Wedding bouquets, cakes, and dresses are just a few items that factor into the aesthetics of any wedding. In South Korea, however, many take it a step further by hiring fake wedding guests. For a fee of 20,000-30,000KRW per wedding, these guests come fully prepared with personal information about the bride including age, schools attended, and family relations, in order to stay fully disguised. However, there is a way to distinguish the part-time guests from real friends and family. In order to keep wedding photos authentic, these guests will often slip out before wedding photos are taken.
The industry is by no means small. There are hundreds of pretend guest agencies, some providing up to 500 guests per weekend during peak wedding season. The reasons for business booming are varied. Because the number of guests can convey a family’s power, a bride or groom might hire guests to match that of their fiance. Other clients may have lived overseas, be getting married far from their hometown, or work in an industry with fewer colleagues. Some agencies offer additional services by providing fake parents to orphans or couples marrying against their parents’ wishes. With agencies now promoting online, a quick search on google or naver will turn up results.