I’ve written this post to try and guide couples a bit on the duties of their Wedding Ushers on the wedding day.
Think of the Ushers as the floor managers on the day, they’re in charge of crowd control to make sure everyone is where they are needed and expected to be at any given time. They are also there to generally help out.
So how many Ushers do you need? I’d suggest roughly 1 per 50 guests and probably, at least 2. Ideally, one from each side of the family so they know who’s who.
They will normally be the first people you’re guests see, so they need to be identifiable. Ready to greet your guests at the church or wedding venue, they need to be there early, probably about 45 minutes prior to the ceremony.
Very importantly, they need to check with you what you’d like them to do. On arrival, it’s useful for them to introduce themselves to venue duty managers and any Master of Ceremonies.
You may need them to be involved in parking. They should certainly be there to help guests to take their seats for the ceremony. Traditionally the bride’s family and guests sit on the left side (viewed from the back of the room) of the aisle and the groom’s on the right, but maybe you don’t want that and want people to sit where they’d like to. In which case you need to make sure the Ushers know this and “even up” the seating as guests filter in.
They should escort the groom’s parents and the mother of the bride to their seats.
They will need to reserve their own seats and may need to reserve seats for close family members as well as for the father of the bride and the bridesmaids after they have escorted the bride in.
You might have order of service sheets to be handed out to your guests.
The Ushers should be the last ones seated, just before the bridal party make their entrance.
After the ceremony the Ushers should be there to direct guests to where the reception will be held and to be the ones to have a last look round to make sure nothing has been left behind.
Their next role is helping the Photographer (if required) in finding and organising the various people for group shots etc.
When it is time for the wedding breakfast, the Ushers can be very helpful in “rounding people up” and directing them to where they need to be. Helping people to find their seats.
During the evening reception the Ushers will be called on again, just before the cake cutting (if held in the evening) or the first dance to again “Usher” your guests to where they are needed.
If during your first dance you want your guests to join you part way through, then your Ushers (along with any partners) and your immediate family should be informed this is your plan and that they will be expected to be the first to step forward.
You may also have other jobs for the Ushers such as collecting suits or buttonholes, being responsible for ensuring any gifts and cards are safely collected and stored and keeping an eye on any unaccompanied, perhaps elderly, guests.
So, the Ushers shouldn’t be chosen because they look good in a suit, they’re there to carry out a variety of functions on the day to help things run smoothly. They need to be involved in your planning and it is essential that they have a copy of your wedding timeline and seating plan. Good, informed Ushers will be a massive help on your wedding day!
Oxfordshire Wedding Entertainment
01235 426333 or 07870 134826
I run Oxfordshire Wedding Entertainment, based in Abingdon, Oxfordshire. I’m a DJ who has the belief that weddings can be so much more… I can provide the musical accompaniment to your whole day, from ceremony to drinks reception to wedding breakfast and finally, the evening reception. I can be your Master of Ceremonies, helping to guide and inform your guests.
I’m so much more than just a DJ…
I’d like to talk to you about your wedding day, to offer up ideas, to help and advise you.
If you’d like to arrange an appointment, then please contact me.