From cakes and dresses to expensive catered receptions, it's not surprising that wedding costs can add up quickly.
Last year, couples spent an average of $35,329 on their wedding, according to a recent survey by The Knot of over 13,000 brides and grooms who got hitched last year. With all the demands modern weddings can entail, some couples are finding room in their budgets to pay upstarts that cater to niches.
One such company, Bridesmaid for Hire, bills its planning services as "professional bridesmaids." It specializes in offbeat requests, including even renting out a bridesmaid.
After being a bridesmaid in several weddings, founder Jen Glantz began to notice a pattern: Many brides lacked someone who could be there for them in a professional capacity — unlike wedding planners and vendors who put together the event itself. After being dubbed by her friends as a "professional bridesmaid," she posted an ad on Craigslist.
Within a couple of days, she received responses from women from around the world, and it put her on track to creating a business.
"My first bride who I decided to work with had a really interesting and common story — she had just fired her maid of honor," Glantz told CNBC recently. "A lot of people were breaking up with their friends over wedding requests, or over their friends hijacking the wedding too much."
Depending on a client's needs, Bridesmaid for Hire charges as little as $150 for coaching to up to $1,500 for a full service package. There's also a clandestine element to what the firm does. Sometimes guests know Glantz's official role, but other times it can be a closely held secret. In those instances, Glantz comes up with a backstory of how they met, or can even create an alias.
Glantz recently authored a book entitled "Always a Bridesmaid, (for Hire): Stories on Growing Up, Looking for Love, and Walking Down the Aisle for Complete Strangers." She told CNBC the pressure to replicate the seemingly picture-perfect atmosphere found on social media takes a toll on those walking down the aisle.
"The good is that there are so many apps nowadays that allow you to become a lot of your wedding vendors, and in turn save you a ton of money. Apps where you can become your own wedding planner, your own DJ," said Glantz.
However, social media postings, and the image of carefully curated perfection created by users, "puts even more on pressure-filled brides to get married, and to keep up with everybody else," Glantz said.