Why Would Anyone Want To Be A Professional Bridesmaid?

One woman on Craigslist is offering her services as a professional bridesmaid. Can you put a price on the worst bits of the best day of your friend's life?


by Daisy Buchanan |
Published on

Who doesn’t bloody love a wedding? No matter how you feel about the institution of marriage itself, you’d have to be a right curmudgeon with an allergy to bunting to object to what is essentially a one-day festival of prawn-based canapés and Dad dancing.

However, there is an inverse relationship between the level of effort your role at the wedding requires and the amount of fun you’ll have. You’ll know this if you’ve ever been a bridesmaid. Assisting the bride is a proper job, and it can be more intense than interning for Made In Chelsea’s Lucy Watson. What you’ll get ‘paid’ in catered lamb and wholesale champagne does not cover the cerebral and emotional costs incurred by up to 18 months of email conversations about Easyjet, other people’s allergies and whose cousin’s tits do not look good in a stretch sateen bandeau bodice.

An anonymous woman in New York has just posted an ad on Craigslist, promoting her services as a professional bridesmaid. She reasons she’s had enough experience to go pro, stating: ‘This year alone, i've [sic] been a bridesmaid 4 times. That's 4 different chiffon dresses, 4 different bachelorette parties filled with tequila shots and guys in thong underwear twerking way too close to my face, 4 different pre-wedding pep talks to the bride…’ There’s no doubting her professional credentials, although she doesn’t say what her rate is – it probably depends on various factors, with incremental raises for especially awful dresses and traumatic hen dos.

As a regular bridesmaid (and never a bride), I reckon that the absolute minimum wedding day rate is about 80 quid. You’re looking at a 10-hour shift of standing around, being uncomfortable, talking politely to people you don’t know and fetching drinks for the elderly, so it’s the equivalent of a very long shift in a shop or pub with a few tips thrown in. Add the inevitable psychological counseling of the bride (‘Yes, you do look more beautiful than a delicate snowflake cascading to the ground, softened by the sun’s rays. Yes, I did pack the emergency vodka miniatures for your Auntie Bev. Yes, you would have heard about it if the caterer’s salmon en croute had a tendency to give everyone noro’) at around £100 an hour, the PA skills you need to pull in to organise the sodding hen – let’s assume a decent day rate as well as the 50 to a 100 quid you never get back from the posh mate who just isn’t used to paying for her own stuff, but not the slow erosion of your own human dignity, because that’s priceless. I reckon a chief bridesmaid could get away with charging £500 for their services – and that is a very conservative estimate.

Obviously, some bridesmaids are so dreadful that it would be sensible to pay them half a grand to stay the hell away from one’s special day. This is such a real and recurring problem that it has become a Hollywood trope. It’s all fun, games and popcorn when Kristen Wiig is doing it, but there’s precious little in the way of LOLs to be had at an actual wedding when one of the bridesmaids has locked herself in the lavatory seconds before the ceremony, and won’t come out unless the father of the bride goes to the shop and gets her two 10 packs of Malboro Reds, because the 20s ‘taste different’.

Ultimately, our more mature mates and big sisters aren’t going to stop getting married any time soon. And this means they won’t stop asking us to swaddle ourselves in mad, unflattering chiffon robes, and prove our love to them by taking part in 20 minute choreographed dance performances, and wearing pink tees emblazoned with their name in any UK citywhich boasts a branch of Reflex and a Flares. And we’ll keep doing it, because we love them. The complaints of a bridesmaid are as numerous as they are detailed, but they are tales told by idiots, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing but a vague wish for a slightly smaller Visa bill and less dramatic hangover. Being a bridesmaid isn’t a job, it’s a calling. And whether you perform your duties perfectly, through an acidic haze of slight resentment, or whether you pinch a personal bottle of champagne, piss all over the bride’s shoes and then offer to give nonagenarian Great Uncle Charlie ‘one last erotic thrill’, you’re creating the sort of precious memories that no Craigslist user can offer.

Follow Daisy on Twitter @NotRollerGirl

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us