If you thought it was rough competing for homecoming queen, wait until you read about the annual bride sale in southern Bulgaria.

The word "dress" is not missing from that statement. We're not talking about the Running of the Brides wedding-gown-stampede sale here.

Last weekend, over 2,000 Roma teens and their parents gathered with a singular purpose: to find a husband willing to pay a hefty price for his new wife. The open-air bride sale takes place every year on the first Saturday after the start of the orthodox Easter fast.

Dressed to Impress

Girls arrive gussied up in their finest clothes and jewelry, faces caked in makeup, eager to show prospective spouses their beauty. Younger brothers and sisters tag along to eat sweets and enjoy the festive atmosphere.

As one mother explained to Britain's Daily Mail, "We take our daughters to this gathering so they could get acquainted with boys, for we do not allow our children to go to discos." Word on the street is that a beautiful young woman can fetch several thousand euros.

Click here for another approach to matrimony in the Gypsy culture.




10 Outrageous Theme Weddings

    Football Wedding This couple was married at the Cincinnati Bengals' Paul Brown Stadium. No word on whether the bride wore a sports bra.

    Hello Kitty Wedding Never moved past your Hello Kitty pencil case? You can pay to have two giant creatures escort you down the aisle, like this couple.

    jennfc.com

    Star Wars Wedding We hope Yoda presided over this wedding ("Take the bride, do you?"). The London Telegraph reports on one such union where a Princess Leia was the ring bearer, clad in the infamous gold bikini.

    klobtime, Flickr

    Biker Wedding Why leave your Harley at home for the big day when you can ride down the aisle in style? This couple takes leather to the altar and shows their guests exactly how to ride off in to the sunset, without chafing.

    Mad Man Dan / FaithRiders

    WWII Wedding Time to party like it's 1942? All 100 guests at this wedding got into theme, donning fur wraps, berets and caps adorned with feathers. For authenticity they piped in the sound of sirens and Lancaster bombers flying overhead.

    Hartlepool Mail

    Zombie Wedding If the undead get married, then it really is a union that will last forever. To make it authentic you could even get carried in a coffin to the altar. Consider eating beforehand if you don't like brains.

    wedlog.com

    Disney Princess Wedding For your Cinderella day, you can buy a gown from the official Disney fashion line, or have your wedding at the actual theme park for 10 grand and up. Next up: "Lion King" groomsmen!?

    bridezilla.com

    Gangster Wedding Bonnie and Clyde made being a gangster romantic and now you can too with some vintage duds and smart pinstripes.

    thebreadline, Flickr

    Renaissance Wedding Grab your lute and mount your trusty steed! If you're donning a garter, run swiftly. One rather aggressive medieval tradition called for guests to grab a piece of the garment by any means necessary.

    youandyourwedding.com

    Lord of the Rings Wedding "One ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them." Take your "precious" to the altar and recite lines straight from Tolkien's classic as the vows. These LOTR superfans earn bonus points for their Minas Tirith cake.

    Sarah and Patrick Needham



In some Gypsy communities in Romania, children can be betrothed before they are even born. Some participate in engagement ceremonies at age 4 or 6. Child engagement is not necessarily illegal, but the kids can't be legally married until age 16.

Until then, the families exchange money to seal the deal and ensure that the children remain in the community. If one party backs out and marries someone else, his or her family must repay three times the dowry to account for inflation. No pressure or anything!

Gypsies aren't the only people who marry young -- in Saudi Arabia, furor erupted after an 8-year-old girl wed a middle-aged man. And arranged marriages occur in women of all ages all over the globe -- including in the US.

Weird Ways Guys Popped the Question

    Jason got his girlfriend Maui's favorite author, Neil Gaimain, to help out with his proposal. After waiting in line to meet the author at a book signing, Maui turned her newly signed copy around to reveal Gaimain's message: "PS, Will you marry Jason?"

    http://diveabout.multiply.com/journal/item/13/The_Proposal_co_Neil_Gaiman

    The guys behind the geeky comic Joys of Tech let one of their fans (Tony) propose to his girlfriend (Steph) through one of their issues. After waiting by, the creators posted her response on their site.

    http://www.geekculture.com/joyoftech/joystuff/proposal.html

    We don't want to choose favorites, but JP definitely gets a shout out for over-the-topness. After deciding to propose to his girl in a Super Bowl commercial, he created a website to raise the needed funds. He actually achieved his goal, but not before ads sold out. Instead, he bought air time during her favorite show, Veronica Mars. Check out the commercial and her reaction here.

    http://mysuperproposal.com/

    Tasha got the shock of a lifetime while on board a flight back home from Africa when her boyfriend Ubie showed up on the plane and asked her to marry him over the intercom.

    Flickr, mischiru

    Through work connections, James had an engagement ring for his girlfriend Joy designed by famous video game artist Yoshitaka Amano. He also got Final Fantasy soundtrack composer Nobuo Uematsu to write a little ditty for him to play in the background while proposing.

    http://www.1up.com/do/blogEntry?bId=8951187&publicUserId=4549175

    Alexander proposed to his space loving girlfriend while on a zero-gravity flight that cost him a whopping $7,000. Good thing the ring didn't float away!

    Flickr, Rose Davies

    While all of our guys went to extremes, Todd is the only one to put his life in danger while proposing. At an annual 4th of July bash with family and friends, and with the help of a trained stuntman, Todd lit himself on fire. After diving into a pool of water, he told girlfriend Malissa that he is "on fire" for her and then dropped to one knee. He later made a website for the occasion.

    http://www.hotproposal.com/

    This computer science major inserted a new area into the game Chrono Trigger by hacking into the game in order to create a special proposal for his girlfriend, a fan of the game. He made it so all of the NPCs (non-playable characters) were her and him reliving the highlights of their relationship. Then, one of the NPCs proposed to the player (his girlfriend). Oh, just watch for yourself.

    Flickr, kulafire

    Jeff took Michelle to a local theater to see a showing of her favorite film Say Anything. Thing is, it was a slightly edited version; Jeff replaced John Cusack with an imagine of himself and entered "Marry Me, Michelle" into the frame.

    Flickr, .scarlet.

    As a favor to a fan, Sean Astin (Lord of the Rings) asked Amy to marry "Jordan." He did it over the phone, while Amy was in another city and "Jordan" filmed the whole thing. While sweet, the bit was apparently a con. In fact, it seems there was much fooling of the LOTR cast going on.

    Getty