A couple from Norway married in a Viking ceremony inspired by 10th-century weddings, held on the shore of a Norwegian lake.
Former beautician Elisabeth Dalseth, 27, and Rune Dalseth, 36, exchanged vows on the banks of a Norwegian lake in a Viking ceremony inspired by weddings that took place 1,000 years ago.
The couple, who have a six-month-old son, Ragnar, arrived in a longboat for the ceremony, wearing Viking dresses.
The couple chose to marry in a Viking ceremony despite having a conventional Christian upbringing.
The couple celebrated through the night with their 130 guests, all wearing Viking costumes.
‘We had no Spotify. Instead, we danced to live music that our ancestors danced to over a millennium ago.’
The couple started dating when they met two years ago in May 2016 at a bar.
Rune, who had been a pagan for two years, introduced her to paganism and Viking tradition.
‘Rune completely opened up a new world for me, and I soon fell in love with the people and the spirituality of it,’ she said.
When the couple began planning a pagan wedding, their friends were so excited to be involved as it would be the first Viking wedding since the demise of the ancient warriors nearly 1,000 years ago.
‘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,’ said Rune.
‘I come from a very Christian family. When I announced that we were not going to have a Christian wedding my mum was a little unsure about it.’
‘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.’
‘We were so pleased that everyone was willing to join in with us and be open to our way of life,’ Rune added.
Elizabeth said: ‘I arrived with my father, one of the few bits of modern tradition that we observed. I was also in a white dress, but not a princess dress.’
‘Before we said our vows we did the ‘blot’ ritual. This is when a cauldron of blood is put on top of a pile of stones. The blood is then drizzled over little figures of the gods and then across the forehead. It is supposed to symbolize the union of gods and people.’
‘We stayed up very late afterward, into the following morning. We danced and sang and listened to old stories about the gods,’
‘Some of the people who came were a little skeptical about it at the start, but by the end, they could all feel the energy and the love that we generated.’
‘I think if you go to a wedding like ours, you will definitely think differently about what it is to be a Viking.’ Elisabeth added.