As an intimate wedding photographer, I often try to think of things to write that will be helpful to my possible brides. Not too long ago, I was contacted to write a little blurb about the Best Tips for Organizing Your Dream Wedding. In return, I asked Wendy Dessler to be a guest writer for me. She's got an interesting topic and I'd love to hear your thoughts on the matter.
WOULD YOU HIRE A BRIDESMAID?
Wow. One of the latest trends in weddings is something most folks have never even thought about – but it’s catching on and gaining pretty public attention: “bridesmaids for hire”. Socially savvy and highly organized young women are offering to take up where most wedding planners leave off – giving personal support to brides from pre-wedding dance coaching to actually donning the pink bridesmaid dresses and standing up next to them on the altar.
Professional bridesmaids fall into an emerging category of wedding vendor called “Concierge Services.” According to HuffPo, these services include “social media concierges” and even professionally trained canine ring bearers!
Check yourself – if you’re staring at the screen with a perplexed look upon your face, you’re probably not alone.
If you stop and think for a second about the incredible level of stress and emotion that weddings naturally inspire, it’s not a totally ridiculous concept. Day-of coordinators have become quite common, taking on the role of executing plans that couples themselves made to make sure all things run smoothly. Some services certainly cross-over – many day-of coordinators work with teams of assistants who are more than happy to help a bride button up a complicated gown, carry a bag of makeup for photo touch ups, and offer comforting emotional support throughout the day.
But actually wearing the dress, standing up at the altar, sitting at the wedding party dinner table and dancing the night away to keep the dance floor jumping – those are roles that traditionally go beyond the services of most day-of coordinators and full-service wedding planners. They enter a new realm of an industry that is influenced by the same internet on which you can find rent-a-friend services (the platonic version of dating websites) and evidently highly-trained canine attendants as well (it’s just such a deeply fascinating and somewhat endearing image!).
Opinions are bound to stay mixed on whether most brides would be willing to hire a bridesmaid or not. On the pro side, professional bridesmaids may be able to fill niche needs on a personal scale that truly no other category of wedding pro customarily provides. Introverted brides, those who have lost most or all of their families, and high maintenance brides could certainly find a patch for something they are missing in the hands of a sensitive soul. Some couples have moved, perhaps as part of military life, and of necessity are having a small wedding in their new hometown, sans loved ones. In these cases, a talented hired hand with a caring personality and a knowledge of waterproof mascara could be very helpful.
Others would argue that selecting your bridal party is practically a sacred mission – that bridesmaid is a role that is supposed to be played only by your closest friends or family. Many couples are even choosing “attendants” regardless of gender to show reverence for their deepest, longest-lasting friendships, creating fascinating new roles like “bridesman” and “groomsmaid.” Opponents of bridesmaids for hire would argue that performing one of these roles is about more than wearing similar pink bridesmaid dresses – it’s about showing support for someone you love, a role that can not be filled by a hired hand.
What can’t be denied is that weddings are changing and ever-evolving. What seemed impossible to etiquette gurus even 10 years ago is commonplace today. Perhaps hiring a bridesmaid is a passing fad, or perhaps concierge wedding services are the way of the future. What do you predict? Would you hire a bridesmaid?
Wendy is a super-connector with Outreachmama who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition.
If you or someone you know is having an intimate wedding or elopement, I would love for you to Contact Me today. It would be an honor to be considered for your wedding photography needs!