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Quest: 'This royal wedding is just like yours ... really!'

From Richard Quest, CNN correspondent
Queen Elizabeth II: Fretting over the seating plan for lunch?
Queen Elizabeth II: Fretting over the seating plan for lunch?
  • Every couple experiences a wedding planning panic -- even if they are royalty
  • What should you do with the undesirables of the family?
  • Quest: "Is it OK to invite someone just to the ceremony and not give them a canapé?"

Editor's Note: Richard Quest is part of the team anchoring CNN's special live coverage of the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton on April 29.

London (CNN) -- Spare a thought, have some sympathy. Stripped down to its bare essentials, the royal wedding is like every other wedding we have loved and hated, with problems galore.

First: Do you invite the undesirables of the family?

Dear divorced Auntie Sarah, Duchess of York caused a headache. Perhaps being caught on camera taking bribes for royal access means she's not invited. Kate's Uncle Gary, caught on camera dealing cocaine, was more lucky. The Middletons' side of the aisle, methinks.

Secondly -- We don't NEED to invite that nice President Obama -- he is coming next month anyway for a state visit so we will see him then. As for darling Nico and Carla in Paris; would that we could ... but if we invite THEM, we have to invite that hideous Berlusconi and who knows who he might bring with him?

How many to invite? Your local parish church holds 200. Westminster Abbey holds 2,000. But still, that isn't enough room for all those pesky ambassadors' wives. They may already have bought a big hat but there is no room. Sorry, they ain't coming.

I'll bet even now the Queen is fretting over the seating plan for lunch.
--Richard Quest, CNN correspondent
Inside the royal wedding media village

Then there is the horrendous issue of seating people. "We can't sit him next to her!" -- in this case the Queen and Earl Spencer. Her Majesty won't have forgotten his eulogy in this very Abbey at Diana's funeral when he blasted the royal family, saying, "she needed no royal title" to continue her magic. Nope. Put the Spencers on the bride's side of the church ... they'll be OK there.

After the ceremony, there are more problems in common: Your wedding had lunch and an evening bash and you ended up in tangles over who to invite to which. The royals have 1,900 invited to the Abbey. Is it OK to invite someone just to the ceremony and not give them a canapé? And cutting down the list to 600 at lunchtime then 300 for the evening dinner dance is a nightmare.

Suddenly it doesn't matter whether it's a local wedding, engagement, bar mitzvah or 80th birthday ... they're all the same. Weeks of angst and arguments, hours of tension, and hopefully a few hours when everything goes right.

I'll bet even now the Queen is fretting over the seating plan for lunch.

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