What to consider before being a bridesmaid, according to bridesmaid for hire

·4-min read
The most important things to consider when asked to be a bridesmaid, according to a professional bridesmaid (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
The most important things to consider when asked to be a bridesmaid, according to a professional bridesmaid (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

When it comes to planning a wedding, brides-to-be typically rely heavily on their bridal party to help, with everything from planning the bachelorette party to offering input on the dress placed upon bridesmaids.

While each pre-wedding and wedding plan varies, bridesmaids also typically have to accompany the bride to bridal showers, down the aisle, give speeches, and help ensure that the nuptials go smoothly.

The role, while often considered an honour, is not necessarily an easy one, nor is it without its monetary, time, and emotional commitments - which is why Jen Glantz, the founder of Bridesmaid for Hire, a service that allows brides to hire professional bridesmaids, has made a successful empire out of the task.

Glantz, who is based in Brooklyn, New York, began her career in 2014 with a Craigslist ad, in which she offered herself to strangers as a bridesmaid for hire. According to Glantz, the listing went viral, and just three days later, she officially started Bridesmaid for Hire.

As a professional who has been a bridesmaid in more than 100 weddings, we asked Glantz what she thinks are the most important factors for a bridesmaid to consider if they are asked to be a member of a wedding party.

According to Glantz, some of the first things a bridesmaid should do are set boundaries, both with their time and their budget.

“Make sure you set boundaries and a budget,” she told The Independent. “That way you’ve strategised what you want to say yes to and what you know you won’t deal with (whether that’s spending a lot of cash on a dress or flying somewhere international for a bachelorette party).”

According to The Knot, bridesmaids in the US are expected to pay for a number of expenses in the role. While these expectations vary, members of the bridal party typically pay for their bridesmaid dress, decor and activities for the bridal shower, a bridal shower gift, and some, if not all, of the bachelorette party costs.

The wedding website notes that traditionally, bridesmaids are also expected to cover the costs of their travel and accommodations for the wedding, and purchase a wedding gift, while they may also be asked to split the costs of wedding day hair and makeup.

In 2021, Vogue reported that the average cost of being a bridesmaid was $1,200, while the number increased to $1,820 if “you count dress alterations, bachelorette parties, or gifts”.

“Setting a budget also allows you to not spend too much on someone else’s wedding,” Glantz said.

The expectations placed on bridesmaids have recently become a topic of conversation on apps such as TikTok, where brides-to-be have shared their methods for handling topics such as budget and dress preference. According to one woman, Talia Morales, who goes by the username @onemorwolfe on TikTok, she navigated the planning by sending out a lengthy survey to her bridal party.

If you do agree to take on the role of bridesmaid, there are also etiquette expectations, according to Glantz, who told us that the one rule a bridesmaid should never break is making the wedding about themselves.

“Just don’t make the wedding about YOU! Even if things go wrong or you don’t like the dress or the way your hair and makeup turned out, just go with the flow, minimise drama and make the day about your friend, not about you,” she said.

While speaking to BuzzFeed, Glantz revealed that even she has found herself in situations where she has had to de-escalate drama, and remind herself that she won’t have to see the bride again once her duties are over.

“There have been many brides who have screamed at me, bossed me around, made me cry, and some made me want to quit. But I always remember that at midnight the gig ends, and I never have to see them again,” she revealed.

As for those who find the idea of being a professional bridesmaid appealing, Glantz previously told the outlet that it’s important for those interested in becoming a hired bridesmaid to understand that “it’s not glamourous”.

“Sure, you get to wear a bridesmaid dress and get your hair and makeup done, but there’s a lot of running around, fixing problems, and handling big personalities,” she said.

In regards to the type of people who make a good professional bridesmaid, and bridesmaids in general, Glantz told the outlet the role is best-suited for someone who “loves people and challenging situations”.

“Stress and drama are huge parts of this job, and being able to thrive in chaos will make you the ultimate bridesmaid for hire,” she said.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting