Weddings are a time for both tradition and innovation in most cases. It seems couples want to put their own creative spin on the classic ceremony, looking for new ways to devote their eternal love. When it comes to tradition, Elisabeth and Rune Dalseth abandoned their contemporary Christian foundations to revive an ancient ceremony. This couple completely recreated an authentic Viking-style wedding that had not taken place in nearly 1,000 years.
Originally, Elisabeth was a beautician and did not know much about any Viking traditions or customs. When meeting Rune in 2016, she learned profoundly about the culture and soon became a revivalist as well. Before the wedding idea came into fruition, Rune proposed to Elisabeth at a Viking festival. Afterward, the two began to give birth to their dream of having their very own Viking wedding. This was not just a half-hearted attempt. They used every element from the past, bringing forth an intensely exclusive union.
Leaving no stone unturned, they hired a local shipbuilder to build two longboats. Elisabeth sought help for making a perfect replica of a Viking-style dress. They agreed to sacrifice a pig as part of the sacred union as well. The two even found an old acquaintance from a festival to be the gothi for the ceremony. A gothi is a pagan equivalent to a priest or marriage officiant. For the marriage, the gothi uses the sacrificed pig blood on his face as part of the ritual. To solidify the union, Elisabeth and Rune are handed a sword which symbolized coming together in synchronicity.
At the celebration, the two had old Norse instrumental music played to add to the aesthetic of the party. There were skeptics, of course. Since both had modern Christian upbringings, there was some resistance to the concept. Rune claims his mother did come around to the idea. There were roughly 130 attendees to their wedding. Some of them were not amused initially. But by the end, it seems everyone was having a decent time. They even had a Brullaup race where both families participated in unifying and adding to the merriment.
The sacrificed pig did not soon go to waste either. The pig was enjoyed as part of the celebratory feast after the couple tied the knot. Elisabeth and Rune remain incredibly pleased with their decision. They now have added a son and a new four-legged canine companion to their growing Viking family. They named their son Ragnar, which is an old Norse name meaning ‘Warrior of the Gods’. It seems they plan to implement Viking values in their children.
Rune says: “Vikings were no more terrible than any other group of people living at that time. 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.”