This is really something I never heard before… Couples can now rent fake family, friends and colleagues to plump up the guest list at their wedding. In Japan, for the moment.
Many in Japan see weddings as a formal event that must be attended by as many family members, friends and co-workers as possible. At the party, bosses often give speeches, colleagues or friends stage performances, and families greet other guests. And if you don’t have enough guests… “We’ll attend the wedding as your friend instead of your friend,” Hiroshi Mizutani, who heads Office Agents in Tokyo, a company that rents out guests, told Reuters.
Fees start at 20,000 yen ($200) for a staff member to attend the ceremony. For an additional 5,000 yen, that person can perform a song or a dance, or even make a speech that would make you proud for 10,000 yen more. The firm gets about 100 wedding requests per year and has some 1,000 fakes available for various occasions.
The key qualification for Office Agents’ staff is that they don’t stand out. “What’s important is that these are normal people… normal as in they are cheery and clean and look like they have regular jobs,” Mizutani said.
Sometimes not even the marriage partner is aware. “People are proud and they don’t want to tell their partner that they don’t have many friends,” Mizutani added.