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Last Updated: Thursday, 19 January 2006, 12:24 GMT
Thousands flock to wedding mecca
Wedding rings
Gretna proved a hit as a wedding venue once again
Nearly 5,000 couples tied the knot in Gretna and Gretna Green last year.

Would-be brides and grooms travelled from as far afield as Australia and South Africa to marry in the surroundings of the romantic village.

Dumfries and Galloway Council said a total of 4,926 couples were married in the area in 2005, slightly down on the record-breaking previous 12 months.

Last year also saw the introduction of civil partnership registration with two such ceremonies held in Gretna so far.

The figures take the total over the last decade to nearly 50,000 weddings with the area now accounting for more than one in six marriages in Scotland.

Since 1995 some 48,835 couples have chosen to tie the knot in Gretna and Gretna Green.

Special day

Council figures show that in 2005 more than 3,000 ceremonies took place in venues approved by the authority for civil marriages including Gretna registration office.

Hundreds of visitors also return to the area every year to relive their special day.

Married couples can now re-affirm their commitment by arranging a special ceremony in the village.

Civil partnership registration - introduced on 5 December last year - has seen a further surge in interest in Gretna.

The council said the change in legislation had generated new demand and inquiries were received regularly.

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