On a late night in June, one woman posted a Craiglist ad - all in good fun, or she thought. Instead? "My life ended up taking a one-way trip toward the adventure of a lifetime," she recalled. Here's her story...
The “Click” That Started It All
For most of us, landing that dream job takes lots of patience and planning. But for Jen Glantz? "It was a complete and total accident," she confessed. Sure enough, after stumbling across a late-night listing, her life has never been the same.
What happened? "I decided to test my idea out on Craigslist and offered my services to strangers," she recalled. From her bizarre advertisement to the buzz it quickly generated online, hang on while we rehash her remarkable journey to becoming an undercover bridesmaid…
Where It All Began
As for how one woman managed to find her way inside hundreds of strangers' weddings? Let's start at the very beginning: Jen Glantz has always been one to do things differently. Ever since she was a little girl, the talented writer constantly let her imagination run wild.
"[I understood] how powerful words, stories, and feelings could be once they left your own heart," Glantz recalled of her passion for storytelling. Whether it was another napkin or book cover, the young girl was always busy penning her latest adventure. Little did she know what her next chapter would bring...
She Started a Blog
As she continued to scribble her way through childhood, Jen's passion only continued to grow. "I began writing tiny little things for anyone who'd let me," she recalled. Sure enough, by 2011, Glantz was finally ready to take her talents to uncharted territory: the online world.
She founded The Things I Learned From: "a home for the mistakes, the moments, and the memories that just felt too unsettling to keep to myself," as her newfound blog noted. From childhood memories to cherished milestones, Jen's online journal documented it all. That was, until her life suddenly took a sharp turn in 2014.
Always a Bridesmaid
What happened? "I quickly became the walking, talking, pastel dress-wearing cliché of always being the bridesmaid," she confessed. Jen's reality became hijacked by walks down the aisle, accompanied by a familiar bundle of peonies. It was draining - in every sense of the word.
But not just where she was concerned. "I started to notice that weddings were filled with pockets of stress, anxiety, and loneliness for the people getting married," Glantz recalled. Both she and the brides were struggling. Something had to be done. But what?
The "Aha" Moment
Sure enough, "one annoying Friday night" in June, she'd finally get her answer. As Jen headed home after a long day at work, her mind was running in circles: not 1 - but 2 distant friends - had just called and asked her to be their bridesmaid. She had officially reached her breaking point. Would it ever end?
She stormed through her front door, plopped down on her sofa, and began unloading her stressful day onto her roommate. "Yes, you're good at this... You've become a professional bridesmaid," Jen's friend noted, as she offered up some words of comfort. And that's when it hit her.
“Why Is There No One… Really… There for the Bride?”
Since she was good at being a bridesmaid and had done it more times than she could count on both hands, why couldn't she do it for strangers? Glantz wondered. It was a thought that sent her mind running. Had she just stumbled upon a multi-million dollar idea?
She was about to find out. The eager bridesmaid began to voice her idea out loud while her roommate listened on in amazement. "In the $300 billion wedding industry, why is there no one whose job it is to be there, really be there, for the bride?" Jen explained.
Turning the Tables
Would she be able to change that? Maybe I can somehow turn the tables and make back the thousands of dollars I have spent over the years, Jen suddenly thought. After all, she'd become the "MVP" of bridesmaids. If anyone could do it, surely it'd be her. Right?
Her time in pastel had taught her the ins and outs of the wedding industry, something invaluable to any future Mrs: "In the end, the bride only wants one thing: a gal pal she can toss her arms around when times are tough," Glantz noted. "And I can be that gal."
Testing Her Theory
Sure enough, after a few too many glasses of wine, the eager young woman raced to the computer. Yes, she was in over her head - even she knew that much. But what she also knew, was that she was on the brink of a life-changing idea. She had to act fast.
"I thought the best way to test [the] idea was to put it out to the universe," Glantz recalled. And that's exactly what she did. With shaky hands, Jen raced to her laptop and began typing away. If only she knew the madness (and messages) that soon awaited her.
Her Craigslist Ad
Well, what happened? "After a few hours, I found myself on a website my mother told me never to use... Craigslist," Jen recalled. Sure, she was entering uncharted territory. But she wasn't scared off, quite the opposite actually. "Here I was, a poetry major in college who had found a need... and I ran with it."
The skilled writer put her talent to work as she began to write up a witty ad: "Bridesmaid for hire," her Craigslist post read. "Let me be there for you," she continued, addressing any bride out there in need of an extra hand. Next, the tipsy bridesmaid shut her laptop, went to bed, and put her impromptu ad to rest. For now...
As Jen opened her eyes that very next morning, she was met with the surprise of her life. She'd been sipping on her morning coffee and making rounds online like any typical day. But the events that followed were anything but ordinary: not only had her Craigslist post gone over well, it had gone viral.
"I got hundreds of emails from all around the world from people who wanted to hire me," Glantz explained. She couldn't believe it. What started as an innocent joke had officially turned into an international career opportunity. But was she even ready to make moves?
The Start of "Bridesmaid for Hire"
Sure enough, she was. But not without a helping hand. The stumped screenwriter quickly reached out to her brother, eager for whatever advice she could get. Sure enough, he was just as impressed as Craigslist was: it was time to put her idea into action.
"I realized that this was a business that nobody had the courage to touch, and I was going to do something with it," Glantz explained. And so, with the help of her new business partner, Jen took perhaps her biggest leap of faith: "Bridesmaid for Hire" was officially born.
Just three days after her Craigslist ad, Jen Glantz was officially a business owner. She couldn't believe it. She really did it. But what now? The anxious boss-lady got to work as she began mapping out her grand plans alongside her brother. There was lots to be done.
"I bought the domain, put together packages, and started selling my services," Glantz recalled of the events that followed. With an official website and trademark, Jen and her eager brother were ready to bring their vision to life. But were they really?
Her First Gig
She was about to find out: On a fateful summer day in 2014, just weeks after kick-starting her idea, Jen came face to face with her very first client; something that left her stomach in knots. After all, the stakes had never been higher. She had a reputation - and now, business - to uphold.
How would it be going undercover for a complete stranger? What if her cover was blown? Sure enough, Jen's time as Ashley's bridesmaid couldn't have gone better. Not only was Glantz's first client beyond grateful, but it went so well, Jen soon decided to turn things up a notch...
In Over Her Head
As eager brides continued to flood her inbox, Jen came across a new realization: her business was in even more demand than she ever anticipated. In other words? She was now able to charge up to $2,000 per bride - her clients were more than happy to pay up. But was she able to fully provide?
As the requests continued to pour in, so did the paychecks. But there were still lots of concerns. After all, Jen still had a 9-5 day job she had to tend to. And as she began working overtime to balance the two, she found herself in over her head. It was exhausting. How long could she continue like this?
One Door Closes, Another Opens
Sure enough, come October 2015, that same question would be answered for her: Unfortunately, her time as a thriving screenwriter suddenly came to a halt. And as she headed to her office's conference room to meet her boss, she soon found that out the hard way...
Sure, there had been rumors going around for a while about cutbacks. But after hearing her boss relay the bad news, it hit Jen hard. "I loved my job. I didn't want it to end." As tears rolled down her cheeks, the fired employee packed her bags and headed home. If only she knew what we know now...
A Sign From the Universe
After all, when one door closes, another opens. And as far as the unemployed entrepreneur was concerned? Those words couldn't have rung more true: while being fired was never a part of the plan, that same heartbreak was about to morph into Jen's biggest blessing yet.
"Sometimes we know what we need to do, we just don't do it until we're forced to," she reflected. From that point forward, Glantz poured her all into her newfound business. She was never going to work for anybody ever again - she was going to be her own boss. And she was going to stop at nothing to accomplish just that...
“They Rely on Me”
As the months continued to pile on, so did the success her company welcomed. Bridesmaid for Hire was slowly gaining traction... everywhere. With more free time on her hands, Jen was able to give 110% to her newfound business. And it paid off - literally.
Jen's company was suddenly raking in about $2,500 per client. Of course, though, "every wedding was different," as she noted. For those looking to spend less, $850 would get brides a maid-of-honor speech and bachelorette party planning. "They rely on me."
Behind Closed Doors
To the naked eye, Jen Glantz had found her calling. She was welcoming more money and more clients than she could even keep tabs on. But the truth? Behind those airbrushed pictures and extravagant gowns, life as an undercover bridesmaid was actually far from glamorous.
"The truth is, it's messy, filled with drama, blisters, and managing cold feet," the Bridesmaid for Hire CEO confessed. "I've worked with... brides doing some unimaginable things." Unfortunately, though, life on the outside was just as challenging...
“People… Are Scared To Admit [It]”
The truth was that she wasn't the only one caught off guard. People had questions, lots of them: Where was she truly finding these brides? Who were these strangers? "The most popular question I get is: isn't it a sad thing if a bride has to hire you?"
But as far as Jen was concerned, spectators had gotten it all wrong: "I'm doing a job that people need but are scared to admit they need," she explained. And while her time as a personal assistant/unofficial therapist hadn't be welcomed by all, she was "proud of her work - even if it seemed odd."
The “Strange” Part of the Job
It's clear Jen's got nothing but love for her time as a bridesmaid. But how have her brides truly felt? "People always wonder if I actually become friends with the people who hire me," Glantz revealed. Well, does she? Or perhaps is it nothing more than business?
"The strange thing about this job is the kind of relationship I form with my clients," Jen confessed of the special bond. "I spend anywhere from a year to three months getting to know the person, and I learn a lot about them... Brides... turn to me and tell me things that they wouldn't tell anyone else."
“I Have a Fake Name and a Back-Story”
Clearly, Jen knows a thing or two about keeping secrets. But we're not just talking about her time in the bridal chamber. Each and every one of her weddings calls for planning - lots of cover stories and curated scripts, should any guests ever grow suspicious…
"I have a fake name and a back-story," Jen revealed. Whether she's walking down the aisle or posing for pictures, she's got an answer for everything. "There's a lot of work in maintaining and researching the back story. I have to know street corners I used to live on. It's never determined before we talk."
How Does One Join Her Team?
Safe to say, it's not easy being an undercover bridesmaid. In fact, Jen can use all the help she can get. Perhaps that's why Bridesmaid for Hire has since multiplied to include many fellow bridesmaids. As for how Glantz finds the right people for the job?
"Since starting the business... more than 50,000 people have applied to work for the company," the CEO explained. Well, what makes an applicant stand out? "Really simply, you need to have a strong, passionate love for people." It's not all fun & games - a bridesmaid for hire must be prepared at all times.
The Secret Drama
From scouring through thousands of applications to scripting the perfect cover stories, Jen's time building an empire has been far from easy. But perhaps the hardest part? The drama. "A lot of the chaos and drama falls on you," the Bridesmaid for Hire founder confessed.
"I'm the person the bride is screaming at. I'm the person the mother of the bride is screaming at. And, when I first started out, I saw some very intense things," Glantz revealed. But come 2019, and those same emotions officially reached new heights...
Starting Her Own Fairytale
What happened? Behind the scenes, Jen Glantz finally went from bridesmaid to bride-to-be; a journey 5+ years in the making. But how did the independent boss-lady come to meet her fiance - charming business-owner, Adam Kossoff? Believe it or not, also by chance…
Back in 2017, the defeated serial dater was ready to throw in the towel when she met Adam online. And nothing has ever been the same since then... "I promised myself I would go on 14 blind dates (from JDate and apps), and it was a flop. But the 15th date worked like a charm," Glantz gushed.
"Finally the Bride"
Sure, Jen was a planner, always thinking 10 steps ahead. But now that it was her wedding on the line? The Bridesmaid for Hire mogul had no idea where to start. "It felt impossible. Right after getting engaged, I had a panic attack," Glantz confessed.
...And it was at this very moment another beautiful idea was born: Finally the Bride. "I started Finally The Bride, which is where I invited strangers to plan my entire wedding. That's helped me relieve the tension," Glantz explained. "I want my wedding to not look like anyone else's."
Making It to Our Screens
As Jen's journey came full circle, it wasn't long before she captured nationwide attention. But the truth was that her presence was felt just about... everywhere. From The Morning Show: Australia to Good Morning America, the bold bride-to-be won hearts all around the globe.
But that's not all. From being featured on over 500 media outlets worldwide to becoming a relationship expert in the process, the Bridesmaid for Hire CEO was slowly dominating the world - one wedding ruse at a time. Which brings us to our final question...
Where Is She Now?
Where is she now? Now that Jen's finally found her Prince Charming, has she finally decided to retire the bridesmaid dresses? Or perhaps is she not done just yet? Sure enough, fast forward to today, and Jen Glantz is exactly where she needs to be...
Not only has the bridesmaid become a "Mrs." after tying the knot in 2021, but she hasn't said goodbye to her wedding crashing ways just yet. With over 150 clients, 50,000+ applicants, and 1 empowering empire under her belt, Mrs. Glantz-Kossoff is just getting started.
How Is The Married Life?
From assisting endless love stories to starring in one of her own, Jen Glantz's journey from bridesmaid to bride has, no doubt, been one for the books. But it's actually far from over. In fact, while she might go by a different title these days, the hardworking Mrs. hasn't put down the pen and paper just yet.
"There's not really anybody talking about what happens during those first few years after you legally combine your life with another," she explained on Instagram before announcing her latest business venture: The Newlywed Card Game - a "fun and adventurous way to tackle... the twists that can happen after you say I DO."
As for where the newlywed goes from here? The truth is that her guess is as good as ours. After all, with an imagination as vivid as hers, who knows where the wind will take her. Perhaps another wedding party? Or maybe a new business venture. But if there's one thing we do know? It's this...
No matter what comes next for Jen Glantz, we're expecting great things. Be sure to check her out on Instagram @jenglantz to tag along on her latest adventure. And hey, who knows? Maybe you'll be lucky enough to join her during that next walk down the aisle...
When Jen Glantz hit "upload" on that Craigslist ad 7 years ago, she had no idea what awaited her. But with the right amount of faith and persistence, her late-night post led her to achieve things she never could've dreamed about. And perhaps we could all learn a thing or two from her…
"Embrace change, welcome new ideas, and always continue to experiment," the
professional bridesmaid successful bride explained. "It's been 6 years, and I haven't accomplished everything I want to YET, but I've kept my promise to myself - no matter what."