How to Wed Like a Viking
You are about to get married and you wish to spice up the reception with a little pallet from the past. Consider throwing some Viking wedding traditions into the mix with a modern twist to bring your special day to life. It is time to put down your axe and disembark your boat to give into Freya and take your love to stand before the shrine of the Gods.
Freya, the Norse Goddess of Love. Sourced from Unasuart.
Setting the Date
Norse tradition states that weddings take place on Frigg's Day or Freya's Day (Friday). This is the Goddess of love and fertility herself’s day and she would be glad you chose to celebrate it with her. If you wanted to go full-out Viking it would be bad luck if you pick any other day as a draugr might come after you!
And on the season of such an occasion, you could choose to set it during Sumarr (Summer). When the food is plentiful, the mead runs endlessly, and the sun sheds warmth on the Earth. You could decide to have an outside ceremony with flowers as adornments and even under the roof of a forest.
Frigg’s Day is the best day to get married! Sourced from TheWarriorLodge.
Before The Wedding
If you want to go all out and embrace the spirit of the past then not only would you need to look the part you need to dress the part. You might even want to consider bringing in some Viking traditions to do with the pre-wedding prep!
Brides may opt to wear Kransen circlets, a symbol of their unmarried life, which can be removed during the ceremony and kept afterward to be passed down from mother to daughter.
Astrid, a Viking from ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ wearing a Kransen. Sourced from HTWYG 3.
Before you meet your beautiful bride at the shrine you might decide to partake in a common Viking tradition to shed your past as a boy and become a man. You can visit a place connected to your ancestors, whether that be an old home or place of burial, and spend time thinking about Niflheim (the afterlife). When you return you can fashion a blade, or find another object, special to your bloodlines and wear it at your wedding reception.
A Viking sword found in Finland sourced from natmus.dk.
If you’re intending to wed like a Viking you better be prepared to look the part or Loki will just laugh at you. By looking at how the glorious warriors of the past wedded this worry can be put to rest!
To look the part of a Viking man here are some simple hacks to get you started!
- Throw on some puttees, long legwarmers, which go over trousers up to the knees.
- Drape yourself in a longsleeved tunic which can vary in length from the knees down to the ankles.
- Wear a cloak overtop of the tunic. This can be furred or plain –depending on how Scandinavian you want to go! You can then decorate this with a brooch used to fasten it around your neck.
- You may even opt to wear a cap.
- And to keep your feet warm throw on some leather shoes!
- Top this look off with a leather belt tied in at the waist of your tunic where your sword or pouch containing your special ancestral object might be attached.
Modern Viking man sourced from Hurstwic.
And to look the part of a regal Viking Lady here are some tips for you!
- Look for a strap dress type style to put over smocks. This can be a range of styles, but if you want to go more traditional you can opt for a close-fit adorned with brooches.
- You may wish to add the inclusion of a cloak complete with artificial furs or go plain.
- To stand apart from others in your wedding party could be as simple as the inclusions of dried or fresh flowers woven into your hair or created into a circlet. This could be used as a replacement for a more traditional Kransen circlet.
- Throw leather shoes on your feet to keep them warm.
- Complete this look with a belt tied around your waist, with a leather pouch or if you wish a sword.
A modern woman dressed as a Viking sourced from en.natmus.dk
If we are getting all into the spirit of Viking Wedding traditions then it is good to know that a symbol of Freya and your love is not just through holding hands! It is the declaration of your commitment by sharing it before the Gods and their shrines. But want other Vikings to know this? When the wedding is over, or you need a ring for the ceremony, what better way to show it all than through inspired Viking rings! Why not consider a ring as a replacement for exchanging swords in a modern Viking wedding?
The physical embodiment of Freya, Norse God of love, beauty, battle, and gold.
Want a ring that represents a lifetime of adventure? Become a part of your own epic Viking love saga with this ring!
Want something that is not sharp, but still represents the blood of your ancestors that will help tie your partnership together? The ring that symbolizes the memories and tribulations of the ancestors is now in your hands!
The female warrior is not just represented in the strong woman’s trials for love. She is a warrior in all aspects of her life and this is the perfect ring for that occasion.
The Wedding Ceremony
We are now on to the main event! This will be what you remember the most about your special day and so it makes sense if you want to add a spice of Viking to the modern retelling of Love it has some elements of Norse love celebrations.
But obviously, you don’t want to be cleaning up blood from animal sacrifices on the day of your wedding and so how else will you thank the Gods for bringing you together?
Image of a modern-day Viking Wedding sourced from Metro UK
You can thank the fates for bringing you together by having an event that does not just bring you together, but also both your family tribes to the temple to watch you both unite before the shrine.
Hold each other’s hands and look into each other's eyes as the priest takes a robe or ribbon and bounds your arms together. This hand bounding ceremony was an essential part of any Viking wedding as they spoke oaths and promised a lifetime of commitment to one another.
Take part in the exchange of swords and rings ceremony. Exchange rings as your exchange oaths of love to one another and then hand over a sword or special ancestral item of choice to symbloise to families coming together. Swords were more traditional as they represented protection of one another and the throwing down of arms.
Rather than the splatter of blood from fig twigs, you may opt to have the priest spray holy water on the couple instead to symbolize the blessings of the wedding given by the Gods.
Once the ceremony is complete gifts between families to the bride and groom are customary not just at Viking weddings, but also in modern ones and so you may wish to partake in this too! But now it's time to celebrate the union and head on to the after-party.
Image of a Viking Wedding with the exchange of swords sourced from TV show Vikings.
Now it is bruðhlaup- the race between unified families to get to the mead hall first. The first one there does not have to serve drinks! This could be a fun tradition to replicate as you all set up a controlled race track.
During the mead feast, it is all about drinking to the Gods and the union under Freya’s watch. To eat yourselves into early tomorrow even if food is scarce. The event has to be as memorable as possible with nothing held back!
Image of a Viking Wedding under the light of night and braziers sourced from Routes North.
Go, my brothers and sisters! Take these tales from our past and throw a little spice into your own wedding. Whether you decide to dress like a full-on Viking warrior, drenched in the blessings of Thor, exchanging swords as well as powerful Norse rings, may your Freya’s Day be glorious!