Romania is a land with abounding traditions, even when it comes to the union of two soul mates: the wedding. One of the traditional customs that is specific to the Balkan area and especially to Romania, is the stealing of the bride or bride kidnapping.
According to the legend, after the founding of the city of Rome, Romulus wanted to attract also women within the fortress, so at the celebration of Consualia he invited the Sabines people, known for their beautiful women. During the festivities, the Romans attacked the Sabines, kidnapping their wives, daughters and sisters. Their action did not seek the offending of Sabines, but the union of the two nations, which eventually happened after a long war. Moreover, some say the tradition is descended from a barbaric custom from the migrating nations, when a rival who knew about the wedding, usually took his revenge on the groom by stealing his biggest asset. To redeem his wife and avoid her being dishonest, the husband had to pay large amounts of money.
Nowadays we cannot be talking about the same reasons. The custom is more likely a game in which the husband has to look for his bride and redeem her. Most brides are returned in exchange for amounts of alcohol, whiskey being preferred by the wedding guests. Some also say that if the bride is stolen until midnight, then the godfather of the couple must pay the ransom. However, if the kidnapping happens after 12, then the groom must regain his chosen one. In some areas of the country, sending the bride’s shoe is the kidnappers’ proof for the theft.