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Hi, I'm Cher. Welcome to JustAnswer.I'm reviewing your question now and will post back with your reply, shortly.
It would be appropriate for the girlfriend of the father of the bride to sit next to him in the row with the bride's family. Although she is a 'new' person that no one has yet met, she belongs next to the father of the bride, who will sit in the first row on the bride's side, out of respect to the father of the bride and to the girlfriend.
Unless the bride is very much against this, this is the most appropriate way it should be done. It also may be a good idea to have the family meet the father's girlfriend before the wedding.
Your other description regarding the rest of the seating, sounds fine.
I hope this helped and many congratulations to the happy couple!
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Hi again, and thanks for your reply and additional question. I was just notified of your post.
I was thinking the same thing re: not wanting to detract from her mother's picture in the front row representing her, in memorium, in combination with her having an estranged relationship with her father.
It might be a good idea to have the girlfriend sit in the second row, directly behind the bride's father, with extended family.
I hope this helped you further.
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