The ushers are chosen by the groom and are usually chosen from among the brothers or cousins of the bride or groom. Just as the bride chooses her bridesmaids’ dresses, so the groom chooses the attire of the usher. In the case of a Scottish wedding this can mean that the groom chooses which tartan is worn.

Greet the guests as they arrive at the church and show them to their seats. The ushers should arrive at the church half an hour before the ceremony as some guests will inevitably arrive early.

The Bride’s family and friends sit on the left hand side looking towards the altar and the Groom’s sit on the right.

After the ceremony the Bride and Groom leave the church first followed by the Bridesmaids and then the Best Man. Then the Groom’s father with the Bride’s mother, followed by the Bride’s father with the Groom’s mother.

The family and guests in the front pews should leave first followed by those seated from the front to the back of the church.

All of the guests will gather outside the church for the photographs to be taken. It is of great help if the ushers are familiar with this part of the wedding so that everyone feels involved when the photographs are being taken.

It’s generally a good idea to have at least one usher from either family, particularly if they are to introduce people to the wedding party line up at the reception venue.

Main Duties

As a general guide you will need an usher for each 50 guests. Traditionally the ushers are the responsibility of the best man, who ensures they know their duties.

2 months before

Arrange to purchase or hire clothes and agree who will pay for them.

1 week before

Confirm final travel arrangements with the best man and any other ushers, including the time of arrival at the church or register office.
Obtain for the best man a list of family and guests who should be personally escorted to their seats.
Attend the wedding rehearsal if required.
Have your hair cut.
Obtain large umbrellas

Day before

Collect any hired clothing and accessories.

On the day

Collect buttonholes and order of service sheets from the brides home.
Arrive at the church at least half an hour before the ceremony is due to start.
Help with car parking facilities
Greet the guests and hand out the buttonholes, order of service sheets and maps showing the route to the reception.
Ensure the vicar/registrar has order of service sheets for the bride and groom.
Seat couples with young babies and children near the exit.
Escort the brides mother and appropriate guests to their seats.
Assist the photographer.
Ensure the church/registry office is left tidy and check for any left property and unused order of service sheets.
Ensure all guests have transport to the reception.


Assist with car parking facilities.
Offer drinks to the guests as they arrive if appropriate.
Assist any elderly or infirm guests.

After the wedding

Return any hired clothing and accessories.