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#14360050 May 19, 2020 at 10:20 AM · Edited 2 years ago
Keeper
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Kaldorei Courtship
Love for Night Elves seems fairly similar to other races. Courting seems to involve gift giving, between both genders [Archaeology: Hairpin of Silver and Malachite][Archaeology: Cloak Clasp with Antlers]. At some point, there may have been a restriction on two castes or levels of society from being in a relationship (of course this was in ancient times) [Archaeology: Silver Scroll Case]. Love can blossom early on in Night Elven life and doesn't appear to need the two to be extremely old [Archaeology: Chest of Tiny Glass Animals].

It appears that love is a long lasting emotion for Night Elves, with numerous cases of Night Elves holding on to relationships for thousands of years. Malfurion and Tyrande were loyal to one another, even with there being thousands of years without contact. Jarod and Shalasyr were together for thousands of years as well. We even see Night Elves who stay devoted long after the death of their spouse [NPC: Leyara][Quest: A Love Eternal]. Because of such devotion, it is likely that these relationships are not jumped into the spur of the moment.

If two Night Elves do manage to get married, the exchanging of family names appears to be a personal choice of the couple, some couples keep their individual surnames while others choose to take on the surname of their spouse [Tyrande Whisperwind & Malfurion Stormrage][Natalia Mar'alith & Commander Mar'alith] [Heralath Fallowbrook & Treshala Fallowbrook]. It is unknown if children normally take the mother or father's surname, but it is assumed it is something agreed upon by the two parents.


Kaldorei Marital Ceremonies
While Kaldorei do appear to have a courtship period within their culture, they do not appear to have a formal engagement period prior to marital ceremonies. It is assumed that kaldorei couples elect to marry when it suits them best.

Marital ceremonies appear to be unique in kaldorei culture, meaning that no two ceremonies are quite the same. Malfurion and Tyrande became handfasted by the dragon aspects Alextrazsa and Ysera [Stormrage, pg. 398]. Jarod Shadowsong and Shalasyr eloped and went into self-imposed exile together, and proclaimed themselves husband and wife [Wolfheart, Chapter 3]. A ceremony similar to Malfurion and Tyrande's wedding, featuring bridesmaids and groomsmen, takes place at Forever Rise in Azsuna between two ancient highborne ghosts, an Eternal Groom and Eternal Bride.


Ceremony Roles
Similar to other races, kaldorei marital ceremonies contain a few important roles. Below is a brief synopsis of the roles found in kaldorei marital ceremonies.

Bride & Groom
The couple being wed during a kaldorei marital ceremony are typically referred to by common titles: "bride" for women and "groom" for men [Eternal Groom & Eternal Bride] [Stormrage, pg. 400].

Officiant
Though the title of this role is unknown, kaldorei marital ceremonies often have one or more officiants that preside over the ceremony and marry the couple. In the case of Tyrande and Malfurion, their wedding was officiated by both Alexstrasza and Ysera [Stormrage, pg. 398]. This is not always the case, as with Jarod Shadowsong and Shalasyr who eloped and made their own declarations. At Forever Rise in Azsuna, the Bride and Groom as well as two sets of Companions appear to be part of the wedding ceremony, but an Officiant of the ceremony is noticeably absent.

Companions
Similar to bridesmaids and groomsmen, kaldorei ask a "companion" or "companions" to stand with them during their marital ceremony. Companions are trusted friends of the bride and groom, though they are not referred to as bridesmaids or groomsmen. The role of the Companion(s) is to stand as witness and strength for their respective friend (the bride or groom) [Stormrage, pg. 396-397]. Having Companions for a marital ceremony may be optional. In the case of Jarod Shadowsong and Shalasyr, the couple eloped and went into self-exile away from their people, so it is presumed that no companions witnessed their wedding.

Guests
In the case of Tyrande and Malfurion, their marital ceremony hosted numerous guests from other world leaders to common denizens of Darnassus [Stormrage, pg. 395]. A number of guests are also seen at Forever Rise in Azsuna, at the wedding ceremony for the Eternal Bride and Eternal Groom [Location: Forever Rise, Azsuna]. While we have two examples of this being somewhat common, having guests is likely optional.


Attire and Representation
While similar, a kaldorei wedding procession is slightly different from that of other races. It begins with the entrance of the wedding party, the companions of the bride and groom, and may be followed by banner bearers who herald the respective house or organization that the bride and groom hail from. A procession of additional guests of honor or important family members may follow the banner bearers and then both the bride and groom walk down the aisle together [Stormrage, pg. 396].

If chosen, companions may wear an outfit similar but less grand than their dear friend the bride and/or groom [Stormrage, pg. 396-397]. In traditional ceremonies, brides presumably wear wedding hanboks [Items: Dark Green Wedding Hanbok & Green Wedding Hanbok]. This is not the case for every wedding, as seen with Tyrande and Malfurion who chose to wear outfits befitting their station in society. Cloaks may be common for exceptionally formal ceremonies, as seen in the ceremony of Tyrande and Malfurion [Stormrage, pg. 396].


Spirits Intertwined and the Marital Bond
While the kaldorei are a very religious people and even operate under a theocratic government, religion seems to play a finite role in their marital ceremonies. It is customary for kaldorei weddings to take place at night, when Elune has reached her zenith in the sky, and to take place in a sacred location, but Elune's involvement in the ceremony after that point appears moot [Stormrage, pg. 395]. Kaldorei wedding ceremonies seem to focus on the concept of spirits being bonded to one another, for eternity [Quest: Mortality Wanes] [Stormrage, pg. 398]. The intensity of this spiritual bond between couples may be connected to kaldorei beliefs about the afterlife and the notion that they may be reunited again after death [Quest: A Love Eternal].

In some cases, kaldorei exchange items (typically rings or pendants) to represent their eternal love for one another and the spiritual bond they share because of that love [Quest: Mortality Wanes] [Quest: Tragedy and Family] [Quest: A Love Eternal] [Items: Eternal Groom's Wedding Band & Eternal Bride's Wedding Ring].


Partnership Terminology
Below is a list of terms commonly used to refer to lovers and spouses in kaldorei culture.

- Husband & Wife [Wolfheart, pgs. 23 - 24, 43. EBook [Quest: Mortality Wanes] [Quest: Tragedy and Family]
- Dear/Dearest [Quest: Tragedy and - Family] [Quest: Dearest Natalia]
- Beloved [Quest: A Love Eternal] [Tyrande Whisperwind & Malfurion Stormrage]
- Mate [Wolfheart, Chapter 3]


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