- Jen Glantz has worked as a hired bridesmaid at strangers’ weddings for more than six years and has seen every wedding fiasco imaginable.
- She says she’s dealt with dozens of weird requests, from helping a bride run away at last minute to reviving a hungover groom and preventing an ex-girlfriend from crashing the reception.
- Glantz explains that working as a professional bridesmaid means having to expect the unexpected, since every wedding is unique and challenging in its own way.
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When I started my company, Bridesmaid for Hire, I knew there would be some unusual clients and out of the box situations that I’d find myself in. People usually hire me because they fell out of touch with their close friends and need a support system, or they need a professional who can step in and crisis-manage a group of rowdy bridesmaids.
But in the last six years of working as a professional bridesmaid, I’ve started to collect a long list of unusual requests people have asked of me on-the-job that I never would have expected. Here are some of the strangest things I’ve had to do to get my paycheck.
1. End the engagement
A few years into the job, a bride asked if she could hire me for just one vent session (which is where I spend an hour helping the person getting married feel less stressed by all their wedding drama and challenges). Most people book a handful of these sessions but this bride wanted just one. When I met her in person, she instantly got to the point of why she hired me.
She said she didn’t hire me to be her bridesmaid. She hired me to help her end her engagement. She realized she was not in love with the groom and didn’t want to spend her life, let alone another week, with him. She didn’t have anyone in her life she could turn to for an escape plan because she feared they’d judge her and make her reconsider.
I wasn’t in the business of ending weddings, but I was in the business of being that unbiased support system for people. We spent our session figuring out a plan for her to speak to her fiance to call the wedding off, a place where she could immediately move out to and stay, and what her next steps would look like.
I wish I could say that’s happened once. But in my six years of doing this job, it’s actually happened more than a handful of times.
2. Pick up poop
One of the grossest things I had to do at a wedding was scoop up animal poop with my bare hands. Minutes before an outdoor wedding in Nevada, the bride noticed that a donkey had pooped all up and down the aisle. She didn’t want to walk down it because her white dress (that cost $4,000) would be ruined. She told me I had to go deal with it. I looked around for napkins, leaves, anything I could use to help remove the animal droppings but there was nothing. I picked it up with my hands, moved it to the side, poured water on my palms, and walked down the aisle with the rest of the wedding party as if nothing happened.
3. Escape the wedding
One thing I learned during the first few months of working as a hired bridesmaid was that getting cold feet is very real, and sometimes it happens at the very last minute. At one wedding, a bride pulled me aside five minutes before the ceremony to tell me she didn’t love the groom and wanted to end the wedding now.
The guests were seated and the ceremony was about to begin. I devised an exit plan for her (it included calling a taxi, sneaking out the back door, and handing her a change of clothes so she wouldn’t look like a runaway bride).
Julia Roberts pulling that move at her fictional wedding isn’t just something for the movies. It happens in real life too.
4. Be a bodyguard
One of the most popular requests I get at weddings is to be a bodyguard, on watch for potential wedding crashers. Usually, these wedding crashers are people the couple knows and purposely didn’t invite.
At one wedding, a groom slipped me a $100 bill and told me to make sure his ex-girlfriend was stopped as soon as she arrived. He was certain she’d come crash the wedding and cause a scene. I devised a plan with the valet and was able to intercept and greet her as she pulled up. Through some convincing and a finger point to where the security guard was waiting for her inside, she turned her car around and went home.
5. Help the bride use the bathroom
Before I worked this job, I had no idea how hard it was for a bride to use the bathroom in her wedding dress. But it soon became one of my wedding tasks. It’s an intimate and awkward thing to help a near stranger with, but I’ve become good at holding up the wedding dress, positioning the bride on the toilet (facing the wall so the dress doesn’t fall in the toilet), turning my head and standing there silently as she pees. Often, if they get too nervous to pee, I’ll sing a song or turn the sink water on. Whatever it takes to help them use the bathroom three to five times on their wedding day.
6. Find a missing groom
One of the most comforting feelings for me at a wedding is when the two people who are getting married actually show up. At one wedding, the groom went missing and wasn’t at the venue when he was supposed to be. An hour went by and he wasn’t answering his phone or text messages. It was my job to find him. After bribing the best man with a bottle of tequila and borrowing a guest’s car, I was able to find the groom back at the hotel, hungover and disoriented. I had to get him back to feeling good (so I fed him and gave him a bottle of Gatorade) and brought him to the venue. The bride was upset (but happy with me) and the wedding started almost two hours late.
Part of working as a bridesmaid for hire is that you have to be ready for the twists and turns that come with any wedding, and the distinct cast of characters who are a part of it.
While some of these experiences have been unusual, they’ve all made me a stronger, better professional bridesmaid.