“This one’s Michigan, this one’s California, this one’s Florida, this one’s additionally Florida, this one’s New Jersey, this one’s New York, this one was Florida, and this one was in Lengthy Island…”
Jen Glantz is rattling off states with good recall as she thumbs by a closet filled with satin, charmeuse and chiffon — most in varied shades of pastel. Every bridesmaid gown is properly worn, from deodorant stains to tattered hems. Every carries a narrative.
Positive, loads of us have at the very least one or two bridesmaid attire shoved behind the closet, by no means to be worn once more. Glantz has sufficient to rival a bridal boutique.
And no, it’s not simply because she has numerous just lately wed buddies — though that may be a think about her story. Glantz is as much as her ears in attire as a result of she makes a residing as an expert bridesmaid.
From Bridesmaid to Bridesmaid for Rent
How does one discover herself within the enterprise of being an expert bridesmaid? Let’s again as much as 2014, when Glantz was 26 years outdated — or as I wish to affectionately name it, “Fridge is Lined in Save the Dates” years outdated.
Someday in the direction of the top of June, Glantz obtained not one however two cellphone calls with hopeful brides-to-be on the opposite finish, bearing the identical query: “Will you be my bridesmaid?”
In that yr alone, Glantz discovered herself taking up the mantle of bridesmaid 4 occasions.
She was so properly versed within the artwork of bachelorette events, rounding up unruly bridesmaids and holding up poofy marriage ceremony attire that she was virtually an expert. And all through all of it, she observed a standard development within the marriage ceremony business.
“There was no one there whose job it was to assist the bride,” says Glantz. “If the bride had a marriage planner, she was so busy organising the marriage. If she had bridesmaids like myself, we had been very distracted, and we didn’t know methods to assist her.”
Glantz determined to capitalize on this hole within the business and put her finely honed bridesmaid abilities to work. She posted a Craigslist advert: Skilled Bridesmaid – wfw – 26 (NYC).
Let me be there for you, she implores future brides with not-so-great choices within the bridal occasion division. Let her “be certain that bridesmaid #four buys her gown on time and doesn’t present up three hours late.” Let her fill a spot if “you don’t have another girlfriends besides your third cousin, twice eliminated.”
Inside two days, Glantz had obtained over 250 responses.
Clearly, there was a requirement for a service that provides the prospect of a stress-free marriage ceremony. So Glantz determined to start out her personal enterprise, Bridesmaid for Rent.
Dwelling In a Perpetual Wedding ceremony Season
Within the 4 years since that fateful Craigslist advert, Glantz has labored with greater than100 purchasers everywhere in the nation.
She has expanded her providers and develop into the last word bridesmaid boss, providing varied ranges of bridal-related assist and dealing with 5 to 15 purchasers a month.
For the bride-to-be who simply wants a little bit of a nudge in the suitable course, she gives one-on-one teaching for $179. Somebody pondering of hiring a marriage planner can flip to Glantz as a substitute for day-of coordinating providers, which vary from $850 to $1,350.
Then there’s the last word bundle: A full-fledged bridesmaid for rent, which might value upwards of $four,000.
However this bundle doesn’t imply Glantz will merely present up on the day of the marriage, able to stroll down the aisle. She works with brides for wherever from three months to a full yr earlier than the marriage date, serving to all alongside the way in which.
“Throughout that point, we get to know one another… I’m there for the entire large milestones,” says Glantz. “One factor I’m tremendous happy with is that I assist folks get monetary savings, so I’ll have a look at vendor contracts and say, ‘They’re ripping you off, it can save you cash right here.’”
And it’s not simply the brides that Glantz gives her experience to. Maids of Honor who’re a bit uncertain methods to transfer ahead can get a crash-course teaching session for $99. Or perhaps the MOH simply doesn’t have a manner with phrases. Fortunate for her, Glantz gives speech-writing packages starting from $200 to $375.
That manner, the MOH can keep away from the dreaded awkward silence after an inappropriate inside joke falls flat. #blessed
It’s Not All Wedding ceremony Cake and Bouquet Tosses
You could be pondering one thing alongside the traces of “I may completely do that job,” however take note simply what number of providers Glantz gives.
In actuality, this gig is nothing that like that film “The Wedding ceremony Ringer.” Glantz isn’t simply attending occasion after occasion, dancing the evening away and munching on marriage ceremony cake — though we will all agree that marriage ceremony cake is unquestionably a perk.
Glantz is a private assistant, planner, coordinator, coach, shoulder to lean on, speech-giver, peacekeeper and situation-diffuser all wrapped up in a single — often in some model of chiffon.
One marriage ceremony, she could be “Jen Smith” and makes positive bachelorette occasion really will get deliberate when the maid of honor drops the ball. At one other, she’s referred to as “Jen Cohen” and saves the day along with her emergency pack filled with Band-Aids and stain-remover sticks.
Together with the pseudonym, she’ll have a unique backstory explaining how she is aware of the bride, since most don’t notably care to clarify that they employed a bridesmaid. To some, the thought of assuming a brand new identification and attending a stranger’s marriage ceremony may sound unusual, however Glantz insists that all of it feels very pure and genuine to her.
“I’ve at all times thought to myself ‘That is what I’m meant to do,’ and I do know that sounds loopy as a result of who thinks they’re meant to be an expert bridesmaid?” says Glantz.
Recalling the primary marriage ceremony she ever labored, she says she obtained off the airplane in Minnesota and thought to herself “Jen, what are you doing?”
However every thing went off with out a hitch, and she or he lastly felt like she was doing one thing she was meant for. Glantz says she’s at all times had the abilities that make her so good at this, reminiscent of coping with difficult or dramatic conditions.
And everybody is aware of that weddings are rife with drama, proper?
At all times the Bridesmaid Entrepreneur
Glantz’s experiences as an expert bridesmaid and CEO have led to different alternatives. She freelance writes for main publications, speaks at conferences and has written two books, “When You Least Count on It” and “All My Mates are Engaged.”
Between Bridesmaid For Rent and her different endeavors, Glantz says she earns tens of 1000’s a yr.
At all times wanting forward, she’s increasing her providers with Bridesmaid for Rent. She just lately began providing packages for mothers-of-the-bride, who want their very own kind of assist however usually get forgotten.
She’s employed a couple of folks alongside the way in which, together with one other skilled bridesmaid, however has determined to supply one other service to hopeful staff as a substitute of hiring them.
“I at all times have individuals who need to work this job, so I began a franchising program the place folks can come study precisely how this enterprise works after which begin this enterprise for themselves wherever they stay on the earth,” she says.
For $249, you may study the methods of the commerce, such because the ins and outs of the marriage business, methods to model what you are promoting and methods to safe purchasers.
One can hope that future bridesmaids-for-hire share Glantz’s sentimental emotions in regards to the enterprise.
“I really feel very fortunate with this job as a result of I get to be current at among the finest and happiest moments of an individual’s life,” she says. “It’s taught me a ton about love, it’s taught me a ton about weddings, and it’s actually formed how I really feel about relationships.”
And in the event that they’re something like Glantz, perhaps they’ll find yourself with a closet filled with bridesmaid attire of their very own, unwilling to half with them and the recollections they carry.
Kaitlyn Blount is a employees author at The Penny Hoarder. She is presently planning her personal marriage ceremony, a maid of honor in one other… and a bridesmaid in one other. Perhaps she may use a few of Glantz’s skilled assist.
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