Weddings typically lasted a week, and couples were separated to prepare for their new lives together. These extensive preparations with family and friends included visits to the bathhouse and steam room with heated stones and a purification to prepare for the wedding rituals. A plunge into cold water to complete the cleansing and rinsing in water steeped with herbs, flowers or oils to add scent and magical potency.
Brides traditionally wore a bridal-crown, modern alternatives are made of silver adorned with crystals, crosses and clover leaves, and draped with red and green garland silk cords or beautifully woven from straw and wheat and garlanded with flowers.
Historically, the bride wore her best dress whatever the colour. Today a dramatic, flowing gown with peasant sleeves and layers would work nicely. Fur, cloaks and headdresses. A woman's hair was very important in Viking culture, long and flowing, a beautiful wild braided look or sleek updo will add to the overall impact.
The ceremony should ideally be conducted in nature, outdoors surrounded by trees in order to affect rites for invoking deities to bless the marriage. History tells us that sacrifices were conducted to summon the attention of the gods.
Next the couple exchange swords and rings and vows.
The wedding parties then partake in a ritual called bruð-hlaup, or bride-running, racing to the feast. The group losing the race will then serve beer to the winners for the night.
When the bride arrives at the entrance to the feast, she is led over a sword on the threshold. Pagan superstition tells us that the doorway is a portal between worlds. Once inside the groom plunges his sword into the roof or a pillar.
Create the feel of a village longhouse and decorate long tables with ivy, candles, moss, fur, driftwood and wheat.
The couple sit on thrones and make toasts to Odin and Freyja and drink from the 'loving-cup'. Honey mead should flow for the duration of celebrations and then throughout the honey moon month. Thor's hammer is symbolically placed on the bride's lap.
Feasting on a Viking's banquet, merriment dancing, and good-natured contests, verses on romance and the supernatural, viking games and music and entertainment, all night long.
A viking guard of honour for the couples send off. The couple should then be led to the marital bed by torchlight or daylight.
The following day the bride receives the morning gift of various locks and keys from the groom before witnesses, signifying the marriage is now complete.
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