The town became a popular venue after the Marriage Act of 1754 in England, outlawing marriages without parental consent if either party was under 21. Many younger couples simply traveled over the border to Scotland, which had more lenient laws. Gretna Green became the most popular spot for couples who eloped.
The Gretna Green Marriage Registers cover the period from 1795 to 1895. The collection contains the marriage records of Gretna Green's most prolific minister, David Lang. Each record details the full names of both husband and wife, their respective locations of residence, and the date of their wedding.
Gretna Green remains a popular wedding venue to this day. However, the number of "runaway" marriages fell after an act of parliament was passed in 1856.