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Gretna Green

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Categories : Legal, Places & Locations

After a law was passed in England in 1753 that required parental consent for any marriage when the parties were both not 21 years old, the village of Gretna Green in Scotland became a very popular destination for eloping couples. Because Scottish law had much lower restrictions for age (14 for boys, 12 for girls), many marriages were performed in this village, the first stop along the typical route from London to Edinburgh. Scottish law also generally allowed for a wedding to be presided over by almost anyone as long as two witnesses were present. Because of this, many blacksmiths performed the wedding ceremony in Gretna Green, and as such, the anvil became a symbol of the Gretna Green wedding.

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