Welcome to Cultures

At The Ring Bearer.ca we believe cultural identity does not have to be an individualistic preference. Having a wedding with many cultural influences is a great way to experience new and wonderful traditions and experience what makes humanity so special. Join us in breaking down some of the world’s barriers by celebrating these unique differences we have with love and friendship.

Scandinavian Wedding Traditions: Viking Traditions

Scandinavian weddings date back to the 9th century when Vikings ruled the land. Pagan beliefs and rituals were practiced by the people. Love was not important in choosing a bride because men often had concubines of women slaves after marriage; it really was a double standard. Marriages were arranged, with the purpose of bringing two feuding families together in a “peace pledge” or to bring wealth to the bride’s family. Marriage negotiation prices were higher for virgin brides! A marriage would be negotiated by six witnesses and a handshake (handsal)!

Thank goodness, times have changed for us women of Celtic roots!

Today, Scandinavian countries embrace the best traditions from their heritage! Incorporating some of these traditions into your wedding can make your day unique and memorable! Each week, we will showcase a different Scandinavian culture’s tradition, starting off this week where it all began with the Viking Culture.

Viking Traditions

• Weddings were on Friday to honour the Goddess Freya.

• Weddings were usually in late summer as they lasted a week and guests had to be fed. Late summer was the time of harvest.

• Legal requirement was a “bridal-ale” which the bride and groom had to have at the wedding. It was made of mead and honey. At the reception, the bride would serve the ale to her husband who would toast to Thor (God of Thunder, represented by a hammer) before sipping and then pass the ale to his wife who would toast to Frigga(God of Fertility) before sipping. Drinking together, according to Viking beliefs, was a law that symbolized the couple uniting as one.

• Celtic rings, dating back to the Vikings, were knots - sometimes embellished with human or animal forms. The sacred knot (called the “Oath-ring of Thor,”) was exchanged by the bride and groom on the end of a sword during the ceremony. The knots represented two unique paths being intertwined or woven together. The circle had strong magical connotations and some believed the ring around the heart would protect them from evil.

Scandinavian Wedding Traditions:
Swedish Traditions