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Ceremony 101: Ushers and Readers

072715-ushers-01If your bridal party is full but you still have friends or family you’d like included in your ceremony, ask them to be ushers or readers.

These wedding day roles are not meaningless tasks. Each has important duties to perform.


Ushers are often the first person wedding guests will see. They are greeters and general helpers for your guests. Make sure they know where the bathrooms are, where any pre-wedding drinks or snacks are, and what time the ceremony will start.

Your ushers will also seat guests, guiding women by the arm and walking alongside male guests. Let them know beforehand which rows are reserved and who is sitting in those rows. Do you want ushers to ask “Bride or groom?” to determine on which side a guest should sit? Let them know before guests arrive whether you want guests seated “by side.”

Ushers can also perform other duties, including handing out programs, setting up the ceremony site, or rolling out the aisle runner. You should have one usher for every 50 guests.

Make sure you thank your ushers with a small gift, and on your wedding day, give each a corsage or boutonniere to let guests know they are someone special. You should also note your ushers and their relationship to you in your program.


Another way to include someone special is to ask him or her to do a reading during your ceremony. Be sure to give them the reading in advance so they can review and practice it. Give your readers a boutonniere or corsage to indicate they are someone special, and mention them and their relationship to you in your program. Want to give them a small token of thanks? Go ahead!