Definitions from Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition and Ballentine's Law Dictionary as are available for each term in each dictionary.
  • Ballentine's Law Dictionary

    A marriage valid in Scotland requiring only the mutual declarations of the parties in the presence of witnesses.

  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    A marriage celebrated at Gretna, in Dumfries, (bordering on the county of Cumberland,) in Scotland. By the law of Scotland a valid marriage may be contracted by consent alone, without any other formality. When the marriage act (26 Geo. II. c. 33) rendered the publication of banns, or a license, necessary in England, it became usual for persons who wished to marry clandestinely to go to Gretna Green, the nearest part of Scotland, and marry according to the Scotch law; so a sort of chapel was built at Gretna Green, in which the English marriage service was performed by the village blacksmith. Wharton.