'Fake wedding' industry is booming thanks to social stigma

Grooms-for-hire businesses specialize in throwing fake weddings

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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People in Vietnam rarely talk about fake grooms and weddings, but the reality is that they’ve been around for decades and are becoming increasingly popular.

They offer women an effective albeit expensive way to save face in front of their family and friends, by organising fake wedding receptions, complete with fake grooms and wedding guests.

Some even offer five-year plans, allowing clients to rehire their “husbands” for various events and maintain the illusion that they are married for longer. Prices vary considerably, but they are almost always in the millions of Vietnamese dongs.

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