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Usher Duties: What Does An Usher Do, Exactly?

9th April 2018 |By | 14 Comments

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.

If you’ve been chosen as the best man, read up on your best man duties.

Usher Duties for the Wedding | Confetti.co.uk

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 Before the Wedding

Kristina and Max's Real Wedding at Westminter Abbey | Confetti.co.ukFeatured above: Kristina and Max’s Seriously Stylish Wedding at Westminster Abbey

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’s 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.

Usher Duties During the Wedding Ceremony

Woodland wedding ceremony aisle runner | Confetti.co.ukFeatured above: Personalised Burlap Aisle Runner With Equestrian Monogram

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. 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.

On the morning of the wedding, ushers will most likely have their transport already arranged by the groom, or travel to the ceremony together with the groom and best man. As an usher you should ensure you arrive no less than half an hour before the ceremony, ideally well before any early guests. You may at this time collect your buttonhole, order of service sheets, seating plans, etc., and discuss any issues.

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’ cars parked—you won’t be a valet, but you should have a general knowledge of where guests can and can’t park their cars.
  • You should know the parking arrangements around the venue, the location of the toilets, any alternative exits, and any other practical and useful information.
  • 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 (perhaps seating mothers with babies in the aisle seats. and being aware of any elderly guests who may need additional assistance).
  • Inform the arriving guests not to use flash photography, or that confetti is not allowed in particular areas of the venue.
  • Escorting both the mother-of-the-bride and the mother-of-the-groom to their seats.
  • Stand at the entrance of the venue handing out Order of Service sheets (if these can’t be found on everyone’s seats)
  • At least one usher may remain at the back of the venue, greeting latecomers and helping them find a seat without too much disruption.
  • Traditionally, the ushers then join the bridal party to escort the bridesmaids after the bride makes her entrance—this may not be the case if the bride prefers the bridesmaids to walk behind her alone.
  • Ushers, with the help of the bridesmaids, may also help to look after any other attendants, especially the young flower girls and page boys. (It’s a good idea to make sure the parents of the youngest bridal party members are seated near the front of the ceremony venue, just in case.)
  • At the end of the ceremony, the ushers may traditionally escort the bridesmaids at the recessional, following the newlyweds.

 

Usher Duties After the Wedding Ceremony

Blush Pink Wedding Dresses and Baby's Breath Bouquets - Ana and Kevin’s Romantic Italian Castle Wedding in Tuscany | Confetti.co.ukFeatured above: Ana and Kevin’s Romantic Italian Castle Wedding in Tuscany

  • The ushers may be expected to help the photographer arrange the guests for the confetti shot, and then for the formal pictures.
  • Informs guests where to gather for photos after the ceremony.
  • They may also help with directing the guests to the wedding breakfast or reception venue.
  • Be available to the best man and the groom in case they need to lend a hand with anything else.

 

Usher Duties During the Wedding Reception

Flowers and Lace Contemporary Vintage Wedding Reception Decor | Confetti.co.ukFeatured above: Browse our beautiful vintage wedding theme!

  • If getting to the reception room requires any directions (for example, at a large hotel), the ushers may direct the guests to the appropriate room upon arrival.
  • Ushers may be required to make a wedding speech
  • If they are paired up with bridesmaids, they may be expected to join the newlyweds together on the floor at some point during the first dance.
  • The ushers may also give instructions to other guests about where to leave the wedding gifts and cards, direct guests to cloakrooms and toilets, and remind them to take their belongings with them at the end of the evening.
  • 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’s customary to give ushers a gift when asking them to be a member of your wedding party. Here are four of our favourite gifts that are perfect for your groomsmen:

1) A “For My Groomsman” Gift Box

For My Groomsman Gift Box Wedding Gift Idea | Confetti.co.ukFeatured above: “For My Groomsman” Premium Gift Box featuring Metallic Gold Sunglasses, Gold Nautical Anchor Bottle Opener, Flask, Mixed Metallics Jumbo Party Tissue Confetti in White, Gold, Silver, and Black, and a bottle of beer with a Personalised, Metallic Gold Foil Label

2) & 3) Personalised Pocket Watch and Vintage Hip Flask

Personalised Gunmetal Mechanical Pocket Watch | Confetti.co.uk Vintage Hip Flask - Personalised Clear Glass Flask Gifts for Groomsmen | Confetti.co.ukFeatured above: Gunmetal Mechanical Pocket Watch | Personalised Clear Glass Flask

4) Personalised Sports Bag

Personalised Grey Sports Bag | Confetti.co.ukFeatured above: Sports Bag – Grey, shown with an Insulated Water Bottle

For more on ushers, check out our article, What Do Ushers Wear?

Written by

Leanne enjoys being a highly creative person with a life-long passion for art, music, books, and writing.

14 Replies to “Usher Duties: What Does An Usher Do, Exactly?”

  1. Confused.

    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.

    Reply· Jul 14, 2013 8:35pm
    1. Agnes Los

      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!

      Jul 15, 2013 8:27am
  2. glynis

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

    Reply· Aug 21, 2013 1:33pm
    1. Agnes Los

      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.

      Aug 21, 2013 1:57pm
  3. Vane

    What Is The appropriate Dress to wear to an ushering interview?

    Reply· Apr 22, 2017 9:18pm
    1. Kate Thompson

      Are you being interviewed by the bride and groom or their parents? Either way I would say that smart or smart/ casual should be fine. A suit may be more appropriate if you are going to meet the bride’s parents for a very formal wedding.

      Apr 24, 2017 12:32pm
  4. Clara

    Is it professional for an usher to give thier contact to guest on post or after the event?

    Reply· May 2, 2017 9:14am
    1. Kate Thompson

      Hi Clara

      It’s fine for an usher to give their contact details to a guest at or after the wedding. It’s up to the guest whether or not they choose to follow them up.

      Kind regards, Kate

      May 10, 2017 11:37am
  5. Sulaiman

    Hello Kate. What exactly do I need to begin an ushering business. I really want to start this business. Please advise.

    Reply· Jul 16, 2017 7:12am
    1. Kate Thompson

      Hi there, I’m not really sure what you mean by an ushering business exactly so I’m guessing you’re planning to sell/hire out suits and accessories for ushers and perhaps also offer gifts for ushers as we do here in the Confetti shop. If this is what you’re thinking of offering then I’d advise including the groom, best man and fathers of the bride and groom too as most couples looking for suits, information and accessories for ushers will also be looking for the rest of the men in the bridal party at the same time. You could also offer page boys clothing and gifts and make your business offering very male oriented to differentiate it from all the very female-focused wedding businesses out there. Hope that helps. Kindest regards.

      Jul 17, 2017 1:19pm
  6. Tolulope Ajayi

    Hi Kate , I love this article ,I’m from Nigeria and I think the job description for an event usher here in Nigeria is a bit different .

    Reply· Oct 30, 2017 11:46pm
    1. Alexis Iregbulem

      Yea it is
      Am also from Nigeria

      Mar 26, 2018 4:47pm
  7. Ibrahim sabdat

    How do one start up an ushering agency. Pls guideline pls

    Reply· Feb 17, 2018 11:31am
    1. Kate Thompson

      Agencies of this type in the UK tend to provide help for large corporate events rather than weddings. Brides and grooms-to-be tend to simply ask friends and family to act as ushers at their wedding, and their main job tends to be showing guests where to sit. I recommend you look for advice on this from a small business advisory service. Best of luck with your new venture.

      Feb 19, 2018 10:26am

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