9 Ways To Have An Official Vikings Wedding
Since 2013’s hit show Vikings first aired on the History Channel (and we all fell in love with Travis Fimmel as Ragnar Lothbrok) there has been a renewed fascination with viking culture.
While the fearless Scandinavian warriors were not without their faults and questionable practices, they valued many traditions and rituals that have stood the test of time. Most importantly, when it came to marriage, viking women were considered equal to their husbands and could even keep their dowry if they re-married!
If you and your husband-to-be consider yourselves to be the Lagertha and Ragnar Lothbrok of your time, here are 9 ways to have the perfect vikings themed wedding:
1. Dress Up
Traditional viking wedding-dress was much more casual than battle attire, although you can certainly go for shields and helmets if you wish! Invite your guests to dress up in leather tunics, flowing dresses and faux-fur cloaks, adding wild flowers, kohl eyeliner and plenty of braids for a real pagan theme. You can even dress up as your favourite characters from the show – think Floki and his eccentric eye makeup or Queen Aslaug and her beautifully embroidered gowns and headdresses.
The vikings were master boat builders and made their mark in history by sailing to distant lands, but they were also a people very close to nature. Consider getting married or having the reception on an actual boat or in a woodland setting, complete with traditional viking decor such as fake animal skins, long wooden tables, candles and carved horns.
This is a lovely ritual the vikings used to symbolize the union and devotion between two people. Couples can bind their hands together with cord and even include traditional Norse poems in their vows.
Wooden flutes, lyre and harps are all great instruments for recreating traditional viking music at your wedding. Get everyone in on the fun by singing old Norse songs to impress the gods and guarantee your place in Valhalla!
Feasting was central to viking culture, giving everyone the opportunity to hear about the latest raiding destinations and bringing together important royal families. For a true viking menu, go for plates piled high with various meats, fish, sharing bread and maybe a themed cake, like this one from www.conjurerskitchen.com:
6. Fun & Games
Viking celebrations included games such as racing to the feast – whichever group lost served beer to the winners for the rest of the night. Get your guests involved by hosting mock one-on-one sword fights or cosplay battles – you can even present rune trinkets such as bracelets or coasters as prizes or wedding favours.
7. Make An Offering
A great way of bringing the viking ritual of sacrifice into your wedding without having to actually sacrifice anything (or anyone!) is by making an offering. This could be anything from a garland of flowers to lighting candles, and is a way of symbolically offering something to the earth, a higher power, or simply yourselves for a positive future and a long-lasting union.
8. Exchanging Swords (Or Other Objects!)
Viking couples would often exchange their ancestral swords prior to the exchange of rings, which were offered to the other on the hilt of their new swords. If you don’t fancy getting actual swords off eBay, use an object that is personal to each of you and gift it to the other as a sign of your commitment.
Plenty of mead (or ale/beer/cider) is an essential part of any viking wedding celebration. Give your guests some drinking horns and let the party carry on long through the night. Skol!
By Abby Williams, Excalibur Press