Couple tie the knot in the first Viking wedding in nearly 1,000 years

Couple tie the knot in the first Viking wedding in nearly 1,000 years

Organising a wedding these days is tough. How can you plan a wedding that's traditional yet unique at the same time? The thing about weddings is that it's hard to cater to everybody's tastes. But a Norwegian couple have managed to strike a perfect balance between the orthodox and unconventional, by forgoing a Christian wedding in favour of a Viking one.

Instead of reciting their vows in a church in front of a minister, before skipping outside to be pelted with confetti and cut the cake, Elisabeth and Rune Dalseth elected to dress themselves in dark age robes and build their very own longboat for their Norse ceremony, before quaffing honeyed mead and feasting on wild boar, then dancing outdoors long into the night with their 130 guests. What a way to get hitched!

'Real-life vikings' Elisabeth and Rune Dalseth. Credit: Press Association

The revivalist couple first met back in May 2016 at a bar. Elisabeth was drawn to the viking lifestyle after meeting Rune - who had been a pagan himself since 2014. In 2017, Rune proposed to Elisabeth at Viking festival near Oslo, and the couple decided that a traditional Norse wedding was what they both wanted. Initially, the couple were both met with scepticism from their parents, but gradually they came to accept and embrace their decision.

Commenting on her unconventional nuptials, Elisabeth stated: "Rune completely opened up a new world for me, and I soon fell in love with the people and the spirituality of it ... 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 symbolise the union of gods and people."

She added: "We stayed up very late afterwards, into the following morning. We danced and sang and listened to old stories about the gods,” said Elisabeth. Some of the people who came were a little sceptical 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."

Rune concurred with his wife, stating: "What people don’t mention is that Vikings were people who had a great appreciation for nature, for the land and for animal life. We want people to be more aware of that ... 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."

'Real-life vikings' Elisabeth and Rune Dalseth reciting their wedding vows. Credit: Press Association

So if you're getting married in the near future, and you're at a loss as to what the special theme should be, then maybe you should take a leaf out of Rune and Elisabeth's book and do things the old fashioned way ... the 1500-year-old fashioned way that is.