Never underestimate the importance of ushers. Many couples assume they aren’t necessary and that guests will be able to get their own program, seat themselves, and “just know what to do.” Over my years as a wedding planner, I have had many experiences that prove all of these assumptions to be false.
Ushers are typically the first people your guests will see. A friendly smile when handing out programs creates a positive start to your guests' experience. Ushers should be the ones with an understanding of the timeline for the day and be able to answer questions for your guests. They’re also the ones to make sure Aunt Susan doesn’t walk into the ceremony when the bride is coming down the aisle and photobomb the big moment.
Ushers should guide guests to their seats and make sure front rows are reserved for family. When guests are allowed to seat themselves without any guidance, they typically end up sitting too far back which can make the ceremony look awkward if there are large gaps between groups of people.
Typically, there should be one usher for every 50 guests. Guests tend to arrive all at the same time, about 10-20 minutes before the ceremony begins. Having enough ushers to seat them quickly will prevent traffic jams and ensure the ceremony starts on time. In my experience, one of the biggest irritations for wedding guests is when a ceremony begins late. Prevent this by making sure your ushers are informed and ready to help. Ushers are actually one of the biggest assets on your wedding day, so don’t forget about them.