Gotevian Marriage Customs

Marriage in Gotevi is a legal practice rather than a religious one, though religious marriage ceremonies can be held nonetheless. Weddings must be overseen by a magistrate (irftɛnnir) in order to be considered legal. Usually they are held in a public building—some buildings are constructed specifically for matrimonial purposes. Both parties usually invite their friends to the ceremony, sometimes even the entire neighborhood wherein they live will come, if only to eat and drink for free.

Traditionally, wedding clothing is bright yellow, for both bride and groom. Their clothes are similar in cut and style as well—usually shin-length tunics with long sleeves. The similarity of clothing symbolizes the binding and thus likeness of two people.

First, there is a party with food and drinks and often some type of music. Fervent dancing is traditional; this is perhaps the only case in which tradition suggests unruliness in Gotevian culture. It is considered appropriate that the woman and the man both socialize with their friends of the opposite gender to emphasize the trust of their partner. There are many traditional games played during wedding parties, including lots of gambling, though these are recent developments and are often scorned by the older generations.

After the festivities, the magistrate arrives and the people to be married sign a contract to each other. Everyone attending is technically a witness, but the magistrate’s presence is still required. After this, the couple is tied together facing each other with ribbons by their friends, and they must untangle themselves without any other help. This supposedly symbolizes the fact that now they must rely on each other to get out of trouble and have the ultimate trust in each other.