Here at Tower Hill Barns we’re used to being surprised by innovative wedding ideas.
It’s very normal round here to find couples choosing to design their own unique marriage ceremonies, donning imaginative wedding clothes, turning up in ingenious transportation, and inventing all manner of other clever personal twists to make their wedding day one that’s special and unique to them.
But recently we heard about a successful young wedding entrepreneur with a solution that was new even for us. We just had to tell you about her.
Jen Glantz is a professional bridesmaid
Okay, bridesmaid and professional don’t tend to be words you’d expect to find in the same sentence, and you may already be thinking this sounds like the plot line for this season’s Hollywood rom-com or a back episode of Sex in the City.
However, it turns out this professional bridesmaid is for real, and she’s getting regular bookings.
Yes, rather than just being a passing trend for celebrities who send their dogs to a beauty spa while they go skiing in Verbier, this is an actual thing. Well, in New York, at least.
The original idea came from a moment of pure inspiration on a day when Jen received two requests within a few hours to be a bridesmaid, and another friend jested that she should advertise her services professionally. There turned out to be a gap in the market, and in June of 2014 the business was born. http://bridesmaidforhire.com
Choose from a range of professional bridesmaid packages
So what’s the deal? It all depends what you’re looking for. If all you want is a session or two to chat through your big day in advance, deal with any wedding nerves, and have a friendly pre-marital chat about how to survive the whole event, you could sign up for what Jen calls the ‘virtual bridesmaid’ package, costing upwards of £230. For this entry level option, the professional bridesmaid will help with thinking about things like the wedding budget, what to expect, and how to organise and plan for the wedding. Bargain.
At the other end of the scale, if you’re ready for a bigger investment and you really want to make full use of professional ‘bridesmaiding’ expertise, perhaps you should go for the all singing, all dancing version (which we assume includes Jen joining in with the disco at your evening reception!). This package is called the ‘By your side’ option, and it comes at a heftier starting price of around £770. Again, the actual depends what exactly you’re hoping for. Jen says she can turn her hand to most wedding day requests for a fee, and to date the most she has ever charged a client is somewhere in the region of $3000 (around £2300).
Wedding transport and bridesmaids dresses are extra
Bear in mind that if you’re booking the professional bridesmaid to be there in person at your wedding, there are additional costs to cover too. You’ll need to arrange her transport on the day, for example, and of course provide a suitable fitted bridesmaid’s dress for her to wear, and keep afterwards. Typical professional services Jen offers to brides include agreeing to a fixed number of phone conversations leading up to the wedding, and unlimited emails and text support to help calm fears along the way and handle unexpected queries.
She’ll agree to be present on the day (and in the photographs along with any other bridesmaids) and she’ll socialise with your wedding guests, if that’s what you’d like. Jen will act as your personal assistant on the day, and is even happy to invest time in the months before the wedding building up a rapport with the bride and helping support her emotionally through that time. What else would you expect from a professional bridesmaid!
Professional discretion keeps the bride’s secret safe
You may be wondering how the guests and families (and grooms!) feel about having a professional stranger in the bridesmaid role. It’s a good question. Not every bride wants their family and friends to know that they’ve hired in help for the day. Well, here’s the secret. Jen is often asked to learn a backstory to cover her tracks and pretend she has a real life connection to the bride. It’s a tricky task, as she can be juggling between 5 and 15 brides at any one time, and Jen says she’s almost, but never yet quite given the game away. Spinning believable tales is all part of the professional service.
So, there you have some inspiration if you needed it – either to place your own booking (though, as we say, she is based in New York), or perhaps as a possible career option! By the way, Jen has her latest book coming out in 2017, ‘Always a Bridesmaid – For Hire’. We hope this story doesn’t lead to the sacking of your own voluntary bridesmaids and maids of honour, but if your wedding date is on the horizon and you’ve been struggling to come up with the ultimate solution in bridesmaids, well, you could always hire one.