Like any other ceremony, weddings are one of those big events that adhere to certain protocols, themes, and formalities. Without any of these things, you can expect things to be disorganized. So everything should be planned out before you begin to fork out cash to pay for everything.
Aside from the venue, cake, wedding outfits, and getting the guests to RSVP, some people tend to overlook the duties of ushers in a wedding ceremony.
In fact, wedding ushers play a big role in every ceremony. They are generally responsible for helping guests and directing them to their seats. Oftentimes, they will take their position at the entrance of the venue, greet the guests, and make sure the ceremony goes according to plan.
However, there is still some confusion as to what the responsibility of a wedding usher really is. So, in this article, we lay out every little detail about usher duties and what they do in wedding ceremonies.
How to Choose Wedding Ushers
To most people, being a wedding usher is a professional duty. But there are some who look at it as an honor, especially if they are close to the bride or the groom.
Reasons to Choose Family and Friends
If you don’t want to hire any professional ushers, then you can ask your families, friends, or close relatives to help with the job. It is much more fun, and you’ll save a lot of money by hiring your brothers, male friends, nephews, sons, stepsons, other male relatives, or even old school friends.
Communicating what you want and what they should do is also easier compared to talking with strangers that you just hired. Also, you can enjoy catching up with each other if you haven’t met for quite a long time.
In fact, if the groom is the only son amongst many daughters in the family, or if he has many close female friends, then lining up female ushers to help with the ceremony is totally a good idea.
How Many Ushers?
Depending on the size of the wedding, you should have at least two ushers to help with the ceremony or one usher per every 50 guests. This is an estimate — you have the freedom to make your own best judgment and go with your budget.
It is also important for the ushers to wear uniform outfits. This way, the guests can instantly recognize who the ushers are and that they are there to help in any way, shape, or form.
Ushers generally wear suits similar in style to the groom and the best man, but with subtle details that differentiate them from everyone else. Now, this really depends on the formality of the wedding. For semi-professional or casual weddings, no suits are needed.
Usher Duties Checklist
There is more to usher duties than just assisting guests to their seats and tables. To get a clearer picture, we’ll divide their responsibilities into four phases.
- Make sure to pick up the attire, tux, or suits that follow the dress code and wedding protocol. Find the right fit and sizes for the outfit.
- Do a quick meet-up with everyone who is going to be involved with the wedding.
- Attend the rehearsal on time. Make a plan to arrive at the wedding venue at least one hour before the ceremony.
- Assist the best man in giving the groom the best possible experience he could have. If needed, give suggestions and plan a stag do (bachelor party).
- Write down any instructions given during the rehearsal.
- If possible, remember the names and faces of those on the VIP list (close family and friends of the bride and groom). This will create a good first impression when they arrive during the ceremony. You can also ask for a copy of the seating chart and photos of the important guests as a reference so you can remember where their seats are.
The Wedding Day
- Be at the wedding venue at least one hour before the ceremony begins. If possible, ushers should arrive earlier than the best man and the groom.
- Stand at the door and hand out the order of service. Greet the guests politely and show them the way in.
- Check for any last-minute requests. These include additional seating, changes in seat position, or special seating requests by the families. Ushers must also stay at the back of the ceremony to assist late guests.
- Assist and direct the guests to their seating when they arrive. Fill the front rows first until you reach the back seats.
- Help the guests find a parking spot if there’s difficulty with parking situations.
- Lend extra help to elderly guests, especially if they come alone or without their children.
- When the bride has arrived, quickly inform the groom, the pianist, and the choir.
- Make sure the guests have something to drink. If they need to go to the bathroom, lead and show them the way.
- Make sure that all wedding gifts are properly arranged.
- Be prepared to close the doors after the bride has walked down the aisle. Once the ceremony has ended, open the doors, and help dismiss the guests. Start with the closest family members and those seated on the front row.
- Check the wedding venue and parking lot to make sure that nothing is left behind.
After The Wedding
- Be ready to join the group wedding photos — if the groom or the families want you to. If not, work with the photographer and make sure that the photoshoot session can be wrapped up quickly and smoothly.
- Help in returning any rented wardrobe and collecting any personal gifts, items, and decorations.
Usher duties are pretty straightforward and simple. Depending on the size and formality of the wedding, there might be some changes to their responsibilities based on what the groom or bride needs. But overall, this checklist is more than enough to be used as a guideline for anyone who is looking to be a wedding usher and especially for first-timers!
Printable .PDF Usher Duties Checklist
If you want to print out a list for your guide, we’ve created one for free!