The ushers are a group of men, headed by the best man, who are in charge of organising guests and answering questions. They are absolutely essential to the smooth running of the day. If they do their job well, everybody will know where they are supposed to be and when, the day will run to time and seem to effortlessly flow from one part to the next. Traditionally they are the ‘grooms ushers’ and therefore they should be chosen by the groom. However more recently it has been popular for the bride to have some say as to which ushers they choose. Choosing someone to be an usher is a great way to make someone feel important and included in your wedding. They are usually a brother, cousin, or friend but there are no rules as to who you have to choose.
The number of ushers to choose can be a tricky decision but here are a couple of tricks to help you on your way:
- A good rule of thumb to use it 1 usher per every 50 guests. The more wedding guests you have the more ushers you need to organise them and make sure they are in the right place at the right time.
- Another option is to have the same number of ushers as the number of bridesmaids. This means it looks fairly symmetrical at the alter and they can walk in pairs back from the altar.
- How big is your venue? If you are holding your wedding or reception at a large venue you will need more ushers to point people in the right direction and to move guests about the location.
- Do bare in mind however, that if you are hiring suits, the more ushers you have the more suits you will need to hire and therefore the cost of the wedding can begin to escalate.
The Role of the Ushers is primarily crowd control and to help the Best man with any of his Best Man’s duties is necessary. At the start of the wedding they need to meet and greet guests outside the wedding venue to make them feel welcome. Then, as they enter the ceremony, the ushers hand out the written order of service and ask the guests ‘Bride or Groom?’. This means that the guests can then be seated in the appropriate part of the church. The Ushers need to be on the ball when seating guests, not only making sure that the front rows are reserved for the bridal party, but also redistributing guests if they are rather one sided. Once the ceremony has started an usher should remain at the back of the church to direct any late guests to an appropriate seat. Once the ceremony is over or at the reception the ushers should be distributed about the venue to answer any questions and direct guests to the lavatories and such like. Ushers should also have a good understanding of the best way to the reception, if it is at different location, so they can direct guests of the best route. At some weddings the ushers are responsible for directing the guests at the correct time to the formal photos. At the end of the wedding the ushers should have a taxis list and details of additional accommodation in case anybody needs to get home or find somewhere to stay without driving!