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Vietnam’s Fake Wedding Industry Is Booming Thanks to Social Stigma

Vietnamese women looking to avoid the social stigma of having a child out of wedlock are increasingly turning to grooms-for-hire businesses that specialize in throwing fake weddings complete with fake grooms and guests for a hefty fee.

Becoming pregnant before marriage is usually frowned upon in Vietnam, particularly in the northern parts of the country, where traditional social norms are still very strong. With over 300,000 abortions recorded every year, Vietnam’s abortion rate ranks fifth globally and first in Asia. Data shows that most of these pregnancy terminations are caused by social pressure, as 20 to 30 percent of women seeking abortion are not married, while most of the rest are young students. But what happens when a mother wants to keep the baby while at the same time avoid disgracing herself and her family? Well, that’s where the grooms-for-hire businesses come in.

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As Young Argentinians Shun Marriage, Many Are Paying to Attend Fake Weddings

Although most young Argentinians aren’t even thinking about marriage these days, they seem quite fond of wedding ceremonies. So they’ve come up with a bizarre party trend of fake weddings, where groups of 20- and 30-somethings get together to attend wedding-themed parties complete with fake bride and groom.

The idea was the brainchild of 26-year-old publicist Martin Acerbi, who, a couple of years ago, organised a fake wedding with four of his friends in La Plata, about 32 miles away from Buenos Aires. “It all started two years ago with a group of friends: we realised we hadn’t been to a wedding in a long time because hardly anybody is getting married anymore,” Acerbi says.

To his surprise, the event was a huge success which got him thinking about a new business. The friends went on to found ‘Falsa Boda’, a fake wedding organising company, in November 2013. They rent out real wedding locations, hire caterers, florists, and DJs, and make everything look like a real wedding. Except, there is no ‘happily ever after’.

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