What is a Viking Wedding?
During the time of the Viking Age (between 793 AD and 1066 AD) marriage was a very important part of their culture. Traditionally, the wedding day is supposed to be on a Friday. Friday in Norse and Viking culture is Frigg’s Day or Freya Day. Frigg, also sometimes known as Freya is the Norse Goddess of love, fertility, and marriage. The Vikings did not typically marry for love; Financial stability and business-related ordeals were the main reasons for marriage during the Age of the Vikings. However, marriage was still very important and couples went through a lot of planning for their celebration.
During the Age of Vikings, these events were normally held in the summer to avoid the troubles of traveling too far during the cold winter months, they also had to worry about food supplies running short during the cold months. These events would sometimes take years to plan and they were often very extravagant and elegant events with plenty of food, games, drinks, and dancing. Usually, Viking wedding celebrations would last anywhere from three days up to an entire week.
What Type of Clothing Should I Wear for a Viking Wedding?
There is not a universal type of attire to be worn during a Viking wedding as this is very unique to the couple that is getting married. You can wear whatever you feel comfortable wearing. However, while there is no specific type of clothing for a Viking wedding, the bride and groom are known to carry symbolic objects on them during the event. For women, the focus was less on their dress and more on their hair. The dresses were not usually white unless a white dress was the best dress they owned. Typically, the dresses would be long and ruffled. Common colors for dresses included but are not limited to grey, blue, or red.
Viking women often had long hair which was usually braided. So it would make sense for a modern-day Viking wedding to focus less on clothing and more on hairstyles. Another popular hairstyle was to tie a knot in their hair at the back of their head. This knowledge might have had different kinds of decorations on it such as colored tape that would also be braided into the hair. Young Scandinavian girls traditionally wore a garland on their head, during the marriage they would replace the garland with a bridal crown. This represented the bride making the journey from girlhood to womanhood. Women often saved the garland to give to their future daughters in generations to come.
Viking men also did not traditionally focus much on their clothing. However, it is common for men to wear their armor and greaves. Some sources say traditionally before their wedding day men would sometimes break into the grave of one of their ancestors who died in battle and take their sword. They would then offer their swords to the bride. For modern Viking Weddings, this can be a sword you have bought online, or a sword you already owned, or anything that is symbolic to you. This item is then saved to give to future sons the couple may have. Another symbolic item men may wear during a Viking wedding ceremony is Mjolnir, Thor’s hammer. Thor’s hammer is sometimes said to represent strength and courage. This type of symbolism can be helpful for young men making their journey from childhood to manhood.
Invitation Ideas for Having a Viking Wedding
If you really want to spice things up with your Viking-themed wedding then you can always get creative with your wedding invitations! This can be a fun, creative project for you and your significant other to work on together. You can either do this yourself at home or you can even have your wedding invitations made for you on zazzle.com! There are a ton of designs and different artworks to choose from or have customized for you on zazzle.com. If you choose to do it yourself at home, there are plenty of easy, cheap options. Invitations should have the place of the event, the date, and the time. Make sure to also include a date your guests have to respond by so you know how many people you can expect to attend your Viking-themed wedding.
What Are Some Good Places for Me to Have My Viking Wedding?
Nature plays a very significant role in Norse and Viking culture so having an outdoor wedding is usually the best idea for a Viking-themed wedding. Considering have the wedding in a woodland area. The surrounding area can be decorated with horns, animal fur, and candles. A lot of times people will have a fire pit set up to have a bonfire after the wedding. There is no right or wrong way to do this! There are people who choose to have a DIY Viking wedding, but there are also Viking wedding venues. Having a DIY Viking wedding can be more cost-efficient. It also can be a very fun and exciting experience if you enjoy event planning and decorating. So explore all your options thoroughly and decide if you want to have a DIY home Viking wedding or if you would rather have it at a wedding venue. The choice is yours and your significant other’s! Do what is best for you as a couple.
What Type of Food Should be Served at a Viking Wedding?
The feast is a very important part of Viking weddings, just like most wedding traditions were throughout many different cultures in history. Vikings were great hunters and very self-sufficient with their harvest, which is part of the reason why most Viking weddings were held during the summer. Throughout the Viking age, roasted and boiled meats were very common for these types of feasts.
Usually, Viking weddings consisted of hearty meats such as roast beef, goat, pork, and mutton. Stews are a common and delicious type of dish often served at modern-day Viking weddings as well as traditional Viking weddings. The Viking age had a wide variety of different meats, vegetables, and other foods to choose from. There is usually a hefty plethora of vegetables to choose from such as buttered cabbage, peas, onions, beans, and turnips. They also would consume different dairy products such as cheese and milk which were often harvested from cows, sheep, and goats. Vikings were also known to eat a lot of different kinds of nuts and berries such as lingonberries, cloudberries, sloe berries, strawberries, and bilberries. For their nuts, Vikings often had Walnuts imported while other nuts such as hazelnuts were harvested from the wild.
Bread is another common staple for Viking weddings and Viking-themed dinners. Viking Wedding dinner plans can be adjusted to the liking of the people involved, there is no set way to have a Viking-themed feast. For dessert at a Viking wedding, things like cake, honey buttered bread, or fresh fruit are usually pretty traditional. There is also usually plenty of mead and other types of alcohol that can be served at Viking weddings. With new mead businesses rising up in recent years it is typically pretty easy to find affordable, while still valuable, meads and other traditional Norse-themed drinks that also sell in bulk.
What Type of Music Should be Played at a Viking Wedding?
During the Viking, Age music was a very important part of their culture. Music can be played on wooden instruments such as a wooden flute, harp, or lyre. There are many traditional folk songs that can be played during your Viking wedding if you aim to have a more traditional-themed Viking wedding. There are also quite a few Viking-themed bands that may be worth looking into for music if you want to add a modern flair to your Viking-themed wedding. Most Viking-themed bands are heavy metal. Some popular Viking-themed bands include Hel, Kampfar, and Moonsorrow, those are just a few Viking-themed bands to choose from, there are many more! The majority of the music played during the Viking age references the Gods and Goddesses, as worship of the Norse Pantheon is a very big part of Viking and Norse culture both ancient and modern.
What Are Some Types of Items That I Could Buy on Amazon for My Viking Wedding?
There are many different types of Nordic and Viking items you can find on amazon for your Viking wedding. This is especially helpful for those that are doing a DIY Viking wedding. Certain items you may want to look into getting for your Viking wedding could include but don’t have to be limited to swords, plates, and silverware. Cake decorations such as the Yggdrasil symbol written on the cake, Norse-themed candles, and runic cake borders are another example of things you could do to spice up your Viking-themed wedding. There are many different types of items you might be inclined to purchase, a few of which are listed below.
- Drinking Horn Shot Glass Set: This can be a great option for drinking after the party!
- Rune Rings: Rune rings typically are rings with certain ancient runes engraved on them. This is very symbolic and would make for a great wedding gift!
- Viking Warlord Skulls: This could be a great addition to your list of decorative items for your Viking wedding!
- Thor’s Hammer Wall Plaque: As stated earlier, Mjolnir represents strength and courage, this could serve as a perfect decoration for a Viking wedding!
- Wooden Viking ship silhouette acrylic cupcake toppers: This could be an interesting idea to check out if you are making cupcakes for your Viking wedding
- Mjolnir Necklace:This is a great gift for the groom if you will be attending the wedding as a guest
Entertainment for a Viking wedding After-Party
Entertainment is a very big and important part of Viking weddings. Lawn games are very popular and prominent in Viking culture and that extended of course into their weddings as well. A very popular lawn game in Nordic and Viking culture is Kubb. Kubb (pronounced Koob) is also sometimes known as “Viking chess” Kubb is an outdoor strategy-based game that consists of the centerpiece, also known as the king, 10 blocks, also known as kubbs, and 6 batons. This game is usually played with teams. The goal of the game is to be the first team to knock down the opponent’s kubbs, as well as the king. It is very similar to tabletop chess in this aspect. Other activities enjoyed by the Vikings during weddings include wrestling, ball games, scraper games, tug of war, and drinking games. Archery was also a big part of Viking and Norse culture so if you are able to do so, you might want to consider setting up an archery range. After the ceremony is finished, it is traditional for the couple and the families of the wedded couple to race to the dining area! However, this might not be doable depending on if your wedding is at a different location than your wedding reception.
Don’t Rush the Wedding Date!
Weddings take a lot of time, effort, and money. and can be extremely stressful. Viking weddings are no different in this way, so do not rush it before the time is right. It is very normal both in history and in culture, for Viking weddings to take years of planning. So it is perfectly reasonable to take your time and make sure that the event is the best that it could possibly be. While planning a Viking-themed wedding, it is very important to have your finances in order; or to have them in order with any wedding for that matter. Remember when planning the details of the wedding to take some time to relax and take care of yourself. Whether you plan your wedding in six months, or six years, it is important to remember to do it at the right time.
Have a Viking Themed Bachelor or Bachelorette Party!
Like most cultures, it is traditional for the bride and groom to spend some time apart prior to the wedding. It is also a good way to let go of all the stress leading up to the event and really enjoy yourself. So why not throw a Viking-themed bachelor or bachelorette party. This could include drinking contests with horned cups, wrestling, archery, playing chess or other board games, or playing traditional Scandinavian games! Whatever you feel most comfortable doing for your own party. You can also dress up in traditional Viking-themed outfits for a night of good food, fun games, lots of drinking, and the company of some of your best friends celebrating with you moving forward to your next big journey in life.
Include a Handfasting Ceremony in Your Viking Wedding
Handfasting is something both ancient Norse, Viking, and Celtic cultures practiced during wedding ceremonies. Handfasting is when your wrist is tied to your significant other’s wrist to represent your two souls being intertwined in marriage. This is a great way to celebrate the love you have for your spouse as well as to honor traditional Viking weddings. Honoring the Viking Gods is usually a big part of the handfasting ceremony. So if you believe in the Norse Gods and Goddesses it is a good time to light a candle in their honor and read a few verses from the poetic edda or the prose edda.
The Difference Between a Viking Wedding and a Viking
Both of these topics have been addressed hand in hand within this article, but it is important to recognize the differences between the two in order to give credit where credit is properly due so the following topics will discuss each of these in a bit more detail and outline what separates them from each other. The main difference between traditional old-fashioned Viking weddings and Viking-themed weddings is that in the Viking Age these weddings were usually arranged. Traditionally during Viking weddings, there were no bridesmaids, there were groomsmen and bridesmen, these people were responsible for the safety of the bride and groom during and after the ceremony. Of course, safety is likely not a concern in today’s day and age during your wedding. So, it is perfectly fine to have bridesmaids during your modern-day Viking-themed wedding.
Traditional Viking Weddings
Traditional Viking weddings would be the practices and traditions commonly found throughout Viking and Norse culture during their wedding ceremonies and understanding what each activity, tradition, and decoration meant to the ancient Norse people. This is not always definitive or set in stone but there are definitely shared customs and ideas that can be looked at. It would be more important to try your best to remain true to the ways and beliefs of the ancient Norse people during such a ceremony. Of course, a lot of the ancient traditions are not acceptable now as we have advanced as a society. So, it’s best to do this to the best of your ability.
Viking Themed Weddings
A Viking-themed wedding would be a more modern wedding that pays homage to Viking aesthetics such as attire, modern Viking-inspired music, and activities that loosely fit the Viking aesthetic you may be going for. This can mean anything short of disrespecting the people you’re wedding is themed after. This could mean runic banners, getting Viking-themed haircuts, and a lot of cool decorations. There are many different types of DIY decorations, some mentioned above, and a lot of other options on Amazon.
Combining the Two in a Respectful Way
Remember that it is important to make sure that you differentiate between what is up to speculation and personal taste, and what is considered respectful or disrespectful when combining both traditional Viking weddings and your own Viking-themed wedding. As long as you make it clear where the differences are. An example would be if you had party hats that resembled the media’s “horned helmet” aesthetic. This is not a part of Norse culture in any way, shape, or form so it would be important to make it known that those were part of the aesthetic side of things and were not meant to represent a traditional Viking wedding. You could have handfasting in your ceremony while also playing around with the aesthetics that don’t contradict nor disrespect the culture and practices of the people that once celebrated many of these things in honor of their gods and their ways of life.
Sacrafices or Offerings to the Gods and Goddesses Can be an Important Part of Having a Viking Wedding
This does not mean you have to go sacrifice a goat, or a cow, or any other type of animal. In fact, modern-day Norse Pagans who have kept the Norse and Viking religion alive regularly make offerings and sacrifices for their Gods and Goddesses. Sacrifices can be anything that means something to you. A sacrifice to God can be offering can be an object that has value to you, it can be big or small. You can also offer food and drink to the Gods and Goddesses, everyone appreciates food and drink. Whenever honoring Gods and Goddesses during something as sacred as marriage you might want to ask for protection, and strength as you move forward through life with your partner.
Most Importantly Remember to Have Fun!
This is a fun, exciting, and unique event! So try not to stress too much about it and remember to enjoy it. This is a perfect opportunity to learn more about an ancient culture that has shaped the world as we know it. This kind of thing will always inevitably encompass some level of stress because let’s be honest, weddings are downright daunting! However, with the right people helping this event will be one to look back on and remember all the fun you had! Remember to take a lot of photos, enjoy the music, enjoy the food, and most importantly enjoy the time spent with the people who matter most!