So… You’ve traveled the widths and breadths of the land, slaying trolls and dragons. You’ve unraveled the mysteries of Aetherius. Perhaps joined some shady folk in the sewers of Riften? Or maybe you’ve simply found a comely maid or handsome hunk, and want to settle down?
For such a well detailed game, marriage is something that takes a little bit of work, and is honestly quite hidden away at first. So, how do you get married in Skyrim? Read on to learn how to tie the knot!
The Bonds of Matrimony
The first thing you’ll need to do before getting married is to find a priest who’s willing to host the ceremony. His name is Maramal, and he can be found in the city of Riften. If you’ve never been to Riften before, you will find the priest inside The Bee and Barb tavern. Otherwise, simply go to the Temple of Mara.
When you speak to him, you will get to learn about Mara, the goddess of Love, and you’ll soon learn that the temple hosts marriages for loving couples.
As Maramal explains, life in Skyrim is too harsh for one to partake in long courtships. Understandable, considering the war and dragons flying about! He explains that you need to wear an Amulet of Mara to show to another that you are eligible. As soon as the conversation is over, you can now go out and start looking for that special someone!
As mentioned earlier, you will need to be wearing an Amulet of Mara. You can obtain one by buying it from Maramal (for 200 gold), or you can get one for free by completing The Book of Love, a side quest given by Dinya Balu. You’ll likely find her right there in the Temple of Mara.
That Special Someone
Next step is pretty simple: find a suitor! Okay, maybe simple compared to real life dating and marriage! In Skyrim, all you have to do is to find an NPC who has a high disposition towards you; you will know which ones are which by their friendly comments towards you whenever you approach them. Not all friendly NPCs are eligible for marriage, however (you can find a list of eligible NPCs in a later post)
To get an NPC to like you, simply become a part of their life, by doing favors for them or completing quests that they give you.
The easiest way to tell which NPCs are ones you can marry is to approach them while wearing the Amulet of Mara. If they comment on it, it shows that they are interested in you. If you are interested in them also, keep on talking until you propose!
A Skyrim Wedding
In order to tie the knot officially, you will need to organize the wedding at the Temple of Mara. After making the arrangements with Maramal, you will have to return to the temple the next morning.
As soon as you enter, a short cutscene will play, and after you both say your vows, you will be officially married!
Why Should you get Married?
From a roleplaying standpoint, the reason is totally up to you! As you travel the world, you have likely found a favorite follower, or maybe you’ve grown attached to a particular NPC?
From a gameplay perspective, there are numerous advantages to having a spouse, which you can read down below:
Who doesn’t love a delicious meal cooked by the one they love? Every single day, your spouse will give you this food item which, when eaten, boosts your Health, Magicka, and Stamina regeneration by 25% each. This effect lasts for 10 minutes in real time.
As you can imagine, this item is great for when you need to recover in between battles. This meal is given to you even if your spouse is a follower, which is why it is sometimes good to marry a follower.
Occasionally, your spouse may surprise you with a random item. These can be anything from food, to weapons. There’s no real trend to how often it happens. Another reason why it can be a pleasant surprise.
As a spouse, you get to share your assets. This includes houses and properties. If your spouse owns a house, then you will have the option to move in with them.
This is a good option if you don’t have the money to buy a house up front, as they can be expensive. Not to mention that you can take nearly all of the items in their house now, without penalty.
As you can imagine, marrying into a wealthy family will grant you a nice house, with some money to boot. That said, if you’re the gold-digging type, look around for those nobles!
How do you know which NPCs have houses? Simple; look for their houses. They will likely have one in the city they reside in. You can also follow them around to see where they sleep at night (you crazy stalker :P). If they are sleeping in the same bed on a regular basis, chances are that they own the house.
If having a house wasn’t enough, your spouse will also set up a shop somewhere, in which they will sell items and net a tidy income. Each day, you’ll earn at least 100 gold a day. This income is cumulative, which means you could leave your spouse at home while you go adventuring for a week, and come back to 7 day’s worth of gold.
The kind of merchandise your spouse sells depends on what they did before marriage. If they were a blacksmith, you’ll likely find armor and weapons. An alchemist will sell potions and ingredients.
If you sleep in any bed with your spouse around, you will get a bonus perk called Lover’s Comfort. This bonus increases the rate at which you gain skill experience by 15%. In essence, it is a stronger version of the Well Rested bonus.
This bonus is gained through any bed, just so long as your spouse is nearby. Again, another reason why having a follower as a spouse is a good thing.
It goes without saying that this bonus also stacks with some of the Guardian Stone bonuses, with the sole exception of the Lover Stone. You can work around this by having the Aetherial Crown in your inventory.
Who can you Marry?
There are about 66 NPCs in Skyrim that you can marry (see the full list here!) As mentioned above, an NPC will comment on your Amulet of Mara if they are a potential spouse. Keep in mind that you will need to raise their disposition towards you before they will be interested in you.