Fake Weddings Are Big in Argentina

Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.

Uno de los momentos más esperados de la noche. #FalsaBoda #UnaNocheTremenda

A photo posted by FALSABODA (@falsaboda) on

Why wait for your friends to get married when you can attend a party that has all the rituals—the formal attire, the throwing of the bouquet, the open bar—and none of the social pressures? In Argentina, there’s a growing trend called the #falsaboda: a fake wedding where the bride, groom, and officiant are actors and the guests are there to party rather than celebrate a new marriage.

The party-goers, usually young and single, pay between $43 and $65 for tickets, which are in high demand. The faux-wedding-goers receive a video that tells the backstory of the “couple,” and they’re usually in for some kind of drama.

At one event, the bride abandoned the groom before they could “tie the knot,” leaving him to drown his sorrows at the open bar; in another, the groom confessed he was in love with a man in the audience, which turned the affair into a gay wedding.

Te esperamos a vivir la experiencia Falsa Boda 😀 👌 #UnaNocheTremenda #FalsaBoda

A photo posted by FALSABODA (@falsaboda) on

After six successful weddings (including one in Russia), the company behind the trend, Falsa Boda, has plans for ten more “ceremonies” in 2015, with the next one occurring on September 19 in the Argentine city of Santa Fe.

But there’s trouble in pseudo-wedding paradise: Some imitaciones burdas (crude imitators) have arisen, hoping to cash in on the trend. In a Facebook post today, Falsa Boda announced that they are pursuing legal action against the fake fake-wedding planners.