Rather than making them stand around with nothing to do and looking lost at your wedding, give your ushers proper jobs to do to take the weight off your feet. Better still, give the groom duties…
Groom duties before the day…
- Ask them all to have a haircut. They should at least look smart
- They should go to have their suit measured up.
- They should help organise and run the stag night.
Groom duties on the day…
- Collect their outfit
- Collect the buttonholes and distribute them to the other ushers
- Collect the order of service sheets from the bride
- Arrive at the ceremony venue at least half an hour before the start
- Help guests with parking and directions to the ceremony from where they have parked
- Help the guests into the venue with a golf umbrella if it’s wet
- Greet guests and show them to their seat on the appropriate side of the church or venue
- Hand out the order of service sheets to each guest
- Seat guests who need to be near the door (guests with children, for example) in the right place
- Making sure that there’s an order of service available for the bride and groom
- Remind guests to turn off mobile phones and not to take photographs in the church
- Escort the mother of the bride to her seat
- Take their own seat with their partner near the front of the venue
- Look after latecomers
- Help the photographer get the right people in the right place at the right time
- Make sure that each guest has transport to the reception.
Groom duties at the reception…
- Offer drinks to guests as they arrive; make sure that everyone gets the drink of their choice
- Help elderly guests, and find them a seat if necessary
- Organise taxis for people when they need them
- Collect up the disposable cameras at the end of the evening
- Return their hired clothes the next day, or on the Monday after the wedding.
Who to ask
Your team of ushers should consist of close male family and friends who aren’t otherwise involved in your day. If the groom’s got brothers, they should be asked, as should the bride’s. Although by tradition they should report to the best man – therefore he should have a say in who they are – it’s perfectly alright for the groom to make the decision for himself, or even for the bride to get involved (surely not!). Just like bridesmaids, ushers should be unmarried, but it’s one of those traditions that’s rarely followed. It’s normal to have about one usher for 30 guests.