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News Summary: Gypsies flock to bridal fair

The Associated Press

BRIDES-TO-BE: Amid blaring Gypsy pop and saucy flirtation, negotiations are churning quietly behind the scenes in a Bulgarian town as families weigh their financial compatibility along with the merits of the prospective bride.

WEDDED TO TRADITION: The event's reputation as a "bridal market" goes back generations. It used to take place in a muddy open field next to a horse-trading market. A generation ago, brides-to-be stood on stage with suitors competing for their hands.

CUT-RATE MATE: The cost of a bride — $3,000 to $6,600 — has dropped in recent years as jobs have dried up.