There are plenty of roles and responsibilities to consider for your wedding. The maid of honor, best man, bridesmaids and groomsmen being perhaps the main ones. But what about ushers? Are they considered necessary and do you need them have them? While organizing my own wedding day, I spent some time researching their role and what the options were here. I’d like to share that information with you here today.
So, do you need ushers at a wedding? You do not have to have ushers at a wedding, although they can be very useful and are traditionally part of the bridal party. They are particularly helpful for supporting and helping guests throughout the day. So you do need to consider that in their absence, the day may not run as smoothly unless other arrangements are made. One such common alternative is to ask the groomsmen to pick up these additional duties.
While they may not have quite the same responsibilities of the other groomsmen; ushers do in fact play their own unique role. One in which is very beneficial.
In fact, they are often the first people your guests will see and interact with upon arrival at the ceremony.
Typically, they are positioned at the doors, awaiting to support your imminent guests.
Let us now take a closer look at the role they typically play, how many are commonly advised, who they should be and whom is ultimately responsible for choosing them.
So, be sure to keep on reading to find out all you need to know and to help you make an informed decision of whether you do in fact want (or need them) altogether.
What Do Ushers Do At A Wedding?
Like with the rest of the bridal party, ushers have a range of different duties pre, during and after the wedding.
Although, they are most notable and their main role is helping to seat your guests during the wedding ceremony.
They stand by the entrance, and take your guests down the aisle as they arrive. They will offer their arm to female guests, as male guests will follow suit behind.
They will do so from the front rows to the back, factoring in personal requests along the way.
This is why they are considered somewhat preferable to have. It great to give your guests some direction as to where to sit and when.
Let us now take a closer look at some of the other events and activities an usher traditionally partakes in:
- Attending suit fittings – along with the other groomsmen and best man whom usually are responsible for coordinating time and place.
- Attending the bachelor party/stag do – and helping as and when required by the best man. Ushers may help suggest, plan or organize things to do or may even be in charge of purchasing things in preparation.
- Support the wedding planning process – as and when required and turn up to any events organized by the best man. Rehearsal dinners are perhaps the main example here.
- Get ready with the groom – supporting him along with the best man and groomsmen and as required. Help any other male members of the bridal party, such as the page boy or ring bearer.
- Help guests during the ceremony – ushers should arrive early and be willing and able to help guests as they arrive in turn. This could involve helping or recommending parking. From there they will need to be positioned at the doors of the ceremony ready to seat guests. Ushers should find out ahead of time where certain guests should sit, and find out all they need to know about the wedding ahead of time to be able to answer any questions that guests may have.
- Direct guests to wedding reception – following the ceremony by issuing maps or advising on where the reception is to take place.
- Escort the bridesmaids out of the ceremony – so it makes sense if the numbers match here and nobody is left out!
- Help seat guests during the wedding reception breakfast – ensuring everyone can find their table.
- Getting the guests dancing – when the dance floor opens up and the DJ/band or music begins.
- Helping with the taxis – so guests know who to call or can vacate the venue at the end of the night.
- Help tidying up – taking any decorations down, or putting them away for keepsake,
- Returning their hired suits – if indeed they were rented as opposed to bought,
The number of ushers required for a wedding will depend on the formality of the wedding, how many bridesmaids there are and how many guests will be attending.
It goes without saying that the more guests you have, the more ushers that will be required if you did choose to have them.
Along similar lines, a small intimate wedding will not have the same need for ushers that a large wedding would.
Therefore there is not specific number every wedding should have.
But, a good rule to follow is to have 1 usher for every 50 guests.
Who Should Be Ushers At A Wedding?
There are no definitive rules on whom the ushers should be, although most couples decide to have family relatives or close male friends of either the bride or groom.
They are typically, but not always, younger than the rest of the wedding party. But not by a significant amount.
While they do not have the same level of responsibility as the groomsmen, there are some general recommendations on whom you would want to fulfil this role.
Besides, your ushers will need to be able to converse with guests, show them to their seats, learn about the wedding in advance and be cognizant of what is happening and be able to support where and when they can.
Equally, ushers do often frequent the bachelor party/stag do, so it always helps that they are sufficient age to be able to attend and partake in the choice of events.
Irregardless of age, ideally, an usher should be dependable, trustworthy, mature and responsible.
So while the age is not a significant showstopper, the personality in many ways, is.
Of course, you’ll also want to consider the group dynamics and how they will get along with guests and groomsmen alike.
Who Chooses The Ushers At A Wedding?
Ushers are traditionally chosen by the couple, although the best man is usually involved in the conversation to some extent, usually for advice.
At the same time, it will be the couple whom should jointly decide and agree as to whether they want ushers at all.
Ushers are not needed at a wedding, although their responsibilities should ideally be covered by someone.
The truth is, ushers do play quite an important role – even if their responsibilities are not considered to be as comprehensive as others members of the bridal party, such as the groomsmen.
While you may not necessarily want ushers, or even have anyone in mind whom would be suitable, what you really need to consider and ask yourself is would your day benefit from having them.
What is the size of your wedding and how formal is your day going to be?
For smaller, more intimate affairs, you may be able to do without them.
For wedding ceremonies with over 100 guests however, an usher or two could make all the difference.
Thankfully, the usher attire is the same as the groomsmen, so if you did want to intertwine these roles and responsibilities, than this is definitely an option too!