We could tell from early on, because Julian is awesome and superhelpful, that he would play a big part in our wedding. I wanted to ask him to play a role in the wedding, officially, to recognize what we already knew, but frankly, the title of usher, while possibly fitting, was beneath how much we knew he would come through for us. (Julian drove the bachelor party mobile, loaded and unloaded wedding-weekend cars, set up, cleaned up, and then when we got back from our honeymoon, provided a coat hanger to fish the car keys out of the storm drain that Mark dropped them down.) My dad refers to Julian as a "Mensch" and the term is very, very fitting.
Anyway, about 2 months before the wedding, I asked Julian to be an usher, because well, we couldn't think of a better way to recognize how important he is to us. We also asked Mark's FBIL, who was a huge help as well. We also asked the ushers to seat our program hander-outers last, which meant that they basically processed.
(Actually the recessional - photo taken by a friend.)But I wanted a way to tie them in a little more to the bridal party and make it clear that they were part of the wedding VIPs, which is how I wound up making them ties a week before the wedding.
I followed this tutorial and used the extra fabric from Lula Kate that I'd purchased for the bridesmaids sashes. The ties wound up looking really great and tied in nicely with the bridesmaids sashes.
(us with Mark's sister and her fiance)
Overall, yes, I could have bought ties or done without the headache of making the ties or told the guys to wear whatever they wanted. But I did this, because I really wanted to make it clear that these guys are special. I also ordered them the same bouts as the groomsmen wore, which were super-cute and looked great with the ties.