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Wedding Party: Can I Have Female Ushers at my Wedding?

Q.

Since my wedding party will be made up of my immediate family, I would like to ask my two female cousins (with whom I am very close) to be wedding ushers. Are female wedding ushers appropriate in an otherwise traditional wedding? Should their dresses match the bridesmaids' dresses, and how should they appear in the wedding program?

A.

Ushers are traditionally male, so if you are having an ultratraditional wedding ceremony, you may want to find another job for your cousins. If that doesn’t concern you, then by all means invite them to be ushers. The word "usher" doesn’t specifically refer to a male, so you can call your cousins ushers in your program. If you want to distinguish them from other men, list each respectively as female ushers and male ushers (or call the ladies usherettes).

Their attire should probably match -- coordinate their outfits with your wedding colors so that guests know they are part of the wedding entourage. They can wear a color similar to the bridesmaids, or simply wear black dresses to coordinate with the male ushers' tuxedos (or the color of their suits).

Consider your cousins' feelings when you ask them to take on this job. Some women might not feel comfortable performing this traditionally male duty. If they balk at the idea of physically seating guests, you might suggest another role that they can play, such as handing out programs before the ceremony or bags of birdseed afterward.


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