It consistently sees a 12% share of all ceremonies in the country. More than even the Edinburgh or Glasgow local authority areas.
Last year alone
there were more than 4,000 weddings in Dumfries and Galloway – about 80% of them in Gretna.
Gretna owes its popularity to its position just north of the Scotland-England border.
The town became a destination for young lovers after the Marriage Act in 1754 in England. Which outlawed marriages without parental consent if either party was under 21
developed of couples travelling over the border to Scotland. Which had more lenient laws. .
The latest report to Dumfries and Galloway Council. On the trends and income from marriages. Said Gretna remained a venue chosen by thousands of couples every year.
Gretna Wedding Crown Maintained – The report said
it helped to fuel an economic impact from tourism in the area estimated at £37m.
But, it said the volume of weddings tended to decrease in times of “economic uncertainty”.
There was a decrease both national and local in 2009. Blamed on the impact of the recession. And fears of a double-dip recession may also have had an impact in 2013.
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Nonetheless, Dumfries and Galloway has enjoyed a market share of 15-16%. Meaning it hosts one in six of all marriages in Scotland.
Gretna alone sees 12% of ceremonies with couples paying fees of between £125 and £476.
The council said satisfaction with the wedding experience in the region was high.
A recent survey found 97% of those asked were “very satisfied” with the service.
GRETNA GREEN’S RUNAWAY PAST
In the middle of the 18th-century. English law lords approved new laws to tightened marriage arrangements. Couples had to reach the age of 21. Before they could marry without their parents’ consent. And their marriage had to take place in a church.
Scottish law was different. You could marry on the spot, in a simple ‘marriage by declaration’, or ‘handfasting’ ceremony. Only requiring two witnesses. And assurances from the couple that they were both free to marry.
With such a relaxed method within reach of England. This soon led to thousands of young couples running-away to marry over the border. Gretna Green was the first village in Scotland. And situated on the main route from London into Scotland.
With Gretna Green placed to take advantage of the two countries’ marriage laws. And with an angry father-of-the-bride usually, in hot pursuit. The runaway couple could not waste time. So as soon as they reached Scottish soil in Gretna Green. They would find a place of security where they could marry at haste!