Woman reveals what it takes to be a professional bridesmaid

The very concept of a professional bridesmaid may sound bizarre. After all, isn't your wedding party meant to be made up of your nearest and dearest? 

But a growing business of professional bridesmaids means women are getting paid to be the bride's right-hand woman on the day. 

One Sydney woman has revealed what it takes, explaining it's not all just dress fittings and lovely long lunches. 

Kerstyn Walsh, 29, has walked down the aisle more than 150 times, which gives new meaning to the old saying "always the bridesmaid, never the bride". 

Speaking to Mamamia, Walsh says she attends about 30 to 40 weddings in a year thanks to her business 'Hire a Bridesmaid', which now employs four other full-time staffers. Her booking record, she says, is four weddings in two days. 

It doesn't come cheap. A full wedding service package - in which you get Walsh's help for 12 months in advance plus her there on the day - comes in at around NZ$9500.

Hosts Mon and Sez talk to one of the stars of Married At First Sight NZ about her wedding day on Newshub podcast The Snack. 

"If they just literally needed me to turn up in the dress on the day itself, and do nothing beforehand, it would be AU$2000, plus the cost of me being there, so travel and dresses," she added. 

Walsh says her job is to make sure the bride has no stress on her wedding day. 

"A professional is someone who's not going to feel bad about doing jobs on your wedding day, because it is literally their job. Whereas an actual bridesmaid might want to drink 50 wines and have a great time," she says.

"It's about having that person that just gets you and has your back on your day 100 percent. Or, also, some of my clients are from overseas and they don't have anyone here for them."

She says she's juggled disagreements with other bridesmaids, worn dresses she's hated and even "cleaned deer or horse poo off brides' shoes with baby wipes" during outdoor phots. 

Some of the worst things she's seen include a bride who didn't show up for 45 minutes, along with several weddings running out of alcohol. 

While it appears there aren't many professional bridesmaid services in New Zealand, it's becoming an increasingly popular role in the United States. 


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