Viking Weddings and Handfasting Ceremonies

Viking wedding and handfasting ceremonies have risen in popularity, possibly from the influence of television programmes such as Vikings, or because of personal interest in Viking or Norse beliefs or paying homage to Norse/Scandinavian heritage, Whatever the reason, Viking weddings and handfasting ceremonies are visual, meaningful, and memorable for both those they are for, and all who are present.

Viking wedding certificate by Alternative Ceremonies UK.
Viking themed wedding parchment


The internet is awash with images and duplicated blogs and information about Viking weddings. Flowers, dresses, clothing, accessories, jewellery, venues, décor, stationery and even animal hire (wolves and birds of prey as ring bearers) can be widely seen and found. Similarities with Medieval, Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings, Marvel, and gaming are seen in some of these images. Viking weddings are viewed by some as a cross over, a fancy dress theme, or historical re-enactment. By others, as mentioned above, they are a nod to family line.

The word Viking derives from old Norse meaning ‘pirate raid’. Internet searches vary on what was historically accurate information on Viking weddings and handfasting ceremonies. Vikings were Scandinavian raiders, seafarers and warriors from Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, collectively referred to as Norsemen.

Wedding customs may have slightly varied for each country, and each family. Modern day people choosing to have a Viking themed wedding today, can add elements to their ceremonies of documented customs. A traditional Norse wedding and a Viking themed wedding are different. If unsure, opt for a themed wedding then you can include what appeals to you.

Viking rune wedding rings found on Pinterest and unity candle with Mjolnir made by Alternative Ceremonies Uk


Viking weddings in Viking times were usually held on Friday’s to honour the Goddess Frigga whom Friday is supposedly named after. The wife of Odin, Queen of Asgard. Frigga is the Goddess of love, marriage, childbirth, and motherhood.

Weddings were colourful occasions, and brides wore bright outfits with red being a common colour. Red, blue, yellow, and green were popular colours used in Viking times. Silver and gold were of great importance to Vikings as were coins. Something we can all relate to in our era now too.

Norse Gods and Goddesses played a huge part in all aspects of Viking life, and weddings included trinkets, charms, and representations of important things. A depiction of Mjolnir, Thor’s hammer was placed in the lap of Viking brides as it was thought to aid fertility.

Viking weddings an handfasting ceremonies by Alternative Ceremonies UK
Handfasting with Viking charms, coin exchange, arm rings and drinking horns


There are numerous wedding ceremony rituals which can be included in any Viking wedding ceremony. These include:

  • Sword ceremony
  • Mead ceremony
  • Coin ceremony
  • Vegvisir ritual
  • Charms exchange
  • Goddess/God ceremonies
  • Oath rings or arm ring exchanges
  • Custom designed rituals (except Blót which I won’t be involved in)
  • Handfasting


The colours blue, ivory and gold and colours associated with the Goddess Frigga and these colours are favoured for handfasting cords. As a Priestess who works with Frigga I can include other dedications and ceremony inclusions if required.

If you prefer different coloured handfasting cords or ribbons you can as the choice of what materials to use and which colours to include is personal to you. There aren’t any specific colours or materials you should use.

Some couples include a charm on their handfasting cords, some have it as a decoration on candles, and some have it as jewellery. As an alternative wedding celebrant specialising in handfasting, Pagan and Viking weddings, I can help you to create personalised handfasting bindings to match any theme you might require.


Your Viking wedding ceremony is unique to you. The vows you say, readings or poetry included, rituals within the ceremony, music heard, jewellery exchanged, people taking part and anything else included within you ceremony is your personal choice. I work with you to make suggestions if required to design, create, and perform a personalised ceremony written exclusively for you.

You may be inspired by things you have seen online or in the media and choose these things for your ceremony. What is guaranteed is a one of a kind ceremony made just for you and never used for anyone else previously or again.


Modern Viking brides may opt for ivory, dresses, red, yellow, blue, or green dresses with braided hair and flower crowns. Grooms tend to favour dark, plain kilts or traditional replica Viking costumes. What is worn is the personal choice of those a ceremony is for. If a dress code is decided on, make sure all guests are aware of what is suitable and inform them of any colours you wish to be exclusive to you.


Viking weddings and handfasting ceremonies are ceremonies of choice for many who follow the Norse pantheon or for thse interested in this period of history. Most ceremonies are held outdoors in woodlands, in the grounds of historical buildings, in fields or on beaches. Accessibility to all invited to your ceremony, privacy and making sure you have permission (if required) are important factors to consider when deciding on a ceremony venue. Tide times and weather forecasts also play important factors when deciding on a ceremony space as does safety close to cliffs and in natural surroundings.


If you want a Viking wedding or handfasting ceremony, you will require a wedding celebrant who is experienced and knowledgeable with this kind of ceremony. I, Ellie Farrell, am an alternative and Viking wedding and handfasting celebrant. Many state they offer Viking weddings but finding a celebrant who can create the kind of ceremony you require might not be easy. There isn’t anything wrong with having a Viking theme, but there are differences between themes and interests and a way of life.

Having a Viking themed wedding or handfasting ceremony is different to a Norse wedding ceremony. Anything involving religious or cultural acknowledgement should be respectful and correct. Many celebrants offer Viking weddings with minimal knowledge or experience of what is involved (except the usual things found online). This isn’t a fancy dress theme to attract likes on social media, it is an important ceremony marking and celebrating a way of life, a religious following and your commitment to these ways and your relationship.

Saying the names of Germanic or Norse Gods and Goddesses within a ceremony or calling deities with little or without any understanding of what is being done is disrespectful. This isn’t a Marvel film or a tv programme it is a religion and a spiritual practice, observed by many.

This is essential if you want a Norse Pagan ceremony with dedications to Gods or Goddesses included. It has been over 10 years since I started offering Norse and Viking wedding and handfasting ceremonies, only for others to read my blogs and offer similar.  This came from an interest in this historical time and over 40 years researching, reading, and being interested in what is known as the Viking era.

A Viking themed wedding can be fun, especially if everyone dresses in styled clothing for the occasion. Finding a celebrant who can create this for you shouldn’t be difficult as there are many out there offering themed ceremonies. If you are looking for a celebrant who is knowledgeable on the subject, there are a few of us. It is your ceremony marking your relationship, not a likes on social media opportunity for a celebrant. Choose wisely and ask any prospective celebrants their knowledge and ability to do what you require. Viking weddings and handfasting ceremonies are visual and memorable.