Should You Rent a Bridesmaid?

A bride and her bridesmaid standing next to each other, holding bouquets.

Maybe you’ve heard of it, maybe you haven’t, but hiring a professional bridesmaid (or groomsman) is a trend that’s been growing rapidly around the globe. By all means, it’s not a new phenomenon—the concept has been around for several years and companies that specialize in the idea have been popping up in several countries in the last decade.

A bridesmaid-for-hire is exactly what it sounds like: the person is expected to fulfill all of the typical bridesmaid (or maid of honor) duties and more. You can think of it as a mix between a day-of personal assistant, a friend, and a professional socialite. And although paid bridesmaids are more common, similar options exist for groomsmen as well. However, for now, let’s focus on the bridal side.

For brides-to-be (or grooms), hiring a professional as part of your wedding party could be something to consider. And if you’re someone that enjoys the socializing and planning aspect of the big day, it could be a fun side gig (or even a business) to attempt.

What Does a Hired Bridesmaid Do?

Although the first impression is that a hired bridesmaid simply gets paid to party, the truth is far more complicated. If you’ve ever been a bridesmaid, you know very well that the duties involved take quite a lot of effort. You are essentially a personal assistant, therapist, socialite, and peacekeeper all in one. Unfortunately, as a normal bridesmaid, you don’t get paid for any of it.

For example, a hired bridesmaid will often be the first one on the dance floor in order to encourage other guests to get the party started. They will also help the bride when any mishaps occur, and diffuse the drama between feisty family members. The role will always vary depending on the client. Sure, some hire a bridesmaid simply to ignite and maintain a party-like atmosphere throughout their big day, but in most cases, the client expects them to take on the expected duties of the role and more. However, if you’re hiring one, you should discuss their duties up front and you shouldn’t expect them to do everything. While they are your employee, in theory, they are also your friend for the day.

Why Should You Hire a Bridesmaid?

A bride trying on a wedding dress with a hired bridesmaid by her side.

For many people, it comes down to a lack of close friends or, more specifically, reliable friends. Others are just paying for peace of mind, as a hired bridesmaid helps their special day go as smoothly as possible, while also relieving their actual bridesmaids of extra stress. And unlike a day-of planner, a hired bridesmaid will seamlessly blend into the event. Another upside for having an undercover bridesmaid versus a day-of coordinator is that they can help with any family-related quarrels, keep an eye out for misbehaved guests, and act as a shoulder to lean on when things get too stressful.

If this concept feels too alien for you, know that most rent-a-bridesmaids will happily keep your secret safe if that’s what you want. In which case, you should both agree on a cover story that you can stick to. However, there are brides who have no qualms about having a hired bridesmaid and are quite open about it. It’s really up to you.

How Much Does a Bridesmaid-for-Hire Cost?

The price for a hired bridesmaid varies and depends largely on their expected duties. On average, a bridesmaid-for-hire can earn $100-200 per hour which usually translates into $1000+ per event. This may seem like a lot, but brides who have used such services swear that it was well worth the money considering you’ll have less to worry about.

Interested in Being a Bridesmaid-for-Hire?

A group of bridesmaids in white dresses.

In theory, the gig sounds like quite a fun and well-paid job, but it is important to note that there’s a reason why there’s a hefty paycheck involved. Many professional bridesmaids claim that the job is rather taxing—both physically and mentally. And even if you’re just hired to be a socialite for the night, you have to be on your A-game at all times.

As a hired bridesmaid, some key qualities that will make you perfect for the role include:

  • Great diplomatic skills
  • Compassion
  • Extroverted, conversational personality with a great sense of humor
  • A quick-on-your-feet mentality
  • Hard-working attitude

It’s not an easy job, but there are plenty of benefits if socializing is your skill and drama doesn’t get you down. However, keep in mind that it is not as glamorous as it seems. For example, although you are technically getting paid to be the life of the party, you shouldn’t take advantage of an open bar. In fact, many professionals recommend staying as sober as possible.

Still interested? Do a quick search and find a bridesmaids-for-hire company in your area. Or if you’re more independent, consider listing your service on a classified site such as Craigslist—this is exactly how many professionals in the field got started.

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