Bucharest, Romania — Sometimes strange customs have a way of making themselves prominent in a modern world with a lot less serious consequences. This definitely applies to the habit of Bride Napping, a custom of kidnapping a bride from her wedding during the reception, which has been a part of Romanian culture for many years.
The custom has evolved where the kidnappers are usually close friends of the bride and groom, and, after the kidnapping the bride, they drive her to a known tourist attraction where they take photos of the bride while she pouts, dances, or makes provocative sexy poses. They e-mail the groom and tell him he has a certain amount of time to deliver the “ransom” or he will never get to enjoy his wedding night. The ransom is usually some bottles of whiskey or a public embarrassing declaration of his love by the groom.
The custom takes place all over the former Soviet Union and is a throwback to when brides actually had more to fear from their captors. Brigands knew that if they snatched a bride from her wedding and held her captive, a groom and her family would cough up large sums of cash to buy back the woman.
One bride, 25-year-old Alisar Dragne, laughs while talking about her heavily scripted abduction saying:
“Everything was staged and ready in my case. The limousine was waiting for me in front of the restaurant, 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.”
While doubtful this custom could ever take off in Western culture, it seems as if the Romanians really know how to interject some fun into weddings and make the wedding night all the more romantic.
Would you participate in a bridenapping at your wedding?