IT’S a stressful day by anyone’s standard — but some weddings take it to a whole new level.
Bridesmaid for Hire Jen Glantz has revealed her worst horror stories, including the day the bride pulled her aside five minutes before the wedding to confess: “I don’t want to do this, I hate him, he’s a liar,” of the man she was about to marry.
“So I said ‘listen, if you really want to leave we’ll pack up your bags and we’ll go, you don’t have to be here. But before you make that decision, I want you to talk to the groom’,” the 28-year-old New Yorker told news.com.au.
“I locked them in a room for 10 minutes. I told all the guests ‘just take a seat, we’ll start soon’ and I went back in after 10 minutes and I asked her ‘Do you still want to do this?’ and she said ‘yes’.
“So after talking to him for 10 minutes by themselves she came to the conclusion that she did want to get married but you know my job isn’t to tell her what to do, it’s to help her get through the situation.”
It’s enough to put anyone off marriage for life but it’s all in a day’s work for the professional best-friend-cum-therapist-cum-bodyguard who can get paid upwards of $1000 in order to be the best friend every bride always wanted.
After starting the business on the side from her job at a tech company she’s worked more than 50 weddings in two years. Coverage of her success means she has been flooded with more than 10,000 applications from women around the world who want to be employed — ironic considering being asked to be a bridesmaid can be it’s own particular form of hell, she said.
“It’s kind of interesting that all these women want to do this as a job because often times when you’re asked to do this for friends people shy away from it or don’t seem super thrilled.
“I think a lot of people apply thinking it’s going to be a party and you’re going to drink and wear a dress and flirt with guys. In fact you don’t see any of that. I don’t flirt, mostly because I don’t know how to, but also because it’s a job and it’s a very professional setting so I think a lot of people apply for the wrong reasons.”
Staying sober and keeping a level head are just two of the necessary traits in a job that requires lashings of tact, grace and an iron will. It can also mean creating a cover for how she knows the bride and fending off drunk relatives or malicious gate-crashers.
“Sometimes the bride is very open about it and she will tell everyone ‘Oh this is Jen I hired her,’” she said.
“But then there are times when it’s a complete secret. The bride doesn’t tell anybody and in those situations there is always a backstory that the bride and I have, whether it’s we know each other from yoga class or we’re distant cousins, so that people don’t know that I’m hired.”
She’s due to release a book cataloguing the mishaps she has lived through in the job where “something crazy” always happens including swapping underwear with mothers and picking up animal poo with her bare hands.
It can also involve babysitting groomsmen too drunk to walk down the aisle, writing an impromptu speech or deciding what to do about a cake the groom has just dropped on the ground.
But while the unflappable bestie you wish you had is under control in most situations, one particular wedding made an impact after the bride was found in her suite downing a bottle of vodka on her wedding night.
“She got really drunk and her and her groom were fighting all night long screaming at each other. At the very end of the night I walked in and she was on the floor of the bridal suite kicking and screaming saying ‘this is the worst night of my life’.
“My heart was broken, I left there crying because you don’t expect that at a wedding. But you know the more I do this job I realise just because it’s a wedding day it doesn’t mean it’s any different from any other day in our lives. Weddings are complicated, love is complicated, people are extremely complicated and I think that’s what kind of keeps me on my toes at these weddings and makes me view life differently.”
JEN’S TOP WEDDING TIPS
Live in the moment: Take a step back to look around and enjoy yourself
Don’t spend more than you can afford: You will regret it for a lifetime
Choose the things you want: If you can’t think of a valid reason for something, don’t do it
Always a Bridesmaid for Hire will be released in February