ettiquette so we talked to his dad and he said that they don't care where they sit, as long as they can sit together. We put them sitting together in the second row. We felt very bad about this though. The brother's GF will sit by his dad, as she has never met his mom.
So...now I envision his mom sitting in the first row by herself. She was encouraged to bring a guest, even two, but has not wanted to bring anyone. I don't know how to seat them to make everyone happy. His mom is very difficult and wants to be honored in the first row...sigh.
Does that make sense?