No matter how excited, or cool, calm and collected the groom may say he is, he’ll undoubtedly be a little nervous and will need the moral support of his nearest and dearest friends. Whether you’re family or lifelong friends, if you’re chosen to be one of your mate’s groomsmen, you’ve been honoured with a big responsibility. We’re here to help you suss your usher duties.
Usher Duties Before the Wedding
Unlike the best man, you won’t have a laundry list of tasks to complete ahead of the big day, but you should be available in any situations where assistance is required. Although, it is traditionally the best man who’ll sort the stag do, you might want to be on hand to help out with securing bookings, putting a deposit down on whatever activity you decide to do and generally making sure the lads have a great time.
General Usher Duties
As an usher, you’ll generally be asked to ensure everyone is getting along both in the run up to the big day and on the wedding day itself. You may find that your skills are especially needed if your fellow ushers don’t know each other. Both the best man and the groom will appreciate any help they can get in getting the group together and ensuring that everyone is comfortable around one another. It’s a good idea to set aside some time to discuss this with the best man and the groom; it’s also a nice idea to plan a get together before the stag do.
Usher Duties During the Wedding & Reception
On the big day, your duties will include anything from directing guests to their seats at the ceremony, to helping wheelchair bound guests find their place in the venue to acting as a back up for storing important phone numbers of suppliers and key wedding party members.
The perfect usher is ready to leap into action at a moment’s notice, putting his friends’ happiness above his own on their wedding day. The perfect usher is a calm and polite helper who enhances the smooth running of the day.
You’ll probably be asked to:
Escort guests from their cars to the venue; knowing what British weather is like, we suggest you have a brolly to hand.
Assist with getting guests’s cars parked–no, you won’t be a valet, but you should have a general knowledge of where guests can and cannot park their cars.
Help direct guests to which side of the venue they should sit, although this is a more traditional role and more modern ceremonies encourage all of the guests to sit together.
Assist with directing guests to their seats.
Escorting both the mother-of-the-bride and the mother-of-the-groom to her seats.
Stand at the back of the venue to greet latecomers and help them find a seat without too much disruption.
Tactfully handle intoxicated guests at the reception so they do not cause unnecessary upset
Ensure that no guests attempt to drive who are under the influence; have a list of cab companies ready to taxi guests home if need be.
What the Groom Should Know about Ushers
When choosing your ushers, it’s important to be selective. Remember: your ushers will be there to support and assist you so choose friends or family who you know are reliable and willing to get the job done.
Finally, it is customary to give ushers a gift when asking them to be a member of your wedding party. Here are four of our favourite gifts perfect for your groomsmen:
Kate Thompson is Confetti's features editor and wedding expert, and has worked in the wedding industry for 15 years. A widely published lifestyle writer, she has made BBC television and radio appearances discussing wedding trends in the UK.