Weddings make for the happiest days of many people’s lives — and the most exhausting. If you’re a member of the wedding party, you feel honored to help a loved one tie the knot, but have a ton on your plate. And if you’re a part of multiple weddings? Well, it’s easy to get overwhelmed.
Consummate bridesmaid Jen Glantz was sick and tired of attending wedding after wedding. Fed up, she posted a saucy message to soon-to-be-married couples online. She never expected, however, such an unusual response to her post the very the next day…
Jen Glantz remembers the first time she attended a friend’s wedding. As a fresh-faced bridesmaid, she felt thrilled to be a part of the happiest day of a loved one’s life. But then she was selected as a bridesmaid for another friend. And then a third time.
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By the summer of 2014, the young New Yorker had already served as a bridesmaid four times — in that year alone. The ceremonies themselves were exhausting, but on top of that, there was all the planning and the expenses.
After her four rapid-fire bridesmaid stints, Jen wasn’t sure she could take any more wedding invites. Even though she made for an ideal guest, she just felt worn out and disinterested.
Yet, just a few months later, Jen found herself steaming a wedding dress for yet another bride. This time, however, she wasn’t helping a dear friend or family member walk down the aisle. She was attending the wedding of a complete stranger.
You might be thinking that Jen was crashing the wedding, but that was not the case. Everybody in attendance, from the father of the bride to the officiant, knew she was there. Jen received an invitation — but how did this happen?
A few months prior, Jen was still weighed down with wedding fatigue, so she posted a half-sarcastic ad on Craigslist. She started writing about her bridesmaid overload. It would give her a nice little break from her copywriting job at least.
Instagram / Jen Glantz
Jen went on about how all her bridesmaid experiences (she felt like she’d had 100 of them), just ran together. Each time, she had to endure “bachelorette parties filled with tequila shots and guys in thong underwear twerking way too close to my face.”
Jen went on to describe how, every time, the bride “wipes off the mascara-stained tears from her perfectly airbrushed face,” and everyone agrees that she’s the most beautiful bride in the world. Jen then ended her cynical post with an intriguing offer.
She advertised herself as a rental bridesmaid. Jen listed her skills and said she would come to any wedding, whether a couple wanted help planning or just needed an extra member of the wedding party. Submitting the post without thinking, she forgot about it until the next day.
Amazingly, she received some replies to her post — 250 of them! People genuinely thought Jen’s offer made sense, and her Craigslist post went viral overnight. With so much attention on her half-baked ad, Jen had to figure out how to handle this.
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She went for it, playing the part of a bridesmaid for a stranger! Flash forward a few years later, and she’s partnered with well over 100 brides. But make no mistake. Jen does a lot more during the wedding process than put on a dress and pose for photos…
For the most part, Jen sells herself as a personal assistant and planner. If the couple needs a hand coordinating events or has a last-minute crisis with the decor or their wardrobe, she’s their ace in the hole.
One of Jen’s most popular services, for example, is coaching wedding speeches. With so many couples recording their entire nuptials, their loved ones feel extra pressure to get every moment just right — especially speeches.
On the other hand, Jen also makes herself useful during receptions. If the dance floor is slow to get going, she takes it upon herself to lead a bunch of guests out there. She’s gotten a few blisters, but it’s all part of her job.
Interestingly, whenever Jen takes on a new wedding, she adopts an alias and backstory about how she knows the bride. Calling herself Jen Smith or Jen Cohen, she might say that they used to be neighbors or somehow work together.
And as for all those bridesmaid dresses? Jen feels bad about wearing them only once, so she goes out of her way to wear them again to the gym or while running errands. The results are often hilarious. But that’s not all she’s up to.
As you can imagine, she’s got a ton of great stories from her unique career path. Jen’s detailed them across three different books: When You Least Expect It, All My Friends Are Engaged, and Always a Bridesmaid.
Twitter / Jen Glantz
Bringing her talents to the streaming world, Jen’s also hosting and producing the podcast You’re Not Getting Any Younger. In each episode, she interviews someone who “disrupted their life for a good reason” by making some sudden change.
Jen certainly knows all about dealing with sudden changes. In her case, accepting unexpected opportunities has transformed her into a one-of-a-kind entrepreneur. She can’t picture herself doing anything else. But will she ever go to a real wedding again?
Instagram / Jen Glantz
As of 2019, Jen has no plans to tie the knot herself, at least not in a big show. But should she and her boyfriend Adam change their minds, Jen came up with a fun idea: maybe she’ll invite all her former clients to be her bridesmaids.