I’m here with Jen Glantz, author of the recently published book, “Always a Bridesmaid (For Hire).” I’ll be asking her a series of questions, covering everything from her new book, to insider advice on events that’re usually planned before a wedding, like the bachelorette party, the bridal shower, and the rehearsal dinner. At the end of this piece, there’ll be a rapid-fire round of questions with lots of random wedding-ness…think hashtags and food trucks. I know, random, but keep reading! I promise you won’t be disappointed!
Okay, so first of all, we need to talk about your new book, Always a Bridesmaid for Hire. I did a review on it a few weeks ago, but to catch up any new readers, what would you say is the elevator pitch for this book?
Q1àIt’s my life story – a book about growing up, looking for love, and walking down the aisle in the wrong places.
If I were to sum it up, I’d say it’s about how you started your own business (LINK), developed some wonderful friendships, and learned a lot about yourself in the process. Anything else to add?
Q2 àI’d say it’s a lot about the mistakes I made along the way.
You’ve written a lot about what it takes to make a wedding day flawless (e.g. holding the bride and her gals together…emotionally and literally in their dresses), but let’s talk about the days, weeks, and months leading up to a wedding. I’m talking to all the newly-engaged chicas out there with an instagrammable rock and impending engagement photos in a (insert local hipster forest, lake, or coffee shop).
What’s your advice on picking bridesmaids? Since you’ve worked with many different kinds of bridal parties, what would you say makes a cohesive #BrideTribe?
Q3 àWho would you want to be stuck In an elevator with. That is your bridal party.
Have you seen any good ways to ask a girlfriend to be in your bridal party? Any bad ways?
Q4 àAvoid text messages or leaving it on a voicemail!
Let’s fast-forward to events leading up to the wedding. We’ve got the bachelorette party, the bridal shower, and the rehearsal dinner. Am I missing any key events?
Q5 àYou got it girl!
Last fling before the ring, final rodeo, whatever you want to call it…what would you say is your best piece of advice to a MOH (maid of honor or other person) planning this event?
Q6 àStay calm – plan ahead – ask for help from the bridal party.
Thoughts on joint bachelorette/bachelor parties? If yay, why? If nay, why not?
Q7 àIt’s a great idea if the groups are good friends – if not, it may be too much drama!
Do you bring a gift for this event? Why or why not?
Q8 à Skip the gift and buy the bride a drink
Would you recommend any activities a MOH or friends could suggest to make a bachelorette special?
Q9 àKeep it personal – with a photo montage or games that the whole bridal shower can play
THE BRIDAL SHOWER
This is usually the event where a bride-to-be receives ten toasters, three sets of matching towels, and some kind of random sex toy that didn’t make it to the bachelorette party. What are your thoughts on this event? And do you think it has to be a female-exclusive thing, or are co-ed showers a thing, like co-ed baby showers?
Q10 àI think bridal showers are outdated. Make them co-ed and active – like at a bowling alley or fitness class.
Any memorable games from a bridal shower? I’ve been to some that ask how well the bride-to-be knows her groom-to-be, toilet paper wedding dress competitions, etc.
Q11 àI like the Q&A game to see who knows the bride best!
This event is kind of an in-between party that usually calls for a gift, but what do you get? Off the registry? Something cute?
Q12 à Play it safe and go off the registry
What would you say is a good budget for said gift (taking into account you’ll likely be buying a wedding present and may or may not have already spent on bachelorette festivities)?
Q13 àI’d say around $50 is best
THE REHEARSAL DINNER
At this point we’re down to the wire; usually this event is held the night before the big day. There’s usually some rendezvous at the church (temple, venue, or with whomever is officiating the ceremony the next day). The wedding party practices walking down the aisle, family members complain in the pews, and dinner (and hopefully drinks) follow shortly thereafter.
Do you have any advice for the rehearsal dinner?
Q14 àKeep it short so your guests can rest before the big day!
Speeches? Or save until the actual wedding?
Q15 àLimit the speeches or else people will carry on the whole night!
We’ve finally arrived. The day is here! Your book talks about quite a few wedding day disasters, including dresses falling apart, groomsmen partying too hard, and that one time you picked up poop with your bare hands so the bride’s dress wouldn’t get ruined. (Don’t believe me, go read about it yourself).
So it’s the moment of reckoning…let’s do a final rapid-fire session of questions (with mini explanations, because you’ve got troves of behind the scenes experience at weddings, and most brides only get married once…and may or may not have attended a wedding prior to hers).
Q16 àDrinking before walking down the aisle? Yay or nay? NAH! Keep it sober.
Q17 àWedding hashtags? Not many people use them!
Q18 àTop shots to ask the wedding photographer for? Nothing generic – spice it up and do candid shots.
Q20 àFirst looks (prior to walking down the aisle)? Yay or nay? No – that’s one tradition I’d like to keep
Q21 àWrite your own vows? Yes, please
Q22 àSeating chart or free for all (at the reception)? Free for all!
Q23 àPlated meal, buffet, or other like a food truck? Buffet and causal cuisine!
Q24 àFavorite and least favorite wedding favor? Favorite- a bottle of water; Least Favorite-anything glass! It shatters in my suitcase!
Q25 àBest piece of advice you’ve given (or received) while attending a wedding? It lasts for only eight hours. Enjoy every second and don’t worry about the small stuff!
Well, that’s all I’ve got. A million thanks to Jen for taking the time to answer my insatiable amount of questions. Weddings can become overwhelming, but they don’t have to be. Jen designed her company, Bridesmaid for Hire, to specifically address the unmet concerns she noticed many brides-to-be encounter. Hopefully you all find this Q & A helpful (I know I did!), and if you have any additional questions for Jen about her bridesmaid packages, go here!