Author: Jen Glantz
Publisher: Atria Books
Publish Date: February 7, 2017
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "After moving to New York City in her mid-twenties to pursue her dream of writing—and not living on the “Upper East Side” of her parents’ house anymore—Jen Glantz looked forward to a future of happy hours and Sunday brunches with her besties.
What she got instead were a string of phone calls that began with, "Jen, I have something exciting to tell you!" and ended with, "I'd be honored if you would be my bridesmaid." At first she was delighted, but it wasn’t long before she realized two things: all of her assets were tied up in bridesmaid dresses, and she herself was no closer to finding The One. She couldn't do much about the second thing (though her mother would beg to differ), but she could about the first.
One (slightly tipsy) night, Jen posted an ad on Craigslist advertising her services as a professional bridesmaid. When she woke up the next morning, it had gone viral. What began as a half-joke suddenly turned into a lifetime of adventure for Jen–and more insight into the meaning of love than she was getting from OKCupid—as she walked down the aisle at stranger after stranger's wedding."
My Two Cents:
"Always a Bridesmaid (For Hire)" is a funny memoir by Jen Glantz who once she hits her mid-twenties feels like one of the only questions she is ever asked is to be a bridesmaid. Bridesmaids can be very important on wedding days (I know I was happy to be surrounded by really good ones on my wedding day). They are the ones that are supposed to keep the bride calm and help smooth out the day a little bit. Most of the time its up to friends and family to be asked to be bridesmaids but in the case you need professional help, Jen Glantz is your gal. She is asked this question so much so that she is inspired she puts an ad on Craigslist to become a bridesmaid for any stranger!
It sounds like the makings of a romantic comedy but this is totally and utterly real. This book is a funny memoir with some interesting ruminations on topics such as strangers. At first it seemed strange to me that someone would hire a bridesmaid. For my wedding, I had a team of bridesmaids made up of close family and friends. I also just wanted to have a big party for my wedding, which meant I was a fairly low-key bride. I couldn't imagine not having those wonderful women by my side but in some cases, there are people who just don't have that kind of support.
Glantz talks about the idea of how everyone that is close to you in your life was once a stranger. True but it's something that I have never really thought about. Even my closest friends, some that I have known for close to 20 years once started out as strangers even though I feel like I've had them for my entire life. It was sort of a beautiful way to explain why the brides feel comfortable with her. The process of the brides getting to know her and her getting to know the brides very quickly was fascinating to me. It definitely would take a certain kind of person to be comfortable with another that quickly (definitely not me).
Some of the stories in the book are very funny and had me laughing. Some parts were more poignant and staid. Overall, this was an entertaining memoir about a very strange job. Who knew?