Not only do providers of this service have men ready to rent as grooms, but they also provide complete ‘screenplays’ to make the audience believe it is a real wedding.
Most customers are single mothers or transgenders who wish to please their parents and relatives with a ‘normal’ wedding party.
Some customers are divorced but don’t want their families to know.
The ‘people for rent’ can generally be considered ‘actors’ and ‘actresses’ who play their roles for a certain period of time for money.
Upon finishing one role, they will pick up another screenplay.
Here is an example of an order from a woman named Hoàng Thị Hương, who works for a bank in Hà Nội:
“Tomorrow my mother will come to Hà Nội for treatment, please arrange an elderly couple to be my parents-in-law, and a young man to be my husband.”
She sent that SMS message to Tuấn Việt.
The following day, she has a well-matched man by her side to act as her husband, as well as her ‘parents-in-law’.
They all went to the hospital to visit her mother.
Trần Tuấn Việt, director of the personnel firm Tuấn Việt, which specializes in organizing such ‘fake’ parties, recalled a wedding in the northern province of Yên Bái he recently ‘directed’.
“The bride was good looking and talented.
Her name is Loan, and she needed a wedding party to shield her family from the fact that she is pregnant and her boyfriend abandoned her,” he said.
Four months pregnant, she refused to have an abortion, and came to Tuấn Việt.
Tuấn Việt set up a screenplay for Loan, whose ‘husband’ is an orphan from the central province of Nghệ An.
He lived with his aunt from a young age, graduated from university and owns an apartment in Hà Nội.
The ‘couple’ is planned to divorce after one or two years.
The total cost for a fake wedding party with almost 40 ‘participants’ is no less than VND100 million (US$4,800).
It includes all of the usual ceremonial rites, such as a proposal, betrothal, bride procession, visits between the two families, and gifts.
All of this happens within a month.
Over the last two years, Tuấn Việt has had over 300 clients, 90 percent of whom are women in pregnancy with either married boyfriend or a boyfriend who left them.
“Some women came to me and talked about their personal circumstances for half a day.
After returning home, they even sent me SMS messages like, ‘if you can’t help me, I have no option but to jump into a truck’.
The women were pretty and good natured,” said Việt.
“I believe such a wedding party helps relieve them and gets rid of a crisis.
They don’t want an abortion.
They just want their families free from disgrace.
“After giving birth, many clients called and thanked me.”
A bizarre ‘wedding’
One memorable case handled by Tuấn Việt was one involving an elderly uncle and his niece, who was 21 years old.
“The girl is transgender but her parents are forcing her to get married,” said the uncle.
“So she needs a wedding party to please them.”
When the families of the groom and bride met at the wedding, Việt was stunned to realize that things were quite different from what the uncle had said.
The girl was from a rural area of Hải Dương Province in the north and lived with her aunt and uncle in Hà Nội so she could attend university.
At some point, she entered into a love affair with her uncle and became pregnant.
So the wedding party was organized not only to cover her pregnancy, but also to cheat his wife, Viet said.
Her ‘groom’ was introduced as a Singaporean man, who had to return to Singapore on urgent business after the wedding party.
Other clients of Tuấn Việt have been homosexuals who needed a ‘normal’ wedding party so that their parents wouldn’t force them into an unwanted marriage.