When the NY Times article on how the economy shrunk 6.2% last quarter starts off with, "The economy is spiraling down at an accelerating pace, threatening to undermine the Obama administration’s spending plans..." is it any surprise that over a thousand brides-to-be flocked to the Union Square Filene's Basement to participate in the "Running of the Brides"? The annual event (in NYC; it's held twice a year in Boston) offers wedding gowns—which usually retail for $700 to $10,000—at $249, $499 and $699.

Brides generally attend with family or friends to help scope out the gowns. According to the Filene's press release, "Team-members will grab as many dresses as they can hold, then meet in a pre-determined spot. A makeshift fitting room will be available, but most brides will try on dresses on the selling floor. And what if a petite bride discovers she pounced on a size 14 dress in pink chiffon instead of a size 4 in white satin? Her team will try to barter with other brides for the right designer of size." Don't worry—there were EMTs on the scene in case things got too rough. One bride's dad told WCBS 2, "It's the craziest thing I have ever seen. It's a lot of fun." Here's raw video of the event from My Fox NY—warning, you may want to turn your sound down:

Filene's told the Daily News that the crowd of 1,300 was the store's largest since the event began at the Union Square location five years ago, "The bad economy has made this a bigger event than ever." Or, as one bride put it, "This is psycho! These women are crazy!"