Professional Wedding Guests Are Actually A Thing

Because weddings aren't expensive enough as it is, couples in South Korea are actually spending even more money to pay for professional guests, a.k.a. fake friends. This is not a drill. Instead of spending their special days being fawned over by close family and loved ones, these desperate brides and grooms are vowing to spend the rest of their lives together in front of complete strangers. And they're paying women like Kim Seyeon a mere $20 to do it. Seyeon told NPR, “It’s fun. 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.” During peak wedding season, Seyeon says she can attend up to three sets of nuptials a day. The average American is pulling pennies from the couch to pay for a wedding, yet these people are adding extras to the guest list just to save face? (Editor's note: the author of this story is planning a wedding, can you tell?) The practice has been around since the late 1990s — and the industry now includes scapegoats for other life scenarios like fake bosses, spouses, and parents. What's next? Whole fake families? Fake bridesmaids? (Oh whoops, those already exist.)

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