Be the Perfect Usher: Everything You Need to Know About Your Wedding Day Duties
Congratulations — the bride and groom have chosen you to be an usher at their wedding. Being nominated an usher is always an honour, but it’s a responsible job, too, and the couple are relying on you to help the day run without a hitch and look after their guests.
Not sure exactly what your duties are as usher? Here’s everything you need to know:
1. Ask about your responsibilities
If the bride and groom have asked you to be an usher, they clearly have a certain set of duties in mind that you should perform. Don’t just wait for them to come to you. You should ask them well before the day so that you’re clear on what you need to do before, during and after the ceremony.
2. Attend rehearsals
As an usher, you should attend wedding rehearsals. You’ll learn about the ceremony format and schedule. You’ll also find out where guests are being seated, so pay special attention.
3. Assist the best man
The best man has a lot of responsibility on his shoulders and might call on you for assistance. When organising the stag party, you can help him out by securing bookings or laying down the deposit for activities if requested and, generally, by making sure everyone is having fun throughout the do.
4. Help guests with parking
No one’s expecting you to be a valet, but you should know all about the parking arrangements at the venue and let guests know where to park and where they can or can’t park. You should have some practical knowledge of the venue, too, such as where the bathrooms are located and where the entrances and exits are.
5. Greet guests
You’ll be the first face the guests see when they arrive at the wedding, so be warm and welcoming. You’ll have to show guests to their seats and also hand out wedding programmes. Be well presented and enthusiastic.
6. Help guests with their belongings
When greeting guests, you should take their coat and show them where they can leave their gifts for the bride and groom. At the end of the celebration, you should help them to find their coat and other belongings, or fetch them on the guests’ behalf.
7. Directing latecomers
The groom may want you to stand towards the back of the ceremonial party to attend to any latecomers. It’s then your job to direct them to their seat as quickly and quietly as possible while the service is taking place.
8. Inform guests of venue rules
Guests will want to take photos and throw confetti. It’s up to you to let them know whether flash photography is allowed, and where, and which parts of the venue the owners will let them break out the confetti.
9. Escort the bridesmaids
The bride may wish for the ushers to join and escort the bridesmaids after she has made her entrance or, alternatively, may prefer the bridesmaids to enter unaccompanied. Normally, ushers will escort bridesmaids out of the ceremony after the couple have left.
10. Look after page boys or flower girls
Don’t worry. You won’t be left on your own to do this. The bridesmaids will help you to look after page boys or flower girls and any other attendants at the wedding.
11. Look out for the safety of the guests
Some guests may overindulge with alcohol. You should deal with them tactfully to avoid causing distress or upset. Have a list of local taxi firms ready and be willing to order taxis for any guests who are leaving the wedding, especially if they’ve had too much to drink. Don’t let anyone drive home while they’re under the influence of alcohol.
12. Ask guests to sign the guest book
As an usher, it’ll be your job to make sure the guests leave a cordial message wishing the bride and groom all the best for the future in the guest book. If they’ve set up a photo booth, you should ensure that the guests pose for a photo in it.
Remember, the bride and groom are counting on you to help their day run smoothly. Reward their trust in you by fulling your duties admirably so that they can relax and concentrate on enjoying their big day.
By Peter Jenkins