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Bridal Club Magazine

Wedding Duties - What Does An Usher Do?

Your chosen usher may feel they have been left at the bottom of the responsibility pile when it comes to the day, but this role can often be underestimated in its importance on your big day.

There are very important obligations for them to fulfil prior and on your wedding day. This article was designed with them in mind so that they can't say 'I didn't know I had to do that' on your very important day. You can print out a list for them and if they lose it - give them another!

What You Need To Do First
Create a timeline for them specific to your wedding. Give them the date, time and address of each of the following - rehearsal, wedding and reception. Add to this any phone numbers to call for advice or in the case of an emergency.

Include a list of items they will need on the day - comb, socks, tux or suit, shirt, tie and any other required personal items.

Ushers Duties On The Wedding Day

  • Ushers to be at the location fully dressed, at least 45-60 minutes before the ceremony is to begin.
  • Locate the formal greeting area at the ceremony. It is your job to smile, be friendly and greet guests as you escort them to their seats. An usher traditionally offers his right arm to the woman and if there is more than one woman in the group - to the eldest. Another option is for ushers to walk the guests to their seats rather than offering their arm.
  • Etiquette states that family and friends of the bride are seated on the left of the aisle when facing the altar, while the groom's family and friends are on the right. If the church looks unbalanced near the ceremony, then the guests can be distributed more evenly. If it is known ahead of time that it is expected to have more guests on one side then this can be done earlier.
  • The first few rows at the front of the ceremony are reserved for family. Guests are then seated from the fourth row back. Wheelchairs are to be kept near the outer aisles for safety reasons.
  • When all the guests are seated, the usher escorts the parents of the groom to their seats. There may be special music for this event so find out ahead of time, as this could be your cue to lead them in. Sometimes the grooms mother may be escorted by the groom himself.
  • The mother of the bride is then escorted in - either by the best man or the head usher.
  • In the case of divorced parents - there will be a special seating process worked out in advance by the bride and groom. Make sure you know this in advance. Usually the divorced father sited in the row behind the mother, but where it is amicable - they can be seated in the same row together.
  • The ceremony begins when the groom and best man are in place at the altar.
  • If not a part of the ceremony wedding party - the usher can then come into the audience when guest seatings are complete. Because there will be late guests, it would be appropriate to have one usher in the foyer to make sure that guests to not enter the ceremony at an inappropriate time.
  • When the recessional has taken place, the two ushers will escort the mothers back down the aisle, unless they prefer to be escorted by their husbands. In this instance, the ushers will simply lead the couple out.
  • The ushers then make their way to the side aisles and release the guests to the centre aisle. They then direct the rest of the guests out of the church from the front rows, working their way to the back.

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