'Bride-Napping': A Wedding Craze With an Edge
Romanians love new custom of stealing her from the groom
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 3, 2012 2:00 PM CDT
In this Sunday, Aug. 26, 2012 picture, a Romanian bride poses with mock kidnappers holding a toy weapons at the Triumph Arch in Bucharest, Romania.   (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
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(Newser) – Bride-napping sounds like a serious crime—except that Romanians like doing it every week as a means of spicing up ordinary weddings, the AP reports. Typically the wedding party will be in full swing when friends of the bride abduct her, take her to a popular tourist spot, and demand a ransom from the groom ... like whiskey or a promise of undying love. Oddly enough, a football player inspired the kooky custom by proposing to his girlfriend.

He made the proposal at Bucharest's Arch of Triumph a few years back, and Romanians loved it—so much that it somehow morphed into the bride-napping trend. Now every Saturday night it's quite a scene at the Arch, where passing drivers cheer for "abducted" brides who dance and pout for the cameras. "Everything was staged and ready in my case," says one. "I was given the 'leave' signal by my friends and together we came here to have some fun. Now everyone's thinking what ransom to ask the groom."