Against this backdrop, it has become a huge ask to invite someone to be a bridesmaid, and many only agree to act as one reluctantly. Consequently, brides are hiring professional bridesmaids.
Professional bridesmaids have become a routine option for wedding packages, currently offered by more than 50 wedding-planning firms in China. A professional bridesmaid would be required to act as the make-up artist, to drink alcohol, and to fend off rude guests on behalf of the bride, among many other tasks. They are required to perform what the sociologist Arlie Hochschild termed “emotional labor”: faking smiles, engineering a joyous atmosphere, and taking part in traditional stunts that are otherwise considered too vulgar for many.
Depending on the level of “difficulty” of the services they provide, a professional bridesmaid is paid between 200 yuan (around £22) and 800 yuan (around £90) per wedding. Many professional bridesmaids work on weekends, in addition to their routine weekday jobs, in order to generate extra income.
Here is the full story from Yang Hu, much more detail at the link.