An usher at a wedding is someone whose job it is to direct attendees during the event. He will lead them to their seats, but he may have other responsibilities as well, which we’ll get into shortly.
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You’ll learn who can serve as an usher and whether or not you’ll need one during your wedding. What’s more, shouldn’t the host be the one to lead the audience?
To learn more about the responsibilities of a wedding emcee, please refer to the guide How to Emcee a Wedding.
What Is A Wedding Usher And His Duties?
At a wedding, it is the usher’s job to welcome guests and show them where to sit. He is the first person the guests will greet and his presence is crucial to the ceremony’s success.
The usher is the doorman at the wedding and is often younger than the groomsmen. Depending on the number of expected guests, he may use a guest list to keep unwanted visitors out of the ceremony.
Ushers not only help customers find their seats, but they also sometimes walk with them to their seats. He might lead male guests by the hand and guide female guests by the arm to their seats.
Usher Responsibilities: Before The Wedding
1. Attend a Suit Fitting
Fortunately for the ushers, the most of their work will be done on the actual wedding day, so they won’t have to do much preparation in advance. You, as the usher, will need to coordinate suit purchasing and fittings with the groom and best man.
Make sure everyone knows who is responsible for covering the expense of the suits, whether they are rented or purchased. While it is customary for the couple to cover all expenses, they may ask you to do so or ask you to make a gift.
2. Go on the Stag Do
Although the best man is responsible for organizing most of the stag do, the usher is expected to lend a hand.
Find potential venues and assist the best man in inviting guests. Each usher may be responsible for a certain aspect of the stag do, such as organizing games, mapping out the pub crawl, or gathering materials like T-shirts and props. Assist the best man in his mission to ensure a memorable bachelor party for the groom.
3. Organise a Groom’s Party Gathering
If the ushers don’t already know each other, it could be helpful to organize a groom’s party get-together before the wedding. This can be as casual or fancy as you wish, and is much more personal than a stag do. Don’t forget the groom and his interests when planning the wedding. Your efforts will be greatly appreciated whether you take him for a few casual drinks at the neighborhood bar or treat him to a candlelit supper at a luxury restaurant.
4. Prep for the Big Day
The ushers don’t have as many duties as the best man and bridesmaids when it comes to wedding logistics. Just make sure you know exactly where you need to be and when on the big day, and that you’re ready for any final suit fittings that might be necessary.
If the best man asks for your help, give it to him. You may be asked to collect suits or assist in setting up the wedding location.
You should know exactly what is expected of you on the big day. For example, as an usher, you may be tasked with directing guests to the parking lot, or with seating them at the reception. Umbrellas are very handy for protecting guests from the rain.
Usher Responsibilities: On the Wedding Day
5. Get Ready With the Groom
If you’re not staying the night before, make sure you show up early in the morning with everything you’ll need to get ready with the groom and best man.
If the groom is feeling anxious, it’s your job to assist him relax, and if there are any page boys or other young members of the groom’s party, it’s also your responsibility to see that they have all they need to look their best.
6. Help Guests at the Ceremony
Your primary responsibility as an usher is to assist guests, so please get to the site early to set up. Guests should be shown where to park, and if the seating is separated for the two families, they should be greeted and directed to their seats.
Station yourself at the front entrance, hand out the orders of service, and study up on the proceedings in case any queries arise. Guests should be informed of any restrictions, such as a ban on flash photography or confetti, before their arrival.
Having the contact information for your most important suppliers handy on your phone is also recommended, as is making sure that someone on your partner’s end has your number in case you need to get in touch.
The mothers of the bride and groom are typically escorted to their seats by the usher. Seating families with young children near the aisle or exit is preferable so that if the youngster becomes disruptive, the parents can easily leave the theater.
You should have an usher stationed at the back of the ceremony once it has begun so that latecomers can be seated without generating a commotion. See that all guests have transportation home after the wedding. Perhaps it would be helpful to provide guests with maps if the reception venue is different from the ceremony site.
7. Escort the Bridesmaids Out of the Ceremony
To avoid any awkwardness, you should inquire as to whether or not the ushers will be escorting the bridesmaids out of the venue after the ceremony.
8. Round Up Guests for Photographs
The usher’s duty at the reception is to assist with corralling visitors for posed photographs. Collaborate with the photographer to summon additional personnel to ensure a seamless shoot.
9. Help to Seat Guests at the Wedding Breakfast
Once the festivities have begun, you might pitch in to help visitors find their seats for the wedding breakfast.
In addition to directing attendees to their seats, an usher’s duties also include keeping an eye out for people who may be too inebriated to enjoy the event safely and providing them with sobering beverages like water or strong coffee.
Know the phone numbers of local cab companies and provide them to visitors who aren’t familiar with the area when the evening is over.
10. Get the Party Started
As one of the most enjoyable members of the wedding party, the usher’s enthusiasm for the occasion should be celebrated during the after-ceremony celebration.
Get the party started by hitting the dance floor early and mingling with people you don’t know. In short, see to it that everybody has a good time.
Usher Responsibilities: After the Wedding
11. Return Hired Clothing and Help Tidy Up
Please remember to return any rented items and offer your assistance in breaking down the reception.
Do I Need Ushers at My Wedding?
The ushers play a significant role in the wedding and are therefore essential guests. Without ushers, attendees would be lost and unsure of where to go or sit.
If you’re planning a laid-back wedding and don’t care where guests sit, it doesn’t mean you can skip hiring ushers. Your guests should be greeted when they enter the venue, and made to feel welcome.
In any wedding, ushers are useful even if the bride and groom aren’t picky about where guests sit. Your guests should be greeted when they enter the location, and made to feel welcome.
Ushers are essential, even if your wedding is very low-key and you don’t care where guests sit. When your guests arrive, they should be warmly welcomed and greeted.
It’s possible that you won’t need an usher if your wedding will take place in a registry office and there will be fewer than 20 people in attendance. Still, ushers are the way to go if formality and tradition are priorities.
What Does An Usher Do At A Wedding?
The wedding usher’s major role is to help visitors find their seats and keep the event on track. They can also check the guest list against the actual number of visitors.
An usher’s first order of business is to seat the guests in the first row of the ceremony location, followed by the other guests in the rows farther back. Guests of the bride are customarily directed to sit on the left side of the aisle, while those of the groom are seated on the right.
However, the usher’s responsibilities can expand to include setting up the reception area before guests arrive and clearing it up afterwards. The usher may also assist with the groom’s stag party depending on his relationship with the groomsmen and best man.
Who Is Usually An Usher At A Wedding?
Ushers at a wedding are typically male relatives or close friends of the groom. As this article about include nephews in a wedding shows, however, there is no hard and fast rule on the age of the usher, and some weddings even trust young boys to usher and escort guests to their places.
One further reason to have a close friend or relative act as an usher is so that they can participate in the festivities. For instance, if you’re only inviting a small group of guys to your wedding, you might choose a sibling, cousin, or close friend as an usher to ensure that nobody is left out.
Indeed, it is common practice for ushers to share the attire of the groomsmen. A boutonniere is also occasionally presented to them.
How many ushers do I need for my wedding?
How many ushers you’ll need at your wedding will be determined by how many guests you expect to attend. For instance, having ushers to direct guests will ensure that a formal, large wedding goes off without a hitch.
Do I need a wedding usher?
In the case of a small, private ceremony, it is not necessary to hire an usher. In fact, at some of the more laid-back nuptial celebrations, not even ushers are required.
Can A Groomsman Be An Usher?
In some ceremonies, the groomsman also serves as an usher by standing to one side of the altar. Some groomsmen will also act as ushers and greet guests as they arrive for the wedding.
The choice of an usher should be made independently of the bridal party, though, to ensure that other loved ones feel welcome and appreciated. If the ushers are also in charge of seating visitors, young members of your own family or the son of a friend who is old enough to do so could be good candidates.
What Is The Difference Between An Usher And A Groomsman?
It’s not uncommon for one’s usher duties to double as those of the groomsmen. These two jobs are both essential to the wedding, but in different ways. In contrast to the ushers, who are only required to be present at the ceremony and reception, the groomsmen are also included throughout pre-wedding activities.
What follows is a list of further key distinctions between an usher and a groomsman:
- There is no requirement that an usher be as close to the groom as a groomsman.
- In most cases, an usher is not a part of the wedding’s preliminary preparations.
- On the altar, an usher is not required to join the best man and the groom although he is welcome to do so if he wishes.
- We do not expect the usher to contribute to the wedding registry.
- When it comes to interacting with guests, an usher plays a more prominent role than a groomsman does in a wedding.
- Ushers are often younger than groomsmen, but junior ushers and groomsmen are a thing at some weddings.
How to Choose Your Ushers
In American English, the role of usher is synonymous with that of groomsman. For the groom, ushers/groomsmen provide a similar role to that of bridesmaids, as the name would imply. The groomsmen are the members of the wedding party who are there for the groom before, during, and even after the ceremony.
Close friends or family members are typically chosen as ushers. Male pals from high school, college, or even before can be brothers, male relatives, nephews, sons, stepsons, or cousins. However, since it is your big day, the decision is entirely in your hands. Keep in mind that the ushers will be the first people your guests interact with at the wedding, so it’s important to select someone who will make a great first impression.
How Many Ushers Should You Have?
It’s recommended to have at least 2 ushers for any wedding, regardless of size or formality. This will guarantee that one usher is always greeting guests at the door while the other shows them to their seats. More than that, they’ll have each other for company!
Two ushers should be sufficient for a maximum of fifty attendees. An extra usher should be hired for every 50 people beyond the original estimate. Having 150 guests requires a minimum of 4 ushers. Three ushers can seat guests while one mans the door. A snaking line at the door won’t form if people know this.
Do Wedding Ushers Have to Be Male?
Ushers are mostly men. That’s just the way things have always been; there’s no particular explanation behind it. Groomsmen are traditionally male whereas bridesmaids are normally feminine.
While this may be an outdated wedding custom, there’s really no reason to stick to it. You can choose to have ushers of any gender (or both) in your wedding if you so desire.
If the groom has many female close friends or sisters, it would be nice to have female ushers during the wedding. A great idea for female ushers would be to have them dress alike in matching dresses or pant suits. Make sure they don’t confuse them with the bridesmaids by having them wear something drastically different.
What Do Ushers Wear at Weddings?
The ushers at a formal wedding will often match the suits of the groom and best man. The groom’s outfit typically has some sort of distinguishing characteristic that allows him to stand out from the throng. His waistcoat and tie, for instance, may be of a more eye-catching shade. However, the remainder of the bridal party dresses similarly.
All of the ushers should look the same, so that guests may easily spot them if they need directions. It is not necessary for male or female ushers to wear suits to a more informal wedding or if the ceremony is taking place outside. You get to decide.
How Old Should an Usher Be?
Ushers are traditionally the groom’s siblings and closest friends who are roughly the same age as the groom. The groom may ask anyone from his younger brother to his father or even his son to serve as an usher at the wedding.
Your only “rule” is that your ushers be of legal age and capable of doing their duties properly. We recommend a minimum age of 12; however, this is highly dependent on the maturity of the individual. Having a 10-year-old brother who you know can handle the responsibilities of an usher is perfectly acceptable.
Do You Have to Get Your Ushers Gifts?
The newlyweds are expected to present their wedding party members with gifts. This practice originated in the United States but has recently caught on in the United Kingdom. Gifts for the wedding party are traditionally given out at the rehearsal dinner, on the morning of the wedding, or during the speeches and toasts.
Wedding party presents are not required but are appreciated, but a handwritten thank you card is sufficient. In any case, don’t overlook the ushers if you decide to give them gifts. It’s customary for the bride to buy presents for the bridesmaids, and the groom to do the same for the best man and ushers.
It’s not how much money you spend but rather how much thought you put into it that matters. You can find a great selection of affordable Usher Wedding Gifts at Bride and Groom Direct.
5 Tops Tips for the Usher
- Get informed. You should know your way around the area well so that you can point them in the right path.
- Keep important contact information handy; this includes the phone numbers of the venue, the photographer, and any other vendors who will play a significant role in the event.
- For example, if you need to distribute maps or copies of the order of service, make sure you have extras. More is always preferable to less in this case.
- Make sure you know the restrictions, and let the attendees know if confetti is not permitted. It’s important to warn guests as you usher them to their seats if flash photography is forbidden during the wedding.
- However, ushers are trusted with the event’s smooth running and are not required to make a speech like the best man. Be aware of your surroundings and prepared for any interruptions.
Now that you know your usher duties through and out, check out our list of the top stag do games. The best man will be grateful for your assistance.
And with that, we’re done! We now know that a wedding usher is a person whose job it is to greet and direct guests as they enter the ceremony.
Although the usher can be a member of the groomsmen, it is customary to select someone outside the wedding party for this role so that all guests feel welcome. In addition, there are no hard and fast rules that couples must adhere to when it comes to having ushers at their wedding.