Not literal marriage to a PhysicalGod, that is, but a symbolic marriage to a less-tangible deity, who may or may not be real. Sometimes it's fairly benign -- the girl in question (and it [[AlwaysFemale usually is a girl]]) simply serves as a priestess of the deity to whom she is wedded. Other times, this involves HumanSacrifice, in which case the god is probably either evil (possibly a demon or an EldritchAbomination) or nonexistent. This type can be the dark secret of the TownWithADarkSecret and may be accompanied by a FeteWorseThanDeath.

For the more literal type of marriage, see DivineDate.

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!!Examples:

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[[folder: Anime ]]

* The girl who traveled with the swamp in the fifth episode of ''Manga/{{Mushishi}}''. She was [[HumanSacrifice sacrificed]] to the river god as a bride, so that the floods in her village would stop. When, to her surprise, she survived and woke up in the swamp ([[TouchedByVorlons now with green hair]]) she decides to go along with it and basically act like the swamp is her spouse.
* In a way, [[TheChosenOne the Priestess]] in ''Manga/FushigiYuugi'' becomes a consort to whatever god she summons. (Driven home, for example, by Seiryuu assuming human form and [[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything entering Yui's heart]], causing her to [[TheImmodestOrgasm orgasm]].) This may be an explanation as to the fancy ceremonial robes (which, particularly with Miaka's do evoke images of some kind of bride), and why the Priestess is [[VirginPower supposed to be a virgin]].

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[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* The {{manhwa}} ''TheBrideOfTheWaterGod'' begins with the heroine Soah being offered up as a sacrifice in symbolic marriage to the water god Habaek in order to end a severe drought. Then it turns out it's not all that symbolic and things get more complicated from there.
* Adam Destine from ''Comicbook/ClanDestine'' has this going on. It's a djinn, rather than a god, but the thought counts.
* Fred Christ, a [[HalfHumanHybrid transhumanist]] ConMan and {{Cult}} leader in ''{{Transmetropolitan}}'', has "Brides of Christ," who are expected to get a lot more...frisky...with their deity than regular nuns do.

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[[folder: Film ]]

* Referenced in ''{{Troy}}''. Achilleus tells Berseis, who is a virgin priestess of Apollo that if she professes to love the gods, she'll find the romance one sided.
** Of course, in traditional Myth/GreekMythology, that's not [[ReallyGetsAround exactly]] [[AnythingThatMoves true]] - at least on the physical side of the relationship. On the emotional side he's pretty much spot on.

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[[folder: Literature ]]

* In Creator/CSLewis's ''TillWeHaveFaces'', Istra's sacrifice appears to be this initially. Then it turns out she ''does'' get literally married to a PhysicalGod.
* In the ''{{Belgariad}}'', Nyissians select a girl who looks especially like Salmissra, a priestess favored by their serpent deity. Said look-alike then rules as queen until death, regardless of qualifications or lack thereof.
** This is because Issa forgot to give the original Salmissra immortality and, in typical Nyissan fashion, the Nyissans thought it easier to get themselves another queen rather than risk waking up and possibly annoying their god. [[spoiler:Polgara 'fixes' this during the ''{{Belgariad}}'', when the current Salmissra takes a not-so-healthy shine to Garion. She makes her immortal, but turns her into a giant snake (she ends up rather preferring it like this.)]] 20 girls are initially selected for "training", and when one takes the throne, the remaining 19 are killed to prevent dissention. It's actually best if Salmissra lacks qualifications, as displaying any semblance of competence tends to lead to the grooming of their successors.
* Happens to the Minoan girl in ''TheEgyptian''. But GodIsDead and it's a CrapsackWorld anyway, so things go badly.
* Michael Gear/Kathleen O'Neal Gear's ''People of the Thunder'' ends when a Seer-woman dives into the river to marry the Horned Serpent (taking the JerkAss to end all Jerk Asses down with her)
* In ''Literature/TheOnceAndFutureKing'', Elaine joins a convent after Lancelot abandons her. The narrator notes that there's nothing particularly romantic about her decision to become a "bride of Christ", and she just thought it was the only thing for her to do.
* Happens with Maria and Aidoneus (the god of the dead) in ''[[Literature/TheHeirsOfAlexandria This Rough Magic]]''.
* This is what the villagers think happens to the young girls they sacrifice in ''Franchise/RedReaper'' novel ''Sword Sisters'' by Creator/RagnarokPublications. [[spoiler: In fact, they're eaten.]]
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[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* In ''TrueBlood'', Maryann is a maenad, and her plan is to [[spoiler:become the bride of Dionysus by finding the perfect sacrifice and ritually cutting out his or her heart as tribute to him. She believes this ritual will call Dionysus to Earth, after which he will ravish and devour her until she's "lost into oblivion".]]
* The Australian mini-series ''Series/BridesOfChrist'' shows the rituals of becoming a nun through the eyes of Diana and Veronica, from their postulancy to their novitiate and taking of the vows. Their's even a wedding, but all brides and no (visible) groom).

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[[folder: Tabletop Games ]]

* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' module ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adventures_in_Blackmoor Adventures in Blackmoor]]''. Toska Rusa was selected by the Afridhi to become the mistress and high priestess of their god Zugzul the One.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'' features the Brides of Ahlat, an AmazonBrigade in the southern regions of Creation who are symbolically married to the local god of war.
* TabletopGame/WarhammerFantasy has the dark elf Witch Elves, virgin women symbolically married to Khaine, the god of war and murder. Apparently "he is a jealous god, unwilling to share his chosen ones" and the Witch Elves are happy to stick sharp, pointy things in anyone who tries it on.
* The organization that would become the Sisters of Battle in TabletopGame/Warhammer40K were first known as the Brides of the Emperor. Thankfully it's just a name, as the GodEmperor in question is a few twitching cells away from definitely kicking the bucket.

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[[folder: Video Games ]]

* In ''RaidouKuzunohaVsKingAbaddon'', one character is "engaged" to Tento, the god worshipped by the Tsukigata family. [[spoiler: Turns out that said "god" is actually a race of freaky bug demi-people that [[MarsNeedsWomen need human women]] to reproduce, as there are no female Tento. The women who are mated with them end up insane and physically warped]].
* Something like this happens in ''VideoGame/{{Siren}}''.
* The Chant in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' tells of Andraste, mortal woman who the Maker fell in love with, and became [[CrystalDragonJesus His prophet]]. She then led a crusade against TheEmpire, was betrayed by her mundane husband out of [[GreenEyedMonster jealousy and not feeling he could compete]] with ''God'' and burned at the stake.
* In ''VideoGame/ProfessorLaytonAndTheAzranLegacy'', the remote mountain village of Hoogland traditionally offers up a bride to the Dragonlord, who they believe to be responsible for the destructive whirlwinds that plague the village. The bride is taken to the Dragonlord's chapel and locked inside, where she supposedly transforms into a gentle breeze and temporarily quells the deity's wrath. All that's left behind are EmptyPilesOfClothing. [[spoiler: Subverted; there's a hidden tunnel that leads from the chapel to the nearby woods. One of the local women secretly brings the brides a change of clothes and helps them escape to pursue a new life elsewhere.]]

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[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* In ''WesternAnimation/TheOblongs'', two nuns get into a cat fight when one of them declares that she's a bride of Christ, and the other one adamantly claims that ''she's'' the bride of Christ.
* In an episode of ''TheAngryBeavers'', Norb and Dag are [[ShowWithinAShow watching]] a late-night [[TheresNoBInMovie B-Movie]] about Viking Women from Venus, who [[YouFailNuclearPhysicsForever drink radioactive lava]] from a volcano, in a competition to become the Bride of the Volcano.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' episode "Gone, Maggie, Gone", a nun claims to be "married to Jesus", and Homer responds "[[ComicallyMissingThePoint Yeah, right]], [[AndImTheQueenOfSheba and I'm married to Wonder Woman!]]"

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[[folder: Real Life ]]

* During imperial China, in some villages, girls used to be periodically thrown in the river (or other local water bodies) as 'brides of the river/water god'. Usually the practice was stopped by imperial investigators giving the cult a taste of their own medicine by drowning them, although in one case, the god of one river was married to the goddess of another.
* [[RealLife Nuns: Brides of Christ.]]
** Brides but never precisely wives in the physical sense. The Church as a whole is canonically the bride to Jesus' Bridegroom, so it's mostly metaphorical.
** It's also a common [[Literature/TheBible Old Testament]] metaphor which really is less of a surprise than some might think (a lot of the New Testament metaphors were [[ShoutOut shout outs]] to the Old that readers or hearers were expected to understand). Israel was/is the wife of God (at least, after Josiah got done kicking Asherah out). To the point that idolatry is compared to adultery.
** In the medieval days the "marriage" was taken a bit more literally and nuns wrote poems imagining erotic love with Christ. Even up to the 19th century, some nuns wrote of Jesus and/or God as one would speak of a difficult but beloved husband. Many scholars have commented that the greatest spiritual writings often seem like love poems.
** Considering that, for a medieval woman, becoming a nun was almost the only option if she didn't want to get married to a mortal, it was more than just metaphorical. One can imagine that many nuns were HappilyMarried, as in a time when domestic violence was legal, Jesus would be a guaranteed non-abusive husband/bridegroom. And they'd have the saintly virgin Mary as mother-in-law. For noblewomen it was kind of a legal loophole to get out of the obligation to marry ''someone''.
* In some parts of Finland, the traditional festivities that were held to appease a slain bear included a young woman or man playing the part of the bride or groom to the bear in order to strengthen the bond between the humans and their bear ancestor.
* In Voudun, followers cement their devotion to Baron Samedi, the deity of death, with a ritual marriage. Then they call him down to possess people in a trance.
** This is common practice in other Loa followings as well, such as Ogoun. Sometimes they're asked not to see their significant others on the loa's holy days to avoid jealousy.
* During the New Kingdom period of AncientEgypt, the God's Wife of Amon (usually but not always the queen) was one of the most important figures in the priesthood of the sun god Amon.

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