Is It Really Necessary to Have Ushers at Our Wedding?

Figure out if you need them, and who should be one.

rachel elijah wedding processional
Photo: John Dolan

Ushers are often the first people a wedding guest will see when they reach the ceremony venue. These pivotal attendants (usually men) watch the doors, waiting for guests to arrive so that they can direct them to their seats or escort them down the aisle. Here's what you need to know about these wedding party members.

What determines if you need them?

It's based on the wedding's formality and the number of wedding guests. For a very traditional ceremony or one with a huge number of guests, you'll likely want to have ushers to keep things moving smoothly.

How many are required?

The more formal the wedding and the bigger the guest list, the more ushers you'll need. So, if you're having casual I dos or a limited number of guests, the fewer ushers you'll need.

Is there an age limit?

Not really, so just use common sense as far as capability goes. Would a 10-year-old be able to escort female guests to their seats? Most likely but it depends on the maturity of the person in question. Ushers are usually friends and relatives around the same age as the groom. Even so, if you wanted to have an usher who's two decades older, go for it.

What does an usher wear?

Since they're considered members of the wedding party, they should wear the same thing as the groomsmen, whether it's a black tuxedo or a blue sport jacket and jeans.

What do ushers actually do?

Before guests arrive for the ceremony, the ushers lay down the runner, if using one. But their main job is to seat guests as they arrive for the ceremony, offering their arm to female guests as male guests walk behind. Traditionally guests are seated from the front rows to the back. If a guest has other ideas-she doesn't want that row, she wants to sit in this row-the usher complies with the request.

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