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Before walking toward pews, usher should ask which side of church she would like to be seated on, bride’s or groom’s. Generally, right side of church is reserved for guests of groom. Her relatives and friends are usually escorted to right.
In a Jewish ceremony, this seating arrangement is reversed. And if one side appears to be filling up and other side has noticeably few occupants, then this rule should be abandoned for sake of appearances.
Incidentally, in keeping with spirit of occasion, ushers should not escort guests to their seats in total silence, as if this were a solemn affair. This is a time for a few casual and friendly, yet dignified and quiet remarks.
Pews are filled from front to back, leaving first several reserved for family members and close friends of bride and groom. Just minutes before ceremony is scheduled to begin, two of ushers should escort groom’s mother and then bride’s mother to their seats. After ceremony, they escort these ladies down aisle.
It is groomsmen who should be available to assist bride’s mother with any last minute details. Just before bride makes her entrance, they should unroll aisle runner. Another important duty of these men of chivalry is to arrange for transportation of bridesmaids to wedding site.
After ceremony, as everyone heads off to reception, it is their responsibility to ensure that no one is left behind. And, because they are largely responsible for making sure that a good time is had by all, they are expected to introduce guests to each other.
Modern day armor
What groomsmen wear is largely determined by formality or informality of ceremony, and to a lesser extent by considerations such as location and time of day.
These days, most grooms, groomsmen and ushers rent their formalwear. The groom and his men should order their tuxes at least three months before wedding. If possible, they should select a local shop, just in case last minute alterations are needed.
The groom and his men usually wear same attire. To set himself apart, groom may select a different colored tie, vest, pocket square, or boutonniere.
Sometimes groom will present a memorable gift, such as cufflinks, studs or, if he can afford to splurge, monogrammed shirts, to be worn by these men of honor at wedding. Given all that they are expected to do, groom should indeed go out of his way to show his appreciation, even in advance, for a job well done.
© Copyright 2005 Bachcroft.com. Permission to reprint this article, as is, is granted as long as proper attribution (author's biography) is given and all active hyperlinks remain intact.
Jean Bachcroft is a former public relations director, founder of Bachcroft and Aloha Labels, and the publisher and editor-in-chief of Town and Country Shopping Bargains Magazine. For designer wedding, holiday, and year-round mailing and return address labels, you can visit her web sites at http://bachcroft.com and at http://alohalabels.com. For shopping bargains from around the world, visit http://townandcountryshoppingbargains.com