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Get Married In Gretna - Just Make Sure You Know Your A74 (M) And M10
Date: March 05, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Ceremonies & Legal Matters & Planning & Traditions & Customs & Unique Ideas & Venues

The A74 (M) might not mean much to many brides but for some of the 5000 married at Gretna Green in 2005 it will have been final road on their route to a wonderful married life!

As I make my frequent journey from Scotland to England I always try to imagine what it must feel like to be approaching Gretna on your wedding day, knowing that this is the marriage capital of the UK.

For those of you that can’t quite picture where Gretna is take a look at this link from

Just above Carlisle you will see “Hadrian’s Wall” , the border between Scotland And England.

Back in 1753 Lord Hardwicke passed a Marriage Act that if both parties were under the age of 21 they had to seek consent from their parents to get married. Thus this started the trend of young couples eloping to Scotland where this Act did not apply. In fact in Scotland as long as a girl was over 12 and the boy over 14 they could get married, with or without parental consent. This though was changed in 1929 when the The Age of Marriage Act 1929 (applying in Scotland, England & Wales but not in Northern Ireland) stated that both boy and girl had to be at least 16 years, still though no consent was required by their parents. Having read the General Register Office for Scotland web site they quote:

According to one early 20th-century source*, marriage in Scotland at such young ages was in practice almost unknown. No doubt if marriages between children had become common, there would have been public pressure to raise the legal minimum age of marriage earlier than 1929.

So there you have it couples have been speeding up and down the A74 (M) for over 250 years to get married before their parents found out!

Well maybe not so much now but the romantic idea is there all the same - for me anyway!

It takes over 5 hours to drive from London and the surrounding counties to Gretna so thinking back when ones only mode of transport was a horse it seems the trek to wedded bliss must have been quite a journey! We have it so easy nowadays.

I wanted for just a few minutes to imagine how easy it would be to arrange a marriage at Gretna Green. I have this notion that you can just turn up and get married, but deep down know this isn't the case.

So how easy is it to get married in Gretna, is it the answer to avoiding all the stress that far too many brides feel in the build up to their wedding day?

My first port of call was Google, as with most things on the internet.

It appears that main authority site on the subject of getting married in Gretna is There seems to be a ton of information but the one page I was drawn to was the step by step guide to getting married at the Anvil Hall. Here is a link to the all important seven steps.

Scanning down the steps I found that number 7 states:

The two Marriage Notice Forms can be submitted up to 3 months and no later than 15 days before the wedding.

Thus any eloping bride and groom must firstly stop to read the small print and do some form filling before packing their bags and hailing a cab, bus, train or jet! In fact it is seriously recommended that you read these guidance notes before filling in a M10 Marriage Notice Form each. Further good bedtime reading can be found at this official Getting Married in Scotland Guide.

The web site also offers a number of packages you can choose from. Take a look at this page and choose from the Solway, Heather, Tartan, Highland, and Thistle wedding packages. The Thistle package seems to include everything you could imagine, apart from the reception - things certainly seem to have changed since 1753!

I could go on but one last thing, if the thought of motoring up the M6 and A74 (M) to catch a glimpe of a romantic wedding at Gretna seems to much - why not use this webcam to book a seat for the next wedding, I'm hoping there is one at 3 !

As ever good luck with all your wedding planning and if you are getting married at Gretna please let me know.

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78 Free Wedding Tips And Book

As you plan your wedding you will receive advice from just about everyone. Friends and family have a million and one tips to pass on, in fact here at Wedaholic I have been offering tips galore. For example tips on wedding djs, getting guests to mingle, giving a great speech and tipping wedding suppliers to name just a few!

To give you a flavour of what to expect I have copied the types of wedding tips you will receive below:

Sample Tip 1 :

At the reception hall, fill baskets in the bathroom with miniature hand lotions, breath mints, hair sprays, and hair gels for emergency touch-ups. You may also want to put out a basket with a few inexpensive pairs of pantyhose and
some clear nail polish.

"Thanks for all the tips..and for making them genuinely "free".... the tips I found most helpful of your's were about etiquette ... it helps to remind brides of other people's feelings when they are getting caught up in their own! And that idea about giving framed pictures to the parents is one I will definately do! Blessings!" - Suzanne, US

Sample Tip 2 :

Don’t forget grandparents and other relatives who may feel “left out” during the preparations before the wedding. Take a camera along when you are shopping for your dress or looking at flowers.

Send pictures with a quick note that says, “Here’s me rubbing my feet after trying on shoes that were murder!” Or “Aunt Joan, the flowers were beautiful, but I wish you could have been there.”

"Just wanted to thank you for all of the wonderful tips! I enjoy reading them every week!! I will use you're advice throughout the planning of my wedding and on the big day! Thanks again" - Dan

Sample Tip 3 :

For bridesmaids' dresses, consider separates, especially if you have attendants whose sizes and shapes vary widely. Skip the bridal stores and check out department stores for evening skirts and separate tops that are made of luxurious fabrics and trimmed with beading or embroidered details.

"Dear Emily your tips have been very helpful to me in planning for my wedding thank you for all of your help, looking forward to receiving other tips from you. Best Regards" - Cornelia, US

Showbiz Wedding Plans for Ant
Date: March 05, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Celebrity Weddings

"I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here" presenter Ant McPartlin has revealed the extravagant plans for his upcoming nuptials. Millionaire Ant is spending £150,000 on his wedding to make-up artist Lisa Armstrong.

According to the Sun Newspaper Ant has hired out five-star luxury mansion Cliveden House in Berkshire for the ceremony and reception. His plans include a five-course dinner for their guests and the evening will end with a spectacular firework display.

Ant, 30 and Lisa, 29 have been together for 10 years. Ant popped the question to Lisa during a holiday in Dubai in April 2005, when he presented her with a Tiffany engagement ring estimated to be worth £16,000.

Their June wedding is one of the most anticipated showbiz weddings this year with many celebrities expected to be in attendance. Unfortunately Robbie Williams, a close friend of both Ant and Dec, will be unable to attend due to his touring schedule this summer. This will disappoint Ant who had previously said that he would like Robbie to sing at his wedding.

The wedding guests are sure to be entertained anyway by the best-man's speech, as Ant has asked his "I'm A Celebrity" co-host and long-time friend Declan Donnelly to take on this role.

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Peterborough Couple Celebrate a Steamy Wedding Day
Date: March 02, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Unique Ideas

Peterborough newlyweds Paul Taylor and Geraldine Harris shared more than a love for each other, they also shared a love of steam trains. Geraldine is an artist who specialises in steam train portraits and Paul is an ardent train aficionado. The couple, who have known each other for 10 years and been engaged for the last 3 years, wanted their wedding day to reflect this.

They searched all over England for the perfect venue for their upcoming nuptials before deciding that Nene Valley Railway was the best in the country.

The wedding which was held in the railway waiting room was attended by 30 guests. Geraldine, wearing a pale green dress, walked down the makeshift aisle in the waiting room to the music Unchained Melody.

According to, Geraldine said of her wedding day,

"Paul's a trainspotter. He loves trains and can tell you anything about them. I like painting steam trains, so this was the perfect wedding."

After the ceremony the newlyweds and their guests boarded the Peterborough Express steam train. As it took them on a scenic trip they enjoyed a sumptuous three-course meal in the carriage which had been specially decorated with red and ivory roses for the occasion.

The evening celebrations took place at the newlyweds' new home in Neward, Nottinghamshire with 40 guests in attendance. The unique wedding celebrations went without a hitch and bride Geraldine said,

"We wanted to make the most of our big day and wanted to make sure it was something everyone would remember".

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British Couple Wed in Lighthouse
Date: March 01, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Venues

Shane and Anne How from Kent have become the first couple in Britain to get married in an old lighthouse. The wedding took place at Dungeness Old Lighthouse, a 102-year-old listed structure which was decommissioned as an active lighthouse in 1960.

The newlyweds admitted their choice of venue was quite unusual. They had considered marrying in Ashford Registry Office but decided they wanted something a bit different for their special day. The lighthouse had only recently been approved as a wedding venue. Mrs How had visited the lighthouse many times as a child so it seemed a perfect idea to get married there.

The lighthouse was decorated for their wedding ceremony which was attended by 30 guests. Regulations allow that weddings at the lighthouse can take place on any floor but the dimensions of the lighthouse allow space for just 10 people at the gallery level and the other guests have to make do with a place on the stairs leading up to the ceremony.

The lighthouse can be seen from the back of the newlyweds' house so they will always be reminded of their unique wedding day.

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As you plan your wedding you will receive advice from just about everyone. Friends and family have a million and one tips to pass on, in fact here at Wedaholic I have been offering tips galore.