Professional Bridesmaid Spills Secrets of the Biz

As the demands on wedding parties grow, some brides opt to hire a professional
By Gina Carey,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 24, 2024 9:00 AM CST
Inside the Secret Life of a Professional Bridesmaid
Jen Glantz of Bridesmaid for Hire.   (Jen Gantz)

Jen Glantz has a job that requires frequent travel, discretion, and oftentimes, a secret identity. The Hustle gets an inside peek into her career: She's not an international spy, but a professional bridesmaid. Glantz says the idea came to her 10 years ago, after a long run in the bridesmaid game. She was still single at the time, when one June night, two separate friends asked her to be in their weddings. "I vented to my roommate that I just didn't want to be everyone's go-to bridesmaid anymore," she wrote for Today. "She nicknamed me a professional bridesmaid and teased that it should be my full-time job."

As a joke, Glantz posted a cheeky ad to Craigslist touting the expertise she'd picked up over the years, promising to hold up a bride's dress when she needs to use the restroom. To her surprise, she received responses immediately, and she eventually created a business that had her crisscrossing the country to attend weddings. Glantz says her role differs from a wedding planner, focusing more on support as she runs interference on more personal issues (she's helped end engagements, found drunken brides, and settled wedding party disputes—and one time even removed poop from a ring-bearer dog from the aisle with her bare hands to save the bride's dress from getting soiled).

Glantz estimates to People that 75% of her clients hire her in secret. This means coming up with a backstory—she's used yoga friend or high school pal—that requires research and sometimes fake social media accounts if a client's friends or family start nosing around. She believes people are paring down on elaborate weddings with large parties and has begun diversifying her business to include services like vow and speech writing. Per Glamour, the average cost of bridesmaid-ing (including travel, outfits, and gifts) runs about $1,500 to $2,300. The magazine has published a series, "We Don't: The Bridesmaid Burnout," that serves as a humorous guide for brides with a subtle warning: If you don't heed this advice, your behavior can make it on the internet, too. For now, there's always the option of hiring a pro. (An alleged serial wedding crasher was arrested).

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