Who doesn’t want their wedding day to be as special as possible? And most brides have their kind of dream wedding, whether that’s mermaids, Jurassic Park, nature-themed or Viking.
Talking about Viking wedding traditions, recently a couple got married with a Viking theme. Elisabeth Dalset, 27, and Rune Dalseth, 36, tied the knots on 25th of August in a Viking way. The ceremony involved a lot of typical Viking things – pagan priests, longboats and, well, sacrificial blood for pagan gods.
Yeah, blood was involved, but not to worry! No human is harmed in the process of the wedding ceremony.
The holy matrimonial took place next to a lake with both of them clad in capes, reminding us of Game of Thrones. (No, we’re not talking about the Red Wedding.)
Elisabeth Dalseth was a beautician before she becomes a stay-at-home mother to her son who is now 6 months old. She recalls the day she danced in a wedding dress, “We had no Spotify. Instead, we danced to live music that our ancestors danced to over a millennium ago.”
Elisabeth was not a Viking enthusiast, to begin with. It was Rune who introduced this whole new world to her back in May 2016. They first met at a bar and Elisabeth ran a beauty salon back then. Soon, they fell in love and Elisabeth began to embrace the culture of Viking and its spirituality. Rune was already a pagan for two years, then.
Rune proposed to her the next year during a Viking festival and we can guess the theme they want to go with – Viking.
Of course, it wasn’t easy to revive a ceremony that died out 1,000 years ago – you have to build the longboats, make the clothes and be willing to find someone to become the gothi. Gothi is someone who is equivalent to a priest these days.
Rune talks about the preparations they made, “We had two longboats built. They were made by a local shipbuilder. The traditional dress is not easy to find, so another friend helped us with that.
“Finally, a man who we had met at a festival one year agreed to be the gothi – the equivalent of a priest – for the ceremony.”
Nobody was born a pagan these days, but these two people were raised as Christians. Rune also mentions that he came from a conventional Christian background and his mother had doubts when he mentions he won’t be having a Christian wedding. His mother soon changed her mind.
“But I think she has now come to accept it. She can see how happy paganism makes me and how it has helped me get my life together.
“Before I was a Viking, I didn’t have a wife, a baby and a house – now look at me.”
Rune arrived in the morning with 10 of his closest friends in a longboat. This is the start of the ancient wedding ceremony which was gone 1,000 years ago.
The guests began to assemble and needless to say, some of them were not so sure of this party.
“Some of the people who came were a little sceptical about it at the start,” Elisabeth said.
The hunting horn was blown to mark the beginning of the ceremony. Guests began to assemble around the venue.
The gothi holds dried roses in one hand and reads the speech in his other hand as he blesses the couple. He then smears blood on his face while binding the two hands on the handle of the sword.
The couple wanted to revive the culture which has always been stigmatized with rape, violence, and pillage. But the Vikings were not the only ones with that reputation.
“Vikings were no more terrible than any other group of people living at that time. What people don’t mention is that Vikings were people who had a great appreciation for nature, for the land, and for animal life. We want people to be more aware of that,” said Rune.
Elisabeth mentions that initially, the guests were skeptical, but here’s what happened in the end.
“By the end, they could all feel the energy and the love that we generated.”