Related essay: An Elven Wedding
We don’t know what the actual wedding vows of the elves are, but we can guess based on Tolkien’s description of wedding ceremonies in the Laws and Customs of the Eldar.
First, the two lovers discuss the possibility, (use the “Courting Phrases” to pad this discussion as need be). Their discussion may end something like this:
Groom/Bride: I love you, and I want to marry you. What is your will? (Gives a silver ring to his/her lover)
- Vanyarin Quenya: Melin tye az merin vesta tyenna. Man indotya ná?
- Exilic/Noldorin Quenya: Melin tye ar merin vesta tyenna. Man indotya ná?
- Doriathren/Woodelven Sindarin: Gi melin, ah aníron gi *mestad. Ma i ind gîn?
- Exilic Sindarin: Gi melin, ar aníron gi *mestad. Ma i ind gîn?
Groom/Bride: My will is like your will. At the end of one year, we shall wed! (Gives a silver ring to his/her lover.)
- All Quenya dialects: Indonya ná ve indotya. Apa coranar mine, vestuvangwe!
- All Sindarin dialects: I ind nîn ben ind gîn. Na veth min în, tolenc *bestad!
The silver rings will be worn until they marry or decide to break up.
The elves hold a feast, with both elves’ families in attendance, and likely their friends as well. At some point during the feast, they stand where everyone can see and hear them. What they say might sound like this:
Groom and Bride together: Hail father and mother! Hail brothers and sisters! Hail male-friends and female-friends! We two will marry at the end of one year!
- Vanyarin Quenya: Alla ontari az ontaro! Alla hánor az néthar! Alla meldor az melder! Vestuvamme apa coranar mine!
- Exilic/Noldorin Quenya: Alla ontari ar ontaro! Alla hánor ar nésar! Alla meldor ar melder! Vestuvamme apa coranar mine!
- Doriathrin Sindarin: Ai onron ah onril! Ai hoen a nîth! Ai meldir a meldis! Tolef *bestad na veth min în!
- Woodelven Sindarin: Ai odhron ah odhril! Ai hoen a nîth! Ai meldir a veldis! Tolef *bestad na veth min în!
- Exilic Sindarin: Ai odhron ar odhril! Ai hoen a nîth! Ai meldir a veldis! Tolef *bestad na veth min în!
Then everyone erupts into cheers and shouts well-wishes.
At the Terminating of Betrothal
Before they make the announcement, they have a discussion. Here is how the conversation may end:
Groom/Bride: Alas, this marriage isn’t our fate. (They give back their silver rings.)
- All Quenya dialects: Ai, vestale sina lá ambartongwe.
- All Sindarin dialects: Nae, i *vestad hen *law amarth ‘wîn.
They gather their friend and families by a fire, and melt their rings before them. They may say something like this:
Ex-lovers together: We are destroying the tokens of our love, and we will not marry.
- Vanyarin Quenya: Nancáramme i tengwi melmemmo, az lá vestuvamme.
- Exilic/Noldorin Quenya: Nancáramme i tengwi melmemmo, ar lá vestuvamme.
- Doriathren/Woodelven Sindarin: Danechedif i naid e-meleth vîn, ah avof *bestad.
- Exilic Sindarin: Danechedif i naid e-meleth vîn, ar avof *bestad.
The Noldor have a special tradition that goes with marriage. Before or during the feast, the mother of the bride (if the mother isn’t available, another female relative will do this instead) will give the groom a gem hung on a chain, and the father (or male relative) will give the bride a gem hung on a chain.
A great feast is held, with the happy couple’s parents there. At some point during the feast, the couple joins hands and goes to a place where everyone at the feast can see them. Then the parents come forward to bless their marriage. Their blessings may sound something like this:
Mother of Bride: May Varda Star-kindler hear ___ and ___’s calls, and may Eru the Father of All bless them.
- Vanyarin Quenya: Nai Varda Tintalle hlazuva ellor ___-wa az ___-wa, az nai Eru Ilúvatar alyuva tú.
- Exilic/Noldorin Quenya: Nai Varda Tintalle hlaruva ellor ___-va ar ___-va, ar nai Eru Ilúvatar alyuva tú.
- Doriathren/Woodelven Sindarin: Lasto iâl ___ ah ___, ah elio din Eru.
- Exilic Sindarin: Lasto iâl ___ ar ___, ar elio din Eru.
Father of Groom: May Manwe Lord of Wind watch over ___ and ___, and may Eru the Father of All bless them.
- Vanyarin Quenya: Nai Manwe Thúlimo tiruva ___ az ___, az nai Eru Ilúvatar alyuva tú.
- Exilic/Noldorin Quenya: Nai Manwe Súlimo tiruva ___ ar ___, ar nai Eru Ilúvatar alyuva tú.
- Doriathren/Woodelven Sindarin: Tiro ___ ah ___ Aran Einior, ah elio din Eru.
- Exilic Sindarin: Tiro ___ ar ___ Aran Einior, ar elio din Eru.
They give the silver rings back to each other, and give each other new gold rings which they put on the forefinger of their right hands.
After the feast, they have sex. Now the “Pillowtalk (18+)” phrases are useful. ;)
my boyfriend wants to have a Elven wedding when we get married… *blush* im still scared lol BUT STILL LOVE HIM TO NO END
Well, it depends on what you want the ceremony to be. Do you want it to be an expression of your personalities, your personal life-achievement in having a long-term partner, or is it something that codifies and makes official in the eyes of those present the fact that you’ve chosen this person as your long-term partner, and that you are officially, legally partners? If it’s a more personal wedding – then an Elven wedding sounds great. Your guests might not understand a single word of your vows or know what’s going on, but they will know 100% that you are a nerd. If you want the wedding to be for the sake of the guests instead, do something that will make it official in their eyes, and keep them comfortable. Good luck on your wedding!
My wife and I are having a elvish wedding and I want it to be the best it can be for her. Who and where can I find someone that can marry us for a elvish wedding?
I can coach whoever you have officiate, but I don’t know anyone who can perform the ceremony in Sindarin or Quenya.
OK kool how much would you charge to coach them bc we don’t have much money and are doing all of this in a really tight budget
My translation services are free. I run my website on donations :)
Wow that is really awesome!!!!!. We will have to stay in touch and as soon as we find someone we will have them talk to you. Should I give you my email to stay in touch or should I just message you on here. Either way is fine with me. Oh and so you have any idea’s of good elvish wedding decorations or food website’s we can go on to order what we need? Sorry if I’m asking alot of questions my wife is my world and I just trying my hardest to make it the best day of her life like I want her eyes too light up.
I’m not a wedding planner, so I really don’t know where you could find such stuff. Maybe on Etsy?
If you’d like to contact me, there’s the contact page: http://realelvish.net/contact/
I just want to ask. So according to this, the bride & groom never actually say anything? The parents just bless them & they exchange the rings?
If the fatger of the groom, or the mother of the bride isn’t available or dead or any of that sort, does a family member step in to say the vows then?
Well, Galadriel stepped in for Arwen’s mother and gave Aragorn the jewel called “Elessar.” I don’t think she was there fore the ceremony though, and I don’t know if they had it because Aragorn is human and Arwen was choosing a mortal fate. So, grandparents can also step in – I’d say anyone who is a father or mother figure in the character’s life would work.
Could you coach me to say “I would rather share one lifetime with you than face all the ages of this world alone” for my upcoming Elvish wedding?
Yes, go to the contact page: https://realelvish.net/contact/ and drop me a line.
how do i write I would rather spend one lifetime with you than face all the ages of this world alone