What Does An Usher Do, Exactly?

June 6, 2006. Written by

It’s an honour to be involved in a wedding, and being an usher is no exception! Everyone in the wedding party has an important role, not just the chief bridesmaid and the best man.

Wedding Ushers

Traditionally, the groom chooses his ushers, as the bride-to-be chooses her bridesmaids. But nowadays such decisions are often made jointly by the couple. If a groom has no brothers for instance, but the bride has several, then they might well expect to be asked. Traditionally too, the ushers are unmarried. But again people are increasingly doing their own thing. As a rule of thumb, a minimum of one usher per 50 guests is usually suggested. In the hierarchy of the wedding party, the ushers will be instructed by the best man on what needs to be done.

An usher’s duties on the wedding day are light, but he should always be available in any situations where assistance is required. This means anything from directing guests to their seats at the ceremony, helping wheelchair users to their place in the venue, and acting as a backup with all the important phone numbers handy just in case. An usher is a calm and polite helper who adds greatly to the smooth running of the day. The ushers also escort the bridesmaids during the course of the day–for example, in the procession following the bride towards the altar.

Usher duties before the wedding

Ushers are expected to attend the stag party, and maybe even help the best man with the planning. These days, the stag parties can involve anything at all–from skiing to an escapade in a foreign country–so it’s best to be prepared for the expense and any special arrangements the best man may have in mind.

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If the ushers don’t know each other, it’s a good idea to arrange a get-together sometime before the wedding. It’s a good idea to set aside some time to discuss all the arrangements with the best man–it’s unlikely there will be a chance to do this on the stag night!

If possible, the ushers should meet the parents of both the bride and groom, and any other “key players”, before the wedding.  If this is not possible to arrange during the wedding planning, then the best chance is at the rehearsal dinner.

More on ushers:


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4 thoughts on “What Does An Usher Do, Exactly?

  1. Confused. says:

    Are Ushers and Groomsmen the same? Ushers are not part of the wedding party,are they? I always thought their part in the wedding was to attend to the guest. Please explain.

    • Agnes Los says:

      Hello and thank you for your comment. Groomsmen is a name given to the male attendants including the best man, just as bridesmaids is given to the female attendants including the chief bridesmaid. Then they are called by their tasks – best man is the best man, while the rest of the groomsmen have the role of the ushers – that is support at the wedding and taking care of the guests.
      Hope this helps, please let us know if you have any other questions!

  2. glynis says:

    I have been asked to be an usher at my nieces wedding. As a female are there any particular duties.

    • Agnes Los says:

      Hello Glynis – congratulations on being chosen an “usherette”, how lovely! The duties aren’t much different than those for a male usher, but it’s a good idea to ask the bride and groom to see if they have anything else they’d like to do especially.

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