Marriage in Songhaven is primarily considered as a romantic affair. Specific ceremonies and views on the matter vary from nation to nation.
Romantic Practices by NationEdit
Violl's Garden Edit
Citizens of the Garden consider marriage to be a matter of strength and power. With their general bias for combat, Gardeners most often seek out romantic partners who can match them in wits or battle, with "love at first fight" being something of a national joke to them. As a result, shifts in power between partners often result in relationships beginning and ending sporadically, to the point that it is somewhat rare to see actual marriages. Where they do exist, however, they are considered some of the healthiest examples of relationships in Songhaven, as both partners will actively work and communicate to ensure that they are equal to each other in whatever ways they feel are necessary to keep stability between them.
Viollfest and its tournaments are often seen by Gardeners as mixers for those seeking relationships, as most of the activities that take place there relate to exhibiting one's strengths and talents. Tournament winners crowned as royalty for a day will often begin 'dating' temporarily over the remaining days of Viollfest as a publicity stunt, with the relationship ending at the festival's end in most cases.
The nation of workers and innovation, Torrinian romance primarily revolves - unsurprisingly - around gifts and one's craft. Working together in the same location or on the same project sometimes forges romances between partners as well, as working side-by-side for long periods of time often facilitates a wordless understanding of the other partner and their habits. In Torrine, finding a romantic partner is less sporadic than in other nations.
People are urged to take their time when considering their romantic options, and it can often take months - or even years - of consideration before any set of partners move past the 'dating' stage and begin a formal relationship, to say nothing of moving from dating to marriage (as evidenced by the still unmarried Avandin Cuorre and Dominic Stacey.) Marriages usually lasts for life, and there are few exceptions to this rule - if partners separate, there's a high chance they may never actively seek romantic company again beyond fleeting encounters.
In Wintervale, relationships are seen as things that are meant to be easy and lighthearted, done for fun and pleasure more than serious commitment. Romantic relationships in Wintervale are often very temporary, even to the point of there being many sporadic marriages and separations. To that end, proper emotional connections can be somewhat rare due to the fleeting nature of Wintervale's romances, and it can be hard for even established partners to sort out their difficulties thanks to this emotional climate.
Wintervalans are often fond of touch and close contact, and some relationships are built on that alone. This nation has the highest number of polyamorous relationships.
The practices of dating in Ashbourne are quite formal when compared to other nations, with dance and flowers being the two largest components of romance and courting. Interested parties will most often begin their courtships by either presenting the object of their affections with a carefully arranged bouquet of flowers, as well as a card to explain the meaning of each bloom, or by choreographing an elaborate and personal routine of (often interpretive) dance to be shared with their potential partner.
Thanks to these rather elaborate practices much of Ashen flirting begins in private places rather than public so as to not disturb others, to the point that many natives now even find public courtships highly disrespectful. In many cases, privacy continues into dating and often into marriage, depending on the couple.
Marriage ceremonies are the only place where it is seen as acceptable for a couple to properly display their flower arrangements or dance routines to a crowd, as these things generally take the place of exchanging rings in the ceremony. Ashbourne in particular is also the only nation to specifically require the invocation of Methia during weddings for the ceremony to be considered 'complete.'
Other notable culturesEdit
Not much information remains about Patchwork and their romantic affairs. There almost no documents detailing that aspect of their lives.
It is known that Patchwork of the Ceph rank were not allowed to seek relationships, and likewise, Patchworks of leading ranks (such as Commanders or Tuners) were disallowed from taking them on as partners in any form. Other than this, relationships between Patchwork of different ranks were common.
Relationships and partners were never to be prioritized over one's assigned tasks, regardless of circumstance. Whether the Patchwork actually followed these strict rules or not is unknown.
Knowledge of specific romantic practicies in the Canopy are not detailed, but it is known that they hold a celebration of love every 20th Reich called the Sky Festival, in which balloons are sent out with small notes tied to their ends - these notes can have anything from the names of lovers to wishes for friends written on them. Its origins come from a folk tale in which a mortal man wrote the name of a fey prince he had fallen in love with on a small paper and tied it to a balloon, in hopes of the note reaching Methia so that she might bring the prince to love him in return.