Bride and Groom in UK Spend Over $3,000 on Cardboard Attendees

Category : Human Interest

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. shell out / ʃɛl aʊt / (idiom) – to spend a large amount of money on something

    I regret shelling out $2,000 for a designer bag.

  2. life-sized / ˈlaɪfˈsaɪzd / (adj) – being the same size as an actual person, animal, object, etc.

    The rich man has a life-sized statue of himself in his mansion.

  3. tie the knot / taɪ ðə nɒt / (idiom) – to get married

    My sister will tie the knot with her fiancé next year.

  4. content / kənˈtɛnt / (adj) – satisfied

    I feel content with my life.

  5. immediate family / ɪˈmi di ɪt ˈfæm ə li / (n) – a person's closest relatives, including parents, siblings, spouse, and children

    Only our immediate family members are invited to our small wedding.


Read the text below.

A couple in the United Kingdom spent thousands of dollars to make cardboard cutouts of their wedding guests.

Newlyweds Romanee and Sam Rondeau-Smith from Guildford were only allowed to have 14 actual attendees at their wedding, so they brought 48 cardboard cutouts of their other guests with them. They requested guests who could not attend the event to send pictures of themselves and shelled out around $3,500 for life-sized cardboard cutouts.

The couple came up with the idea of the cutouts thanks to a previous joke with one of their bridesmaids, who lives in Nashville, USA. They told her that they would make a cardboard cutout for her because she would not be able to come to the wedding. However, when strict restrictions on social gatherings due to Covid-19 were implemented in the UK, the couple decided to push through with the idea for all their guests.

Romanee and Sam officially tied the knot last August at The Bell in Ticehurst, East Sussex. Originally, they were supposed to hold their wedding in July and planned to have around 100 guests.

Even though the occasion did not go as planned, the bride said that she and the groom were not disappointed. For her, the occasion was perfect and relaxing, and she still felt as if all their guests were with them. The couple said that they were content to celebrate their big day with their immediate family members. However, the bride still plans to have a big celebration in the future when things return to normal.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you think that it was a good idea to push through with the wedding in the middle of a pandemic? Why or why not?
• Would you also celebrate a special occasion with cardboard cutout guests? Why or why not?

Discussion B

• What are other creative ways to celebrate a special occasion while far away from your guests (e.g. hold a virtual event)? Discuss.
• Would you rather celebrate a special occasion (e.g. a wedding) with a lot of guests or only with immediate family members? Why?

Category : Human Interest