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Dread being a bridesmaid? This woman does it for a living...

26-year-old New Yorker Jen Glantz has been working as a bridesmaid for hire for over a year.

IMG_6157 Jen (L) and bride Source: Jen Glantz

IF YOU’VE PLANNED a wedding, you’ll know the depth of preparation and stress that goes hand-in-hand with all things nuptial.

Not least of the pressures involved is the selection of the bridal party, with everything from dress selection and expense to the exclusion of friends who may feel snubbed at not making the cut coming to the fore.

Into the void comes the professional bridesmaid, a woman who you may never have met who stands side by side with a bride on the biggest day of her life. That’s what Jen Glantz does for a living.

“I’m there for brides in need, I’m a confidant, I’m there to make sure they’re stress-free on their wedding day,” Florida-native (but New York based) Jen told TheJournal.ie.

10583915_555036321292703_2222850325460111672_n Source: Jen Glantz

I’m everything from a personal assistant to an on-call therapist to a peacekeeper. It’s a varied job.

Jen sees her role as very different from that of a wedding planner.

“It’s completely different. A wedding planner is there to focus on things, to make sure things run smoothly. I’m focused on people. I want the day to go brilliantly on a personal level for the bride,” she says.

She initially got the idea for her slightly unusual job after standing for so many of her own friends as a bridesmaid.

11127869_679888262140841_5729619829443752163_n Source: Jen Glantz

“I could just see the stress a bride goes through and thought there has to be a niche there, like no-one is ever there for the bride, just for herself,” she says.

So I put an ad up on Craigslist advertising my services. Within 48 hours I had hundreds of emails from all over the world. That’s when I knew it could work as a business.

That was June 2014. Since then she’s been a professional bridesmaid on over 40 occasions all over the US. She’s so busy she has even taken on staff to share the load.

I put an ad out and I had more than 4,000 women apply to work with me. 4,000! So far I’ve hired two, but who knows in the future.

Jen sees herself as a writer first and foremost (“this is my side job”), although business is brisk as a bridesmaid for hire.

“I’ve done weddings now in Vegas, Minnesota, California, New Jersey…” she says.

Each one comes with different challenges, where I need to give different kinds of guidance.

Contact is generally made between Jen and her bride-to-be between 3 and 18 months prior to the big day, although she generally doesn’t meet them until the day itself.

I get to know these brides so well, and she will eventually turn to me with every type of problem, more so than even with her own best friend.

11428092_945548022134261_5645258681804581142_n Bridesmaid 101 Source: Jen Glantz

IMG_6198 Source: Jen Glantz

Two questions – does she stand at the altar? And does she get to keep the dresses a la Katherine Heigl and her 27 dresses?

“I can stand at the altar for sure, but that’s more of a question of what kind of package the bride goes for,” she says.

When it comes to the dress, I’ll discuss it with the bride, she’ll ask me what I can wear, and oftentimes she’ll buy the dress for me to fit in with the wedding party.
And yes, I get to keep them.

It really sounds like a sweet deal. So, has she any plans to expand internationally? To Ireland perhaps?

I would love to do it, and I get loads of inquiries from abroad. I love to travel so that’s a business that could definitely work.
This job is an adventure. I love it.

Now all we need is a groomsman for hire. Over to you Jen.

IMG_8482 Source: Jen Glantz

Odd Job: Professional Bridesmaid

What does it pay? Anything between $300 and $2,000 per wedding, depending upon the package. Jen averages $1,000 per wedding.

How many are there? Not many

What qualifications/experience do you need? None, but an ability to handle high-stress situations with a smile on your face is a must

Do you know someone with an unusual occupation for our Odd Jobs series? Email the author below.

Read: Chimney sweep? It’s a dirty job, but someone’s got to do it…

Read: What’s it like to eat sandwiches for a living? We asked an expert to find out…

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