Last summer, Jen Glantz posted a now-famous Craigslist post advertising her services as a professional bridesmaid after being asked to be a bridesmaid in a staggering number of weddings. When her inbox flooded with responses, Glantz decided to start an actual business — and Bridesmaid for Hire was born.
Glantz currently works with 27 clients (brides, bridesmaids, maids of honor) in a variety of capacities: bridesmaid, virtual planner, wedding-day services, supplier of bridesmaids to fill out bridal parties, speechwriter, or even the source of fun guests. Her services range from $300 to $2,000.
Glantz’s recent call for applicants to join her team resulted in more than 1,000 resumes from around the world, and she’s beginning to build an international network. She hopes to delegate the more hands-on tasks to trained bridesmaids and branch out into groomsmen and best men.
I spent two days with Glantz as she helped women negotiate with vendors, debate the necessity of dance classes (use YouTube instead), try on dresses, and talk a lot about money. Here’s what I learned.
1. If You’re in a Wedding Party, Talk Money
Glantz fielded a call from a first-time bridesmaid, an experience she quipped would be a “big milestone and stressor” for her client. The bridesmaid was full of familiar questions: If the wedding is over a year away, what should I be doing now? What sort of event should I plan for the bachelorette party? Are we supposed to pay for the bride at the bachelorette party?
This last question touched on the real problem: the unspoken financial expectations put on wedding parties. Between transportation costs, a dress, and planning and attending a bachelorette party, the costs can get out of control. Glantz is on a mission to change that. “I’m so pro the conversation about money,” she says, and that when you say yes to being a bridesmaid, you’re up-front with the bride about your financial limitations.
Even if you think it will be uncomfortable, it’s critical to initiate a conversation with other bridesmaids when it comes to things like the bachelorette party, so that you can voice what you’re comfortable spending. And note: Glantz thinks there shouldn’t be any obligation to pay fully for the bride’s portion.
See what else I learned.