Fake weddings are not a new phenomenon. For decades, many entertainment-focused cities, such as Las Vegas, have hosted fake wedding shows where you could buy a ticket to attend some actors’ nuptials and pretend to be a guest. Drinks and dinner, included—all you need to do is dress your best.
Now, if you think most weddings are boring, these are everything but that. Half of the other guests are hired actors and they’re instructed to keep the show going. So, it’s not unusual for a long-lost lover to show up mid-vow and confess their love. How’s that for drama?
Today, fake weddings are becoming kind of real. Because much of the modern generation isn’t keen on tying the knot in a legal sense, fewer younger people are having weddings. At the same time, they still want to honor a relationship (if it’s worth it) and party. Or if all else fails, just have an excuse to dress up, dance, and have fun with one’s besties. And best of all? They’re taking all the tips from the fake wedding “shows” with them.
What IS a Fake Wedding, Really?
In a quick definition, a fake wedding is just that—a wedding that’s…fake. It has all the aspects of a typical wedding, such as the happy couple, ceremony, reception, cheesy toasts, and maybe even silly favors to take home. The only difference is the couple at the center stage is not legally getting married. They’re just putting on a show for their friends, families, and favorites to enjoy! Depending on the event, the couple may be legit in reality, or they could just be paid entertainment.
It gets better, however. Let’s pretend you’re attending an actual friend’s “fake wedding.” We’ve mentioned hired actors before, often inserted as fake guests to keep the vibe going. The hosts are very likely to do that to make things interesting, but they also may ask YOU to take part as well. As in… show up as a character of your choice and play the role for the night (if you’re up for it, of course). Think of it as nothing less than a fancy Halloween party.
Where Did This Start?
Although the idea has been around for a while, the concept really hit it off in Argentina back at the start of the new millennium. At the time, marriages were on the decline and if you know anything about the local culture, it’s that they love their weddings. And so, “falsa bodas” (fake weddings in Spanish) were born. Not much later, the craze went viral worldwide. You can, partially, blame TikTok for this—anything that starts trending there quickly hits the hashtags! So, we can’t blame the new generation for wanting to be a part of it.
It’s Not Just Fake Weddings
If there’s anything that you can learn from social media, it’s that anything can be faked. So, in addition to fake weddings, young couples are faking other things before making them real. For example, it’s not unusual for someone to propose to their partner with a fake ring these days. The intent, of course, is not to be untruthful, but to stay financially safe. For example, what if the other person says no? Or what if they really dislike the ring? Better safe than sorry!
Fake Weddings Are Not Just for Kids
While “fake weddings” may sound like a silly Millennial or Gen Z thing at first (especially considering how expensive real weddings can get), you might not want to be so judgmental at first glance. If you’ve ever had (or thought about) a vow renewal, you’re officially part of the fake wedding group. After all, are they not the same thing? They clearly are, since various Vegas chapels that offer vow renewals now offer fake weddings under the same tab.
Other couples are also hosting fake weddings so they can have their cake and eat it too. In other words, they will host a fake cultural/traditional wedding to please their parents, and have a real ceremony and reception in their own style later on—or vice versa.
What Happens if I Get Invited to a Fake Wedding?
First, determine if it’s a fake wedding between a couple you know or if you’re just booking tickets for an entertainment show. If it’s the latter, just dress up, buy the ticket, and go. If it’s the former, you should try to figure out if it’s just an unofficial celebration or if it’s a night of live-action theatre. If the fake wedding is purely for kicks and giggles, feel free to ask if you can take part in the fun.
As far as gifts, you’re unlikely obligated to bring anything considering this is not a formal affair. However, since this is technically a party, don’t be surprised if there’s a cover charge, which includes both food and drinks, attached to your invitation.
Let us know if you end up at one of these and what you thought about it—we’re curious to hear your thoughts in the comments!