I've been working as a bridesmaid-for-hire for over two years now, and the number one question I get — after people ask me why in the world a bride would ever hire a stranger to be her bridesmaid — is to list the weirdest things I've seen at weddings.
I enter these weddings with quite a unique viewpoint. I am literally the stranger in the room, and the one thing to know about strangers is they oftentimes open up about their deepest, darkest secrets and problems to other strangers.
I've heard it all, seen it all and done (almost) it all for brides.
I've taken off my bra and given it to the mother of the bride, picked up animal poop with my bare hands because it was on the aisle and I didn't want the bride's dress to get ruined and I've pep-talked a bride who was hysterically crying while walking down the aisle.
But those aren't the most odd things I've seen at a wedding. Here are four of the absolute weirdest things I've seen on the job working as a bridesmaid-for-hire:
1. Couples fighting all the way up to the vows.
Weddings are not the happiest days of peoples' lives. Oftentimes, they're the most stressful.
You're faced with entertaining one hundred plus guests. And on top of that, those guests either don't know each other, don't want to know each other or should have some type of restraining order against one another so they don't get into a fist fight.
But one of the weirdest things I've seen on the job wasn't guests fighting with each other (I see that often — guests kicked out for throwing punches or verbally attacking someone at the wedding)... it was the couple fighting with each other.
At this one particular wedding, the bride and groom were screaming at each other all day and throwing out expletives in each other's faces like they were the main characters in a mafia movie.
Right before they went to walk down the aisle, the groom said, "You are such a bitch," to which the bride responded, "You're an asshole."
2. The coldest of feet.
Getting married is a big step for anyone to take in their lives. They're kissing goodbye their single status and entering a promise of a life together with a person, for potentially the rest of their lives.
That's very scary. So when a bride gets cold feet, it's nothing unusual. It can be common to have a freak-out moment a few months, or even weeks, before the wedding, wondering if this is what you really want to do and if this person is really the person you want to marry.
The weirdest and worst case of cold feet I ever saw was at a wedding when, five minutes before the bride was supposed to walk down the aisle, she pulled me aside, locked me in a room with her, told me she hated the groom and didn't want to go through with the wedding.
As shocked as I was in that moment, I pulled myself together and had her talk me through her feelings. She realized, then and there, just seconds before saying "I Do," that she was making a mistake.
I snapped into bridesmaid-for-hire mode and told her she needed to have a one-on-one with the groom.
After they talked for 10 minutes, she walked out, told me she still hated him, but wanted to go through with the wedding so she wouldn't disappoint her guests who traveled many miles to be there that day.
3. Bridesmaids sabotaging the wedding.
The term "bridezilla" is passed around quite often when people talk about weddings.
And while a bride may be infamous for making crazy requests and treating her bridal party like they're her personal assistants instead of good friends, I see somebody else cause a ruckus at the wedding day: the bridesmaids.
Being a bridesmaid is tough. It requires lots of time, money and even the ability to drop everything at the spur of the moment.
I worked a wedding when the bridesmaids were doing everything they could to sabotage the day for the bride. One chose not to buy the bridesmaid dress and told the bride that day she was going to wear whatever she wanted.
Another was so hungover, she could barely stand up straight. The other had a panic attack over how her hair looked and made everybody an hour late for photos, which caused the wedding to start an hour late.
4. A black-out drunk bride
As I've been keeping track of my weirdest and wildest bridesmaid-for-hire stories over the past two years, I can't help but coming back to one story: the wedding where I found the bride black-out drunk.
Right after the ceremony ended, nobody could find the bride. I ran around the venue until, finally, I found her. She was hiding behind a couch in the bridal suite, drinking a handle of vodka.
By the time I found her, about a third had been drunk. Later in the night, she went missing again. When I found her this time, she was laying on the floor, black-out drunk.
When she finally came to her senses, she began banging her hands on the ground, crying, screaming and shouting, "This is the worst night of my life."
I don't know why she felt that way, but I do know it was a moment and a sight I can never forget.
Every single day on the job is different. It's weird in its own way, and it keeps me on the toes — at least more than my cubicle job used to.
To read more of Jen Glantz's adventures as a bridesmaid-for-hire, pick up her new book, Always a Bridesmaid (For Hire), available now.