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Foreign Celebration: Kidnap the Bride (Romani/Gypsies)


The Romani (“gypsies”)—not to be confused with Romanians—have a peculiar centuries-old tradition. To begin the married life, the groomsmen or bridesmaids kidnap the bride-to-be by whisking her away during the wedding day in a vehicle.

The kidnapping entourage head to a hideaway spot, where they unload and take good-humored “ransom” pictures of the bride and groom. Despite the bride’s pseudo-fearful look in the picture, she is quite calm. The bride has, after all, agreed to partake in the scripted kidnapping!

kidnap bride

After pictures, the entourage returns the couple to the wedding reception location, where the groom offers the requested “ransom” to the kidnapping group. Additionally, the abductors might require other forms of payment, such as the groom dancing, offering bottles of liquor, etc., usually to the delight of onlooking wedding guests. After dropping the usually-harmless act, the kidnapping group returns the funds as a wedding gift.

This practice has prevailed because Eastern European governments tend to be hesitant to ban an age-old ethnic minority tradition.

While we can’t legally tell you how to have your own “kidnap the bride” all we can suggest is that EVERYBODY IS IN ON IT, to ensure you avoid legal troubles.





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Hel Ya

Helen Yang ("Hel Ya", Writer) synthesizes Turn Up's creative energies into online form. She has partied in cities outside of New York from L.A. to Shanghai. Hel Ya currently resides in Queens, NY.


  1. Ray Ban

    More often than not I tend not to create comments on websites, however I have to mention that this post really pushed me to take some action. Very remarkable content.

  2. ray Ban

    Very nice post, thanks a lot for sharing. Do you have an RSS feed I can subscribe to?


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