Travel I'm a professional bridesmaid who strangers pay to perform the role of close friend at their wedding. Here are the 10 biggest, most unusual perks of my job.

16:25  29 october  2020
16:25  29 october  2020 Source:   businessinsider.com

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a woman posing for a picture: Jen Glantz says running her own business as a professional bridesmaid definitely has its perks. Jen Glantz © Provided by Business Insider Jen Glantz says running her own business as a professional bridesmaid definitely has its perks. Jen Glantz
  • Jen Glantz is an entrepreneur and founder of the company Bridesmaid for Hire, and she works as a professional bridesmaid in the weddings of complete strangers.
  • While each wedding presents its own unique challenges, Glantz says the process often also comes with exciting, luxurious perks.
  • She gets comped travel to destination weddings and bachelorette parties, joins in on cake taste-testing appointments, and tries on beautiful wedding dresses to free up time for the bride.
  • Glantz also receives a free bridesmaid dress as part of the wedding party, and since making her business a success, frequently gets free gifts from PR companies and brands that she regifts to clients or friends.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

I've spent the last six years working as a professional bridesmaid and running the company, Bridesmaid for Hire. Working with hundreds of clients over the years has made me describe this job as anything but glamorous. There's a lot of tears (from everyone), pop-up problems (yes, I have to locate missing grooms) and uncertainty that I'm forced to weather, along with supporting the person getting married (more people have cold feet than you think).

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However, I recently started to think about the positives associated with being the world's first professional bridesmaid and felt overwhelmingly grateful for how many perks come with the job. There's a lot of big ticket items included in the price people pay to hire me, and there's also a lot of freebies along the way that make the gig rare and exciting.

Here's my list of the top 10 most common and adored perks that I look forward to when working a wedding as a bridesmaid for hire.

1. A free bridesmaid dress

One of the first perks of my job is getting a free bridesmaid dress. Since I'm usually asked to wear the same dress as the bride's other bridal squad members, it's something they'll cover the cost of and send over the dress before the wedding day.

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  Princess Beatrice's wedding dress on display at Windsor Castle The Sir Norman Hartnell gown, first worn by the Queen in the 1960s, was loaned to Beatrice by her grandmother for her wedding. It is now on display at Windsor Castle.The Sir Norman Hartnell gown, first worn by the Queen in the 1960s, was loaned to Beatrice by her grandmother for her secret, low-key wedding to Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi in July.

At this point, I have more bridesmaid dresses than Katherine Heigl in the movie "27 Dresses." I do wear some of them again, and have donated a handful of them to nonprofits and organizations that benefit women.

2. Wedding dress previews

One of the services I provide to busy brides is that I'll do their wedding dress shopping dirty work for them. This means I'll go to bridal stores, with the dress styles they've told me they like in mind, and try on dresses for them. I'll share photos and my own personal opinions. Often, I try on 15-20 dresses and narrow it down to the top five they should go try on in person. Why is this a perk? It's really fun to try on thousand-dollar dresses that I never would have tried on otherwise.

3. Glam time with the bride

When the bride gets her hair and makeup done on the wedding day, I do too, right there beside her. Getting pampered by her glam squad is a big perk of the job and something I view as a "finish line" treat. After spending months working with this client and weathering all the stress, drama, and pop-up problems, it's a peaceful moment getting these services done on the morning of the wedding, plus it's at no cost to me.

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4. Lots of free meals

Not only do I get to eat the food at the wedding (from cocktail hour to the cake) but oftentimes if the client and I meet in person, they'll take me out to lunch, dinner, or even to grab a coffee. Since I'm on the clock, these meals are often covered by them. While the spots we go to aren't always fancy (and I'm OK with that) it's still a nice treat that usually happens after spending a long day of decision-making and problem-solving with them.

5. Plus ones

At some of the weddings I work, the client lets me bring a plus one with me. Sometimes they ask that I bring a friend and other times they give me the green light to bring my fiance, Adam.

While it makes the wedding experience a whole lot more fun for me to have someone there I know, I also am swarmed with work and make sure to set ground rules with this person ahead of time. Usually I say they have to do their own thing at the wedding and we'll spend a little bit of my downtime hanging out. The perk for them to come with me? Free food and the open bar.

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6. Travel to multiple places

I've always loved to travel, and this job includes going to bachelorette parties and weddings all over the country. The client pays for the travel and accommodations because it's part of my job to be there for them and support them during any major wedding events. In the six years I've worked this job, I've traveled to many different cities I'd never been to before and racked up thousands of airline miles that I plan to use to pay for my own wedding travel one day soon.

7. Cake taste-testing duties

One of the most fun errands is accompanying clients to their cake taste-testing appointments if their fiance can't make it. As a dessert lover, it's quite obvious why this perk makes me super excited. I've also been able to try so many different flavors of cakes at the many weddings I've been to that now, I can lend expert advice to clients who are deciding between flavors and want to pick one that the majority of their guests will enjoy.

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8. A chance to see the vows first

Oftentimes, I edit and rewrite my clients' vows. A lot of people I work with want to make sure their vows are full of emotion, personal details, and not generic. Since I've heard hundreds of people read their vows, I'm able to make suggestions and changes so that their vows are personal and filled with joy. This is a perk because it makes me feel special that I can help influence, impact, and improve one of the most important parts of the wedding — the exchange of vows between the two people getting married.

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9. The ability to leave early

All of my clients book me to come to their wedding for a different amount of time. Some want me to be the last guest there but often, clients are OK with me leaving after dinner is served. The ability to leave the wedding early and usually ghost (without saying goodbye to anyone but the client) allows me to experience the best part of the weddings without having to linger around.

10. Sharing free gifts with clients

Since I'm the world's first person doing this job, a lot of brands and companies want to send different products or items for me to try out and give them feedback on (as they too are trying to break through in the wedding industry).

I've gotten a lot of products over the years (from devices to make peeing in a wedding dress easier, to foldable flat shoes) that I've gifted to my clients or friends. The items I know I'll use, I keep and some I've even saved to use for my own wedding coming up in 2021.

While these perks make the job seem extra glamorous, there is a lot of work and emotion that goes into working each of these weddings. Fun perks often make the tough parts of the job feel extra sweet, and remind me to be grateful for such an usual career.

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