A woman who attends strangers’ weddings as a seat-holder has revealed what it’s really like as she insists she has made tons of new friends and always brings a gift.
Joanna Smykowski, a 33-year-old lawyer based in New York City, joined several brides-to-be groups on Facebook while planning her own wedding for September 2021.
One day, she came across a post from a bride asking if someone could attend her wedding to help meet the venue’s required minimum number of people.
Otherwise, the seats and meals would be wasted, since the bride and groom had to pay for replacement parts anyway, Joanna explained in a Business Insider rehearsal.
Joanna Smykowski, a New York City-based attorney, has made a habit of volunteering to attend strangers’ weddings whenever the brides and grooms needed extra guests.
Joanna (pictured far right) first discovered that some brides needed extra guests to attend their wedding through a brides-to-be group on Facebook.
“Luckily for the bride who asked for help on Facebook, I love everything about weddings,” Joanna wrote.
‘I take the opportunity to celebrate love, dance and dress up for a night out. Attending someone’s wedding is my idea of the perfect evening.’
She discussed the idea with her then-fiancé and he agreed to do it.
The couple then drove an hour to attend the strangers’ wedding and also booked a nearby hotel to spend the night on the expedition.
“The dress code was formal attire, which was even more exciting because I love having a reason to wear a floor-length dress,” Joanna gushed.
The couple was invited to the cocktail party and reception, and Joanna was pleasantly surprised to discover that the entire table had come to the wedding under similar circumstances: none of them knew the bride and groom personally.
Among the guests, one couple was going to get married at the venue in the future and another had just gotten married there a few months ago, but they were so busy that they hadn’t even tried the food.
“Above all, everyone wanted to have a fun night,” Joanna wrote.
The first experience she (far left) had at a stranger’s wedding went so well that Joanna decided to look for similar opportunities.
Since then, Joanna has attended four more weddings of strangers and says that “the joy that surrounds weddings gives me energy.”
He went on to describe that the group became “fast friends” before dancing the night away together.
“There was something liberating about not knowing anyone in the room but coming together for such a moving event,” he admitted.
From there, Joanna joined a Facebook group called “sisterhood of the traveling wedding guest, bridesmaid, or surrogate mother,” specifically to connect those who lacked friends, bridesmaids, and even mother figures with those willing to play the role of the bride in question. great day.
Since then, she has attended four more weddings, both with her now-husband and sometimes with a friend as a date.
‘If someone asks how we know the happy couple, we always say through the bride. I leave out the part about her meeting her for the first time at her wedding,’ Joanna explained.
“I never know (and I don’t ask) if the bride has told her family and friends that they invited people they never met,” he emphasized.
Joanna also says that although she is not expected to do so, she always brings a gift for the newlyweds.
Overall, she insists that “the joy surrounding weddings energizes me” and hopes to continue hosting consensual weddings for “many more years.”
“Also, I will never say no to celebrating love, dancing all night and having a great night of partying,” he concluded.