A Chinese man, backed by a dozen knife-wielding accomplices, ambushed his ex-girlfriend's wedding convoy and kidnapped the bride, a newspaper said.
The men blocked the convoy at a crossroads in rural Shaanxi province in northwestern China on Sunday, the Beijing News said.
"They smashed the windows of the wedding cars with knives and steel pipes, dragged the bride out and put her into one of their cars before fleeing," it quoted a witness as saying.
The father of the 22-year-old nurse said he was certain his daughter's former boyfriend had staged the kidnap.
"He was being treated at a hospital when my daughter was interning there and they had been in a relationship," the father was quoted as saying.
Fifteen police officers had made little progress in finding the ex-boyfriend and the bride by Monday night, the daily said.
The groom had gone on without his bride to complete the remaining wedding rituals, which according to local custom cannot be stopped once started, the newspaper said.
He had fallen ill afterwards and been admitted to hospital, it added.
Ancient Chinese literature is littered with tales of heroic kidnappings of brides by devoted lovers rebelling against family-arranged marriages, but this real-life version, in which a woman was slightly injured, has apparently shocked some.
"It's the first time I've ever seen a bride kidnapping in daylight," the witness was quoted as saying.