The role of bridesmaid can be a tricky one, whether that's negotiating with a tearful bride or steering oneself away from that sixth - deadly - tequila slammer come midnight.
But one woman reckons she's got it down to a fine art - so much so, that she's advertised her services as a professional bridesmaid on classifieds website Craigslist.
In the inspired ad posted earlier this week, the unnamed 26-year-old woman from New York describes how she's been a bridesmaid on multiple occasions, including four times during this year alone.
As she explains: "That's 4 different chiffon dresses, 4 different bachelorette parties filled with tequila shots and guys in thong underwear twerking way too close to my face, 4 different pre-wedding pep talks to the bride about how this is the happiest day of her life and marriage, probably, is just like riding a bike: a little shaky at first but then she'll get the hang of it."
The pro bridesmaid: excels at doing the cha cha slide
She then goes on to list her qualifications as the ideal bridesmaid:
Bridesmaid skills i'm exceptionally good at:
- Holding up the 18 layers of your dress so that you can pee with ease on your wedding day
- Catching the bouquet and then following that moment up with my best Miss America-like "Omg, I can't believe this" speech
- Doing the electric and the cha cha slide
- Responding in a timely manner to pre-wedding email chains created by other bridesmaids and the Maid of Honor
It's not entirely clear who might be tempted to take on a stranger bridesmaid, nor has the woman in question put a price on her services (... maybe it's price on application?). But being the organised lady she is, this potential 'maid has already scouted out her market, writing:
So let me be there for you, this time if:
-You don't have any other girlfriends except your third cousin, twice removed, who is often found sticking her tongue down an empty bottle of red wine.
- Your fiance has an extra groomsmen and you're looking to even things out so your pictures don't look funny and there's not one single guy walking down the aisle by himself
- You need someone to take control and make sure bridesmaid #4 buys her dress on time and doesn't show up 3 hours late the day of the wedding or paint her nails lime green.
A good bridesmaid should be there for the bride when things get tired and emotional...
Only time will tell whether she gets any take-up on her offer, but you can't fault her enthusiasm and devotion to the cause. In the meantime, we've listed a few do's and don'ts for all you ladies out there on bridesmaid duty right now...
- DO be on hand with tissues, waterproof mascara and nuggets of soothing advice for when things inevitably turn a bit emotional/hysterical/panicked
- DON'T choose the night before the wedding to experiment with that great new semi-permanent hair dye
- DO be prepared to channel an ER vibe by responding quickly and calmly to any unexpected situation that might arise on the day, from wilting flowers to vanishing caterers
- DON'T neck two bottles of Prosecco before the meal has started and sob your way through the speeches
- DO be prepared to contain drunken Uncle Henry and cart him off quietly into a nearby bush if he starts heckling the wedding guests and generally getting lairy
- DON'T turn up late or forget your shoes on the big day. There's only room enough for the bride to make mistakes
- DO be on standby to drag yourself and fellow guests onto the dance floor two minutes into the first dance; around the point where things start to get a bit cringey for the bride and groom
- DON'T disappear early from the wedding reception with a handsome guest in tow
Photos: Rex Features