Gretna Green Marriage Law and Legal Definition

Gretna Green marriage refers to a marriage that is entered in a jurisdiction other than where the parties reside in order to avoid some legal impediment that exists where they live. The name comes from Scottish village called Gretna Green, famous for run away weddings. Gretna Green served as a convenient place for eloping English couples to wed because in Scots law parties over 16 did not need parental consent.

In U.S the term describes a marriage between the residents of a state who go beyond and yet near the boundary line of an adjoining state in order to overcome some disadvantage present in the law of the State where they reside.