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Dozens of Valentine's couples in Gretna Green weddings

Dozens of couples celebrated Valentine's Day by tying the knot at one of the UK's most famous wedding spots.

A total of 42 ceremonies were carried out in Gretna Green, in Dumfries and Galloway, with couples travelling from across the country to make their vows.

Its popularity as a marriage venue dates back to 1754 when the Marriage Act, which required parental consent to marry under the age of 21, came into force in England and Wales.

Many young couples crossed the border to Gretna Green, the closest village, to take advantage of Scotland's lower marriage age, which remained at 16. One couple who made the journey to Gretna yesterday were Londoners Amerjit Walia, 52, and his now-wife Sarah, 33.

Mr Walia, a keen Sikh martial artist, carried a Gatka sword while dressed in a red tartan kilt and matching red dastar turban.

He said: "I've always wanted to wear a kilt as it's similar to what the Gatka warriors wear."

His new wife said they chose the Anvil Hall in the village as their wedding venue due to the "history, romance and symbolic nature", which suited how they felt.

Anne Downie, an exhibition guide at the Blacksmith's Shop, said "tradition and history" were the most important reasons for people getting married at Gretna Green.

She added: "Speed was usually of the essence."

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