Professional bridesmaid for hire, Jen Glantz’s, has taken all the “hopelessnessâ€ out of, “always a bridesmaid, never a bride,â€ notion and turned it into a monetized paid position at the alter.
According to CNN Money, Glantz, 27, had already been a bridesmaid in six weddings by the age of 26, allowing her, a first hand look at what brides need and want from their dedicated bridal party. While event planners and wedding coordinators handle the logistics of the ceremony and after party, there’s no one around to emotionally support the bride and provide much needed, but sometimes forgotten tidbits of information.
“No one is going to tell you to stretch out your shoes,” Glantz told CNN.
That’s where she– an author who now refers to herself as a professional bridesmaid — comes in.
Wondering why would anyone pay Glantz for “emotional support” and a few extra tips, with all these DIY YouTube videos around? CNN shadowed Glantz one Sunday afternoon in New York City so they could see what a Bridesmaid for Hire is all about.
Outside of the side gig, she works full-time during the week as a copywriter and devotes her off-hours to the startup: 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. on weekdays and 10-hour days on weekends.
Women are paying for everything from speech-writing ($150) to the “ultimate” bride package ($1,000 and up). That includes six one-hour sessions with Glantz and nine hours of logistics on the wedding day — including sometimes standing on the altar alongside the bride. If they aren’t in New York, brides cover Glantz’s travel expenses.
She’s worked with more than 12 brides since June, when she posted an ad on Craigslist on a whim. She offered to help brides with everything from dance skills to style advice.
She didn’t expect to wake up to 250 responses the next morning.
“Week one, I went on live TV and said, ‘This is a free service,'” Glantz told CNN. “I wanted to help strangers. I had no business background. We had to figure out pricing. It’s really creating our own market and our own industry.”
Since then, she’s brought in over $10,000 — and is exploring more ways to monetize the business.
Though the concept seems simple, the self starter admits, “bridesmaiding” is hard work and she doesn’t like asking for help. She tries to be a woman show, but she has been meeting with Ray Lapof, an 82-year-old businessman she met through SCORE, an organization that offers free advice to young entrepreneurs.
With many African American women jumping into unconventional online beauty, and coaching types of business opportunities, bridesmaid for hire, may be one to add to the list.