Wedding/Elope in Gretna Green!

Gretna Green Weddings

Gretna Green is a small, historic village on the west coast in the south of Scotland, on the Scottish/English border, where everything, it seems, is geared to weddings, in fact, Gretna Green is often referred to as the "wedding capital of the world."

Since 1754 Gretna Green has been famous for being the place people eloped to from England to get married. Why? Because The English Marriage Act stated that if either party was under 21 years of age, they couldn't marry without parental consent. However, this law didn't apply in Scotland. Therefore, many young couples traveled to Scotland to elope - a tradition that has lasted hundreds of years. In England and Wales the ages are now 16 with consent and 18 without.

Today, Gretna Green is still associated with marriage, with over 4,000 couples marrying in Gretna Green every year, which accounts for 13% of Scottish weddings.

A note for those of you eloping to Gretna Green - Scottish Law does require that there are at least two witnesses present during your wedding ceremony who must then complete and sign your marriage schedule. so, if it's just the two of you, you may have to hire professional witnesses.

Where are some of the best places to get married in Gretna Green, either eloping or having a larger wedding?

Gretna Hall Blacksmiths Shop

You'll quickly discover that the local blacksmith and his anvil have become the lasting symbols of Gretna Green weddings. It used to be that Scottish law allowed for what is referred to as 'irregular marriages,' meaning that, so long as a declaration was made in front of two witnesses, almost anybody had the authority to conduct the wedding ceremony. The local blacksmiths in Gretna became known as 'anvil priests' as he forged a union between two couples in the same way he forged hot metal to metal over the anvil. Thus, blacksmiths shops became the backdrop for countless numbers of weddings, and couples still flock there to wed over the anvil.

Established 1710, Gretna Hall Blacksmiths shop is perhaps the best known wedding venue in Gretna Green, as it was the first official stop in Scotland for traveling stagecoaches and private carriages. Today you have your choice of three marriage rooms contained within the cobbled blacksmiths courtyard; The Workshop, Cottage and Linton suite. The gardens at Gretna Hall provide an ideal backdrop for photographs, featuring a kissing gate, pond, and Gazebo. If you have a large wedding up to 60 people you would choose The Workshop. The Cottage can accommodate up to 15 people, while the Linton Suite can accommodate up to 20 people.

Anvil Hall

This awesome building was once a church, converted for use specifically for weddings. All ceremonies there are candlelit, which just increases the romantic feel, with a balcony which allows overhead photography. The grounds offers many photographic opportunities, particularly in front of the kissing gate. The Anvil Hall has capacity for up to 90 guests

The Mill Forge

The Mill forge is located two miles from the center of Gretna Green, dating from 1740. It's a self-contained wedding venue, in the style of a Scottish highland Kirk, and can accommodate 40 seated guests and an additional 40 standing guests.

Gretna Weddings offers a complete wedding package for £1390 at one of the above locations. you can inquire about details at This package includes, but is not limited to: Two nights bridal suite accommodations; transportation of horse and carriage, Rolls Royce, vintage car or limo; venue hire or rental; minister or registrar to conduct the ceremony; witnesses if you need them; wedding photography package; and a Scottish Piper.

The Smiths Hotel in Gretna Green

Located on the Scottish border, The Smiths Hotel at Gretna Green has the distinction of being voted "Wedding Hotel of the Year" at the 2007 Scottish Hotel of the Year Awards. If you choose the Smiths Hotel to coordinate your wedding you can choose to marry at one of the famous Gretna Green wedding venues, such as the Old Blacksmith's Shop, or you can have your ceremony, as well as your reception, at The Smiths Hotel itself, if you are looking for a more contemporary wedding with up to 200 guests.

The Smiths Hotel has several different wedding packages, including a wedding ceremony package perfect for the eloping couple: a Gretna Green Blacksmith's wedding option for £525.00, which includes a ceremony at the Old Blacksmith's Shop, a photography package, a Scottish Piper who will escort the Bride to the wedding and lead the wedding party from the marriage room to the sculpture garden for more photographs.

Of course, the Smiths Hotel is also a great place to stay on your honeymoon, also being voted the Sexiest Hotel. Contact them at for more information.

Comlongon Castle

Comlongon Castle is located 15 minutes from Gretna, and is Gretna's nearest castle wedding venue. A restored 14th Century Medieval Scottish castle, Comlongon has two RAC awards, and offers 14 individually themed 4-poster bedrooms perfect for your honeymoon. With Jacuzzis and other contemporary amenities, Comlongon Castle is a great blend of Medieval and modern. You can choose to have your ceremony off the castle grounds at one of the many wedding venues in Gretna Green, with a reception at Comlongon Castle, or have the ceremony and reception (and honeymoon) all on the castle grounds. For those eloping, you can have an all-inclusive package, including a luxury honeymoon suite for one night, for £1900. This package is limited to couples on weekdays only.

Religious, civil and Celtic blessings ceremony (which carry no legal significance, but serve as a blessing) are offered at Comlongon Castle, with ceremonies alone starting from £430. A bridal suite starts at £60.00. You can contact them at

About the Photo: Photo credit: Niki Odolphie CC Attribution 2.0 license ( ). Niki's profile page at is

Synonyms: Retna, rGetna, Getna, Gertna, Grtna, Grtena, Grena, Grenta, Greta, Gretan, and Gretn are typos for "Gretna." Edding, ewdding, wdding, wdeding, weding, wedidng, weddng, weddnig, weddig, weddign and weddin are typos for "wedding."