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Gretna Green – history and romance

Known primarily as a hotspot for runaway weddings, Gretna Green emerged as a wedding destination due to amendments within English marriage laws as well as its close proximity to England. English law required couples to be over the age of 21 to marry without parental consent. In Scotland however, it was possible to marry ‘on the spot’ so long as both members of the couple were 16 and single, which meant Gretna Green was the perfect destination for couples who were young and in love!

SB shop

Weddings have been taking place at Gretna Green since 1754, with almost 1000 weddings and 200 blessings taking place yearly in recent times. Weddings would be performed by ‘Anvil Priests’ within the Famous Blacksmiths Shop; the sound of the ‘hammering of the anvil’ becoming infamous as a symbol of romance within the village.  The Blacksmith’s anvil is still the centrepiece of Gretna Green and the Famous Shop has attracted a whopping 750,000 visitors from all around the world every year.


Changes in legislation have allowed all ceremonies (both religious and civil) to take place anywhere in Scotland but Gretna Green has remained a favourite for couples to tie the knot due to its 250 year old romantic history.

For those who fancy being a part of its rich history, couples can get married at Smiths at Gretna Green – a four star boutique hotel opened in 2006. With spacious rooms, beautiful private gardens, dedicated wedding planners and much more…

Afterall…wouldn’t you just love to boast,  ‘I got married in Gretna Green’.

Smiths at Gretna Green

Smiths at Gretna Green


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