We thought we’d heard it all when those Japanese cuddle-cafes hit the news. It’s weird to us to imagine living in a world where cuddles aren’t freely accessible. We had to reassess our stance and judgement once we heard what goes on in the shady world of rent-a-bridesmaid services. That’s right, you can pay someone to be one of the most important figures in your wedding…
However, the rent-a-bridesmaid phenomenon isn’t what you think. On first glance you’d think it would cater for lonely people that don’t have anyone they can rely on but it’s slightly more complicated than that.
In a great piece for Cosmopolitan, Jen Glantz reveals what it’s actually like being a professional bridesmaid. She found a gap in the market, once she’d waded through all the creepy requests, after posting an advert on Craigslist (American Gumtree).
The role isn’t to be confused with rent-a-friend services. it’s closer to a personal assistant-cum-therapist that’s there to get everything sorted and to be a shoulder to cry on when the pressure gets too much.
An extra advantage is that having the distance from the family means that peacekeeping can be an objective and politic-free responsibility. You can throw a drunk uncle on his arse without having to worry about awkward conversations at Christmas!
Jen rents herself as a bridesmaid on the side of her full-time copywriting job. In the first year alone, Jen has accompanied 30 brides into marriage, acted as a bodyguard from a fired maid-of-honour and had to sacrifice her bra for the mother of the bride!
It sounds like a lot of work so there has to be perks, right? Firstly, Jen gets to keep all of the dresses she wears as “souvenirs”. The job has also revalidated the way she views relationships and dating. In her words: “The best part about it is being surrounded by such a positive experience, watching people solidify love. It re-energises you to truly find a person who understands you, who will be by your side through the really good and the really bad.”