In Buenos Aires, young adults buy tickets to bogus weddings, with hired bride and groom, the way others might pay to enter a disco. It's an odd concept ... ripe for export?
BUENOS AIRES — Weddings are a blast. So why wait for marriage to have one? That is precisely the logic behind a new party trend in Argentina, where young people are staging "fake" weddings with all the food, drink and music of the real thing, but without anyone being legally wed. The bride, groom and officiant are hired actors.
Anyone who buys a ticket can attend. The latest such event, on June 14 in the capital's trendy Palermo district, was sold out days in advance. The average guest is 29 years old. And they are required to respect some basic rules, such as donning formal attire and enjoying themselves.
The idea originated from a group of party-hungry locals frustrated by the dearth of weddings among their friends. "It's what we like to do here, and we think we do it well," says "wedding" organizer Martín Acerbi. "We decided to start our own, with freedom to include or exclude whatever we liked from a typical wedding, but without actually marrying."
These events share some of the most beautiful aspects of a real wedding, such as a bridal entrance and an open bar. They also have themes or story lines, usually in the form of a mishap. So far there have been five such parties in Buenos Aires.
In the first wedding, the bride abandoned the groom minutes before they would tie the knot, thus leading the groom to drown his sorrows! The second party was called "Witnesses of an Attack." "We did a live ceremony with a couple of dancers," Martin says. "The story is that the girl runs from the altar, like in the Julia Roberts film, but the witness declares his love and ends up taking the groom's place."
The last wedding was the most daring. The groom confessed at the altar that he was in fact in love with his podiatrist, so it turned into a gay wedding. Anything can happen at these events, though nothing is allowed to impede the fun.
The concept is now being exported to Russia. "The idea circulated by word of mouth, and the sister of one of us talked about it in Moscow, where she does performance events with tango," Martín says. The producer who heard about it decided to give it a try. "And so we went there to organize a fake wedding, which went very well," he adds.