This summer, you may have heard about a fascinating wedding trend from South Korea, where men and women are getting paid to attend strangers’ weddings. NPR first reported on the strange seat-filling trend, describing agencies that cast young people as fake friends to make weddings seem better attended than they really are. So when a nervous bride wants to save face over a half-empty church, they simply hire professional wedding crashers.
Then there was The Wedding Ringer, in which Kevin Hart played a professional best man, paid to arrange bachelor parties and speeches for friendless grooms. And while that might have seemed like an amusing Hollywood fiction, this summer we also learned about Jen Glantz, a professional bridesmaid who’s “helped dozens of strangers have the best days of their lives.”
Unfortunately, for too many brides and grooms, there’s too much pressure to have the best day ever. Although, we know that in reality it’s really the best weekend ever. Planning the rehearsal, ceremony, reception, and morning-after brunch can quickly stress out even the most organized couple. So how can you avoid walking down the aisle to a half-empty church or banquet hall?
- Plan Ahead: Most professional wedding planners recommend booking your wedding venues as soon after the engagement as possible. Failing that, plan on booking a venue at least nine months to a year in advance.
- In 2014, couples invited about 136 guests to their wedding on average. Find a venue that fits with your guest list, that way you don’t have to hire seat-fillers for the big day.
- Have you considered beach wedding places? Outdoor wedding venues are usually custom arranged for your needs. While a church might look empty, beach wedding places never will.
- Consider booking unique wedding places outside peak wedding season. The summer is obviously the most popular time for beach wedding places, with 15% of all weddings happening in June. Book in April, and you might be able to get your dream venue after all.
Finally, consider event venues that offer wedding packages. Some of the best wedding places offer a wide range of banquet halls, outdoor patios, ballrooms, and chapels to suit parties of every size.