WbbB, a lipopolysaccharide O-antigen synthesis enzyme from Raoultella terrigena, contains an N-terminal glycosyltransferase domain with a highly modified architecture that adds a terminal β-Kdo (3-deoxy-D-manno-oct-2-ulosonic acid) residue to the O-antigen saccharide, with retention of stereochemistry. We show, using mass spectrometry, that WbbB forms a covalent adduct between the catalytic nucleophile, Asp232, and Kdo. We also determine X-ray structures for the CMP-β-Kdo donor complex, for Kdo-adducts with D232N and D232C WbbB variants, for a synthetic disaccharide acceptor complex, and for a ternary complex with both a Kdo-adduct and the acceptor. Together, these structures show that the enzyme-linked Asp232-Kdo adduct rotates to reposition the Kdo into a second sub-site, which then transfers Kdo to the acceptor. Retaining glycosyltransferases were thought to use only the front-side SNi substitution mechanism; here we show that retaining glycosyltransferases can also potentially use double-displacement mechanisms, but incorporating an additional catalytic subsite requires rearrangement of the protein's architecture.