Mostly it is the good friends who kidnap the bride. Here, the kidnappers go with her from bar to bar, the best man of the bride (or her father) or the groom have to pay the bill every time. The kidnappers go to a certain place, such as a public building, and leave a few pointers to help for searching. The exemption may be associated with a task for the groom, for example an artistic performance or wash the dishes for the next few weeks.
In Austria and Bavaria (preferably at country weddings), it is now customary to sing a derisive song before the freeing of the bride.
In Lower Austria it is customary for the masked men and the bride to go to the nearest coffee bar or tavern to drink, sing and to wait for the groom to come. In most areas of Austria it is the best man, sometimes the groom or the bride's father (rarely the best man) that pays the price of the kidnappers.
This ordinariness is due to the supposed 'right of the first night' (German 'Recht der ersten Nacht', French 'droit du seigneur') in the Middle Ages. According to myth the clergy and nobility in the Middle Ages had the right to deflower their female subordinates in their wedding night. Back then the brides was retrieved (kidnapped) from the vassals of the government from their Weddings. The historiography sees this right rather as a literary fiction.
In Bavaria and Western Austria another tradition is to wake up the bride early in the morning with a gun shoot or firecrackers on wedding day. Friends and neighbours meet at dawn at the brides house to "greet" her on her special day.