Bridesmaid for hire: Woman’s Craiglist ad goes viral
08/06/2014 8:43 AM
08/06/2014 8:44 AM
Worried that one of your bridesmaids won’t make it to the church on time? Don’t have a free minute to answer those endless pre-wedding email chains created by your maid of honor? Is The Big Day becoming way too big and far too stressful?
Jen Glantz has the solution to those nuptial headaches a jittery bride is sure to encounter before she even takes the first step down the aisle: Hire her.
Glantz, who was born and raised in Boca Raton, has launched a business as a professional bridesmaid. Go ahead. Check it out at her new website, www.bridesmaidforhire.com.
“It fills a gigantic need,” says Glantz, 26, a copywriter for a New York tech and advertising startup. “I was already doing it for my friends, so I thought, ‘Why not offer what I know to people out there?’ I wanted to test the market.”
So she did, in an ad she posted on Craigslist in early July. It detailed, in part, her bridesmaid skills, those proficiencies that everybody takes for granted until the bride really, really needs them:
“Holding up the 18 layers of your dress so that you can pee with ease on your wedding day.
“Catching the bouquet and then following that moment up with my best Miss America-like ‘Omg, I can’t believe this’ speech.
“Doing the electric and the cha-cha slide.”
The ad, which also explained that she has been asked to be a bridesmaid “for what felt like the hundredth time,” caught the fancy of editors of several websites and broadcast outlets, among them Buzzzfeed, the Huffington Post, HLN and E! Online. She has received hundreds of emails and been interviewed by ABC.
“I wasn’t surprised,” Glantz says, “because I’ve been to a lot of my friends’ weddings and I’ve seen firsthand what’s needed.”
After the ad, Glantz quickly launched a website. She wrote up descriptions for four different packages, though she has not put a price tag on any of them. “I’m willing to work with the bride, and I’m very flexible,” she adds.
The University of Central Florida 2010 grad has had plenty of experience in marketing her skills through technology. She writes a blog on the website, thethingsilearnedfrom.com And two years ago, when she watched from the sidelines as her friends got engaged in droves, she did some soul-searching — then wrote about it. Last year she self-published All My Friends are Engaged. This year alone, she will have served as a bridesmaid in four weddings, including the January nuptials of sorority sister Alli Peterson.
Peterson, who met Glantz at UCF when Glantz was president of Alpha Epsilon Phi, spoke highly of her friend’s bridesmaiding skills. “This is right down her alley,” Peterson says. “She’s very engaging and very energetic. She makes you feel right at home in any situation. And she’s a real good listener.”
Glantz bills herself as “The friend you never knew you needed,” and she differentiates her services from that of a wedding planner. A planner, she explains, focuses more on the actual event — choice of venue, caterer, DJ and the like — while she focuses on the bride.
Wouldn’t other bridesmaids be offended by an intruder? “I make it easier for them,” she says. “They can focus on having fun that day, on making memories, on hanging out with family.”
Glantz is negotiating with several women who have contacted her, but one bride has already hired her. Ashley Blanchard, who is getting married to Nathan Bosquez in Minneapolis, read an online piece about Glantz last month. “I thought, ‘That’s cute, that’s genius,’ but I moved on. I didn’t think about hiring her.”
As the date approached, however, Blanchard, 25, who attends college while working a part-time job, discovered she needed an extra pair of eyes and ears. Glantz has provided “an honest, unbiased opinion” every time Blanchard has texted her with a question or a photograph, she says.
But more than a sounding board, Blanchard describes Glantz as a stress reliever. “There’s not a lot of time in the day to do everything I want,” Blanchard says. “It’s about time management and about focusing on what I want to do.”
Blanchard admits hiring Glantz is “something my fiancée doesn’t get,” but her three bridesmaids have given her a thumbs-up. “They understand she’s more like a personal attendant.”
Blanchard is paying Glantz’s travel expenses for the Sept. 6 nuptials. They have yet to agree on a fee, but Blanchard says she has been so impressed with the service that she wouldn’t mind hiring herself out as a professional bridesmaid through Glantz’s company. The 21st century bride needs it.
“Nowadays a 40-hour week is gone,” she says. “It’s more like 50 or 60, and then there are all those other activities. It’s nice to be able to hire someone who takes care of things for you. You can never have too much help on your wedding day.”