They organise fake marriages with a twist to the tale

by Angelica Basile - 2017.02.14
They organise fake marriages with a twist to the tale
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Given that you cannot judge a book by its cover, a white dress and even the throwing of the bouquet does not necessarily equate to a wedding. Seeing is believing at a “Falsa Boda”. This is the very latest frontier of Argentinian nightlife; complete strangers take part in a ceremony for two who have not met before the fake ceremony.

Taking part could not be easier: the only rules are those of age (at least twenty-three) and that of the playing of a role from the start to the end of the “ceremony”. The fee varies from 700 to 1,500 pesos (40/90 euros) and includes a welcome cocktail, dinners and unlimited access to an open bar. Each “actor” must impersonate a wedding guest with his or her own script (there are witnesses, the bride’s best friend, the girl secretly in love with the groom, old boyfriends ready to step forward). The twist in the tale is always just around the corner: there’s the bride who a few hours after the fateful event leaves her future husband because she’s fallen in love with the DJ whose job is to get the party going. Or it is not rare to see a guest, fake again, rise to his or her feet and raise all hell when the fake priest asks if anyone objects to the union.

The brain behind all this in 2013 was Martin Acerbi, the twenty-six year old hailing from La Plata. One evening he was out to dinner with friends and, between a churrasco and a dulce de leche, it came to light that none of them had been invited to a wedding for some time. Nothing odd here: in the homeland of the tango, the number of church weddings in the last 25 years has fallen by 61%. In 2011, for example, there were only 60,000 couples who uttered “I do” compared to an average of 160,000 at the end of the 1990s. The Argentinians have chosen co-habitation that for the young offers the important advantage of being able to use the pennies spent on the “non-event” to buy a house or have children. Joaquin Alterman, Martin’s partner comments, They all thought we were mad at first but after the first Falsa Boda they thought again: it was an unexpected success. Since then Trineo Eventos Creativos, the event organisation agency created by Acerbi and his friends, has moved beyond the confines of Argentina. The first fake marriage will take place in a few days in Chile and there are others on the cards in Uruguay and Russia.

A mise-en-scene business that from many new and unforseen acquantances may just lead to real love.