A couple from Norway exchanged their vows in a complete Viking ceremony that was inspired by weddings that took place 1,000 years ago.
Elizabeth Dalseth, 27, a former beautician married Rune Dalseth, 36, on the banks of a Norwegian lake as throat singers serenaded in the ceremony presided over by a gothi (a pagan priest).
The couple, who have a six-month-old son named Ragnar, chose to wed in typical Viking style, swapping a traditional bridal car with two longboats and wearing Viking dress.
The ceremony also incorporated a ‘blot’ ritual, which meant that a cauldron of pig’s blood was put on a pile of stones and then drizzled over small figures, and then onto the forehead.
The couple, who are part of the strong movement of Norwegian Viking revivalists that has more than 6,000 participants, celebrated the night with their 130 guests. All of them were in costumes, and they enjoyed Nurse songs and dances alongside honey-beer.
Elizabeth, the stay at home mom of the six-month-old Ragnar said:
“We had no Spotify. Instead, we danced to live music that our ancestors danced to over a millennium ago.”
The couple met in May 2016 at a bar.
Elizabeth knew nothing about paganism and Viking traditions back then, but was drawn to the way of life immediately after Rune introduced her to them.
She says that he opened up a completely new world for her, and she soon fell in love with the spirituality of it and the people.
He proposed to her at a Viking festival near Oslo the following year, and they began planning the pagan wedding quickly after.
The movement works to preserve and continue pagan rituals, and their fellow participants were keen to be involved in the first Viking wedding since the demise of these ancient warriors more than 1,000 years ago.
A local shipbuilder built the two longboats, and another friend helped them with the traditional dress.
“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.” – Rune adds.
Not everything was the fairy tale they had hoped for, though, as both of the partners were aware of the skepticism from their parents. Rune comes from a very Christian family, and his mom was unsure about him not having a Christian wedding.
Rune arrived at the lakeside early in the morning alongside 10 of his closest friends, and they set sail in the specially made longboat across the water. A hunting horn was blown to signal the start of the ceremony, and the groom made a dramatic entrance by returning to shore with the longboat.
Elizabeth arrived with her father, which was just one of the few bits of modern tradition. She also wore a white dress, but not princess dress, as she says.