It’s not every day you meet a professional bridesmaid! When I stumbled across Grace’s website Always The Bridesmaid, I was instantly intrigued and just had to meet her to find out more...
I can honestly say that at a wedding, bridesmaids can often be the backbone. There's always a bridesmaid at the end of any veil or straightening out dress. A bridesmaid to keep an eye on any little ones from eating the wedding cake before it's been cut, a bridesmaid to hand you a glass of something alcoholic just when you feel like you need it most and bridesmaids to be there as your supporting team. Getting paid to be a bridesmaid, it sounds like a dream job right? After meeting Grace, I realised that there’s a lot more to it than helping a bride to bustle her dress and holding her bouquet.
With wedding planning becoming more and more individually tailored, I’ve always been intrigued when I stumble upon anything new or quirky within the wedding industry and had a million questions, do you go for dress fittings, do you walk down the aisle? How do you deal with 'bridezillas'? Grace’s calm and poised response to my onslaught of questions thrown at her (with the enthusiasm of my four year old daughter, when she met an “Actual unicorn" at a recent birthday party) proves that she is definitely the right personality fit for the job! This lady knows how to deal with any situation under pressure and her calming nature and the twinkle in her eye gives me the impression that Grace could handle any wedding day emergency, big or small.
Grace explained that her past experience working as a PA and in event planning for the rich, famous and even royalty, includes many a last minute, minor mishap. Examples include replacing an A-lister's lost earring back with one of her own just before a VIP red carpet appearance and last minute, hop on a train from London to hand-deliver name place cards that had been mistakenly delivered to Devon by a courier! All taken in her stride. They may seem like small things but after having been a bride myself and only narrowly avoiding the bridezilla melt down, I know how these little situations can easily escalate and be very stressful on your wedding day.
“ So, what exactly is a professional bridesmaid?" I asked.
"The best way to describe it..." explained Grace, "Is a wedding PA, one that fits seamlessly into your wedding day. I can either help with the wedding preparations before hand, be there on your actual wedding day, or both". Grace can be hired to help with areas of the 'wedmin' that you just don’t have time or the enthusiasm to do, such as book flights for relatives, plan the dreaded seating plan or organise your hen do. On your wedding day, She can be there to help with a wardrobe malfunction or even just a bit of extra stage management when your ushers have disappeared to the bar and your wedding photographer needs a little help with organising who’s who for your family photographs.
"But isn’t that job for the actual bridesmaids?" I asked, Grace explained, "Absolutely, but if for instance, you’re organising a destination wedding in a different country or if your wedding party are coming from far and wide and you just want them to be able to relax and enjoy themselves without being given jobs to do, then that’s where I come in"
Each wedding is so individual and that’s the beauty of it, there’s never a dull day and every wedding has it’s challenges and rewards. Something as a wedding photographer that I can relate to.
"What made you choose this career?"
"After being a guest at several weddings where I saw that there was a need for an extra pair of hands, I just knew there was a gap in the market. I want to be a discreet addition to a wedding to ensure that the bride has me to rely on. I’ll be the one one to run back to the hotel when your best man has left your wedding rings behind or your wedding cake has been delivered to the wrong venue!" Yes, that has happened!
One last question, "Do you pose in the photos or walk down the aisle too?"
Grace simply replied "I am there for whatever the bride needs”.
So if your ‘wedmin' is getting a bit overwhelming or you would like an extra pair of hands (with an emergency kit handy) during your wedding day then Grace is your girl, watch this space wedding world, something tells me this girl is going to be in demand!
Click here to sign up for Grace's free wedding planning checklist, as well as be kept in the loop about all things bridesmaid.
Photography and words by: Jennifer West Photography