This Professional Bridesmaid Makes $2,000 Per Wedding

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When Jen Glantz posted an ad online offering her services as a bridesmaid, she woke up the next day to over 250 responses. Many thought it was a joke, but Jen saw a real opportunity to create a new business.

“Some people have the greatest friends in the world, but don’t want to stress them out with tons of pre-wedding requests,” she says. “I’m the bride’s on-call therapist, personal assistant, social director, and peacemaker.”

As a professional bridesmaid, Jen runs Bridesmaid for Hire. What started as a fun side hustle turned into a very lucrative job. Here’s how she did it.

It all started with an ad

Before she started her creative side hustle, Jen was working as a copywriter for a New York City-based tech startup. While she enjoyed her job and loved the opportunity to use her journalism degree, she was drawn to the idea of becoming an entrepreneur.

After Jen served as a bridesmaid six times for her friends, they joked that she was a professional bridesmaid. That thought sparked her imagination — she realized that her past experience, along with her organized and upbeat personality, could be monetized.

In 2014, she put up an ad on Craigslist stating that she was a bridesmaid for hire.

bridesmaid for hire ad

Image credit: Craigslist.org

The ad said she could handle forgetful friends, get things organized, and provide support to the bride. When Jen woke up the next morning, she had hundreds of responses — some from brides, and others from women who wanted to be professional bridesmaids, too.

“It was a great way to test out this new concept and made me realize there was a true need for this role in the wedding industry,” Jen explains.

The overwhelming response showed Jen that there was a real opportunity for her to start her own business. The week after she posted the ad, she launched the Bridesmaid for Hire website, and soon, she booked her first client.

“It was the perfect learning experience,” she says. “I was nervous walking into it, but then an hour into the job I realized that I was able to help the bride and the party out so much.”

Within a few weeks, television programs and magazines heard about her story and contacted her for interviews, causing traffic to her website to explode. Within six months of running her ad, she had booked five weddings and seriously boosted her side hustle income.

Switching from side hustle to full-time gig

For a while, Jen juggled both her full-time job and her bridesmaid business. She would get up early in the morning and log three hours of work on her side gig, then would head to work. When she came home in the evening she would work for a few more hours, talking with potential clients or updating her website.

Jen dreamed of making her bridesmaid business her sole job but hadn’t quite figured out a plan to do so. For a time, her side gig was just a great way to make money on the side. Then in 2015, fate intervened when she was laid off by her employer. She was heartbroken; she had dedicated herself to her job and put in long hours to help the company succeed.

“I stood outside the building on my way out and said to myself, ‘I will never work for anybody else,’” Jen says. Using the layoff as a motivator, Jen turned her side gig into a full-time career. Through her hard work, the business expanded and replaced her old salary.

Her business today

Today, Jen’s company offers three different packages:

  • Wedding coach: As your wedding coach, she’ll help you stay on budget, remind you of necessary tasks, and help problem-solve any major issues.
  • Day-of coordination: Different and less expensive than hiring a wedding planner, this option gets you assistance with logistics. That includes creating a detailed timeline for the wedding, coordinating with vendors, and on-site support.
  • Bridesmaid for hire: When you need one more person to round out your bridal party, this option allows you to hire a seasoned bridesmaid. Beyond walking down the aisle, she’ll help you manage your to-do list and handle any last-minute emergencies.

Jen’s services aren’t cheap: Depending on how much care you need, prices range from $150 to $2,000 or more. Starting prices don’t include her travel fees, accommodations, or her bridesmaid dress — that’s the bride’s responsibility.

But Jen, who has worked over 60 weddings, says the premium is well worth it.

“As a wedding day-of coordinator, I’ve seen it all … sometimes I’ve seen it all go wrong. But I have had a solution for every hiccup and a Band-Aid for every last-minute scratch on the day’s overall plan,” she says on her website.

In her role as hired bridesmaid, Jen has had to navigate many tricky and sensitive situations.

“I’ve found photographers when they’ve gone missing, caught a wedding cake that fell off a table and almost landed on the floor, [and] served as the unofficial DJ when the real DJ didn’t show up,” Jen says.

She even puts her copywriting experience to work by drafting speeches for the maid of honor or best man. The results of Jen’s hard work? A seamless and stress-free day for the bride.

Start your own unique side hustle

Understandably, many people want to follow in Jen’s dyed-to-match shoes. Since she launched her business, she’s received over 20,000 applications to work with her.

Bridesmaid for hire.jpg

Photo courtesy of Jen Glantz (second from right)

Although Jen isn’t hiring help right now, there are plenty of opportunities for other like-minded entrepreneurs. If you’d like to start your own bridesmaid service or other wedding-related business, Jen recommends that you be able to thrive in stressful situations.

“You’ll need experience,” she says. “It’s good to be a people person and to love being in chaotic situations.”

She says that having experience as a bridesmaid is essential, but if you have a background in event planning or organization, that can be a huge asset, too.

Because of her own success with turning a side gig into a full-time job, Jen is passionate about helping other would-be entrepreneurs get their ideas off the ground. She’s added career coach to her resume, offering an online course to help others start similar businesses. In February, she even published a book on her experiences.

Launching your own business

Whether you want to become a professional bridesmaid like Jen or have another idea for a new side hustle, Jen warns that you shouldn’t wait for the “right time.”

“Start now,” she says. “Put a product or service out there and see if it works. Hustle hard and don’t stop till you cross the finish line.”

Want more side hustle inspiration? Check out these blogs that will motivate you to make more money.

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1 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.

Laurel Road Disclosures

  1. VARIABLE APR – APR is subject to increase after consummation. The variable interest rates are based on a Current Index, which is the 1-month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) (currency in US dollars), as published on The Wall Street Journal’s website. The variable interest rates and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) will increase or decrease when the 1-month LIBOR index changes.

2 Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Student Loan RefinanceFixed rates from 3.999% APR to 7.804% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 2.480% APR to 7.524% APR (with AutoPay). Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at either 8.95% or 9.95% depending on term of loan. See APR examples and terms. Lowest variable rate of 2.480% APR assumes current 1 month LIBOR rate of 2.07% plus 0.91% margin minus 0.25% ACH discount. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, the fixed or variable interest rate offered will depend on your creditworthiness, and the term of the loan and other factors, and will be within the ranges of rates listed above. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. *To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit inquiry. Unlike hard credit inquiries, soft credit inquiries (or soft credit pulls) do not impact your credit score. Soft credit inquiries allow SoFi to show you what rates and terms SoFi can offer you up front. After seeing your rates, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit inquiry. Hard credit inquiries (or hard credit pulls) are required for SoFi to be able to issue you a loan. In addition to requiring your explicit permission, these credit pulls may impact your credit score
  2. Terms and Conditions Apply: SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi’s underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)

3 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.

CommonBond Disclosures

  1. Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). The following table displays the estimated monthly payment, total interest, and Annual Percentage Rates (APR) for a $10,000 loan. The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) shown for each in-school loan product reflects the accruing interest, the effect of one-time capitalization of interest at the end of a deferment period, a 2% origination fee, and the applicable Repayment Plan. All loans are eligible for a 0.25% reduction in interest rate by agreeing to automatic payment withdrawals once in repayment, which is reflected in the interest rates and APRs displayed. Variable rates may increase after consummation. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 2.08% effective July 25, 2018.

4 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

  1. Education Refinance Loan Rate DisclosureVariable rate, based on the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) published in The Wall Street Journal on the twenty-fifth day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month. As of August 1, 2018, the one-month LIBOR rate is 2.07%. Variable interest rates range from 2.72%-8.17% (2.72%-8.17% APR) and will fluctuate over the term of the borrower’s loan with changes in the LIBOR rate, and will vary based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a cosigner. Fixed interest rates range from 3.50%-8.69% (3.50% – 8.69% APR) based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a cosigner. Lowest rates shown require application with a cosigner, are for eligible, creditworthy applicants with a graduate level degree, require a 5-year repayment term and include our Loyalty discount and Automatic Payment discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. The maximum variable rate on the Education Refinance Loan is the greater of 21.00% or Prime Rate plus 9.00%. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change. Please note: Due to federal regulations, Citizens Bank is required to provide every potential borrower with disclosure information before they apply for a private student loan. The borrower will be presented with an Application Disclosure and an Approval Disclosure within the application process before they accept the terms and conditions of their loan.
  2. Federal Loan vs. Private Loan Benefits: Some federal student loans include unique benefits that the borrower may not receive with a private student loan, some of which we do not offer with the Education Refinance Loan. Borrowers should carefully review their current benefits, especially if they work in public service, are in the military, are currently on or considering income based repayment options or are concerned about a steady source of future income and would want to lower their payments at some time in the future. When the borrower refinances, they waive any current and potential future benefits of their federal loans and replace those with the benefits of the Education Refinance Loan. For more information about federal student loan benefits and federal loan consolidation, visit http://studentaid.ed.gov/. We also have several resources available to help the borrower make a decision at http://www.citizensbank.com/EdRefinance, including Should I Refinance My Student Loans? and our FAQs. Should I Refinance My Student Loans? includes a comparison of federal and private student loan benefits that we encourage the borrower to review.
  3. Citizens Bank Education Refinance Loan Eligibility: Eligible applicants may not be currently enrolled, must be in repayment of their existing student loan(s) and must make the minimum number of payments after leaving school. Primary borrowers must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or resident alien with a valid U.S. Social Security Number residing in the United States. Resident aliens must apply with a co-signer who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. The co-signer (if applicable) must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident with a valid U.S. Social Security Number residing in the United States. For applicants who have not attained the age of majority in their state of residence, a co-signer will be required. Citizens Bank reserves the right to modify eligibility criteria at anytime. Interest rate ranges subject to change. Education Refinance Loans are subject to credit qualification, completion of a loan application/consumer credit agreement, verification of application information, certification of borrower’s student loan amount(s) and highest degree earned.
  4. Loyalty Discount Disclosure: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower or their co-signer (if applicable) has a qualifying account in existence with us at the time the borrower and their co-signer (if applicable) have submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, or other student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, our checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, and VT and some products may have an associated cost. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate disclosed in the Loan Approval Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.
  5. Automatic Payment Discount Disclosure: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. Discount is not available when payments are not due, such as during forbearance. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account three or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.
  6. Co-signer Release: Borrowers may apply for co-signer release after making 36 consecutive on-time payments of principal and interest. For the purpose of the application for co-signer release, on-time payments are defined as payments received within 15 days of the due date. Interest only payments do not qualify. The borrower must meet certain credit and eligibility guidelines when applying for the co-signer release. Borrowers must complete an application for release and provide income verification documents as part of the review. Borrowers who use deferment or forbearance will need to make 36 consecutive on-time payments after reentering repayment to qualify for release. The borrower applying for co-signer release must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. If an application for co-signer release is denied, the borrower may not reapply for co-signer release until at least one year from the date the application for co-signer release was received. Terms and conditions apply.
  7. Average savings based on 18,113 actual customers who refinanced their federal and private student loans through our Education Refinance Loan between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017. The calculation is derived by averaging the monthly savings of Education Refinance Loan customers whose payments decreased after refinancing, which is calculated by taking the monthly student loan payments prior to refinancing minus the monthly student loan payments after refinancing. The borrower’s savings might vary based on the interest rates, balances and remaining repayment term of the loans they are seeking to refinance. The borrower’s overall repayment amount may be higher than the loans they are refinancing even if their monthly payments are lower.
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2.80% – 6.38%1Undergrad
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2.48% – 7.52%2Undergrad
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2.47% – 7.99%Undergrad
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2.57% – 6.65%3Undergrad
& Graduate
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2.72% – 8.17%4Undergrad
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