Here, Have Another Wedding Expense: Professional (Fake) Guests

I’m officially 19 days from my wedding, and I am desperately, desperately hoping that the worst anxiety of planning is over. From here on out, I can pretty much just delegate, right? … Right?

Anyway, here’s a thing I don’t have to worry about: Paying fake guests to pad out my wedding. Yes, professional wedding guests exist. It’s been going on in South Korea since the early 1990s, as it turns out. Brides pay them about $20 to show up and make it look like they have more friends than they actually do.

One professional guest told NPR, “A lot of the times [couples] need these guests because they want to save face. They’re conscious of what others think, and they need more friends. So the brides are very thankful for my presence.”

Which, like – aww. That’s kind of sad. I guess it’s nice that these professional guests are available, and it sounds like a win-win – I mean, I sure would take $20 to go to a wedding, so long as I got my free meal. It’d be a great way to get worth out of outfits that you bought for one of your real friends’ weddings, too. And heck, if it makes those couples feel better, it seems like a more worthwhile expense than customized cocktail napkins, or my personal biggest bugaboo, flowers that friggin’ die anyway.

Still, I hope it doesn’t catch on in the U.S. – the average cost of weddings here is already $26,000. Do we really need to add “hire fake friends” onto our Knot checklists?




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