It's all the rage in Japan this wedding season.
Think the tab for the typical US wedding is high? Imagine if you had to tack on an additional $200 bucks each for a group of 20 or 30 guests, whom you've never met before. It's high wedding season in Japan right now and the new trend, in the name of saving face, is to rent out wedding guests if you don't have enough real names to add to your list, reports Yoko Kubota, for Reuters.
Let's say the groom's number of guests way outnumbers that of the bride's, or vice versa. No sweat. A couple can level out the numbers by renting fake guests from companies such as Tokyo-based Office Agents. For a fee of 20,000 yen (about $200), reports Kubota, a stand-in guest (who is guaranteed not to stand out or blow the cover) will arrive at the wedding.
Shell out an additional 5,000 yen and the guest will sing a song or do a dance in your honor. Toss in an extra 10,000 yen and this complete stranger, whom neither bride nor groom has ever met, will make a speech extolling the couple's finest virtues and regaling fond memories of their happy childhood together (that are completely fabricated but sure to amuse the legitimate guests in the crowd).Wedding Day Disasters
In Japan, writes Kubota, weddings are expected to be attended by as many guests as possible and it's not uncommon for bosses, co-workers and friends to make speeches and give performances.
In one instance, 30 guests were rented from Office Agents for one wedding. And some rentals may even occur with only one member of the wedding party's knowledge (not the most transparent note on which to start a marriage). Makes you wonder what else the spouses will be too embarrassed to reveal to each other as the marriage develops through the years.
Readers, what would you do if you found out that half of the names on your partner's wedding guest list were phonies?