Skyrim Marriage Guide – Everything You Need to Know

Skyrim, the game many of us could simply not wait for, a title promised to fully immerse the intrepid elder scrolls aficionado and newcomer alike. Well, I, for one, think Todd Howard and the team over at Bethesda managed to hit that nail right on its head.

I mean, why else are we all still playing Skyrim a decade after its original launch, and why in the name of the Divines do I own more than 6 copies across all my consoles?  The answer to this question is different depending on who you ask, but one of the more common answers you can come across is the depth of experiences Skyrim gives to its audience.

Being a true role-playing game or RPG, the gamer’s immersion is key, and what better way to immerse a gamer than allowing them to do almost everything they already do IRL and hopefully, in this case, a whole lot more also.  To this end, the ability to get married in Skyrim, whilst on the surface is seemingly unimportant to the overall story and playability of the game, the ability to do so is telling in regard to the overall scope of the game.

Todd and the team clearly wanted their players fully immersed in their creation, never leaving the opportunity for them to ask, “Why can’t I do this?” the killer question in the world of RPGs. Therefore, the ability to marry in this installment of the elder scrolls franchise came right from launch, no waiting for those pesky DLCs.

However, in true Elder Scrolls fashion, the game doesn’t come right out and tell the player that marriage is an option, never mind how to go about starting this lover’s quest. To this end, this guide will help any resident of Skyrim, from Nord to Khajiit, to find love. I know, exciting, right? Let’s get into it!

How to Start?


In Skyrim, bachelors show their availability by wearing a necklace called the Amulet of Mara.

This little trinket will not only give the player a base reduction of 10% in their casting of restoration spells but also cut out all that awkward bar chat we are all too familiar with to see if the person (or creature, no judgment!) you’ve got your eye on is available. Think of it as medieval tinder. 

This amulet can be obtained in two main ways, firstly, as you work your way through the dungeons and sepulchres of the game. Or, if you fancy a more direct approach, one can be purchased from Maramal for a mere 200 gold.  Maramal can often be found in the Temple of Mara in Riften, look for one of the robed figures and you’ll soon find him. However, if he is nowhere to be seen, try the Bee and Barb inn across the road.

In order to activate the dialogue options in order to buy said amulet, as Maramal about the Goddess Mara.

He will then give you the basic backstory of Mara as a deity within the world of Tamriel, giving you a brief exposition dump in regard to her being the Goddess of love and marriage in the isles of Skyrim. Once this is done, the option to buy the amulet will be available.


For some gamers, it is obvious right from the get-go who they would like to marry their virtual character off to in Skyrim. However, some of us are a lot choosier and would like to explore our options more.  Both options are perfectly reasonable. After all, love is love, but you are the Dragonborn after all. Why get tied down less than 5% through the main quest line? 

No matter your approach, the next few steps on your road to marital bliss are pretty easy, simply equip the amulet of Mara and either go back to the NPC you wish to court or go about your day as normal until you are greeted with one of many verbal ques which portrays said NPCs interest in your character.

One such cue could be “It’s a nice day when you’re around,” for example.

However, all is not that simple. There are some NPCs in the game who are available to marry, but only after a relationship of sorts is initially formed. This could be in the form of acquiring them as a follower such as Lydia or Aela the Huntress or by completing a quest for them if one should be available.

After these minor details are taken care of, said NPC should appear more welcoming to your wearing an amulet of Mara and give forth the aforementioned ques, opening dialogue options for the player.

You’ve Found Your Partner, What Now?

Skyrim Marriage

Once you have decided who you will spend the rest of your virtual life with, the next step is to talk to them about the concept of marriage. This will take the form of asking the NPC whether they are interested in you. After this, the path to matrimonial bliss is all but fated, simply agree with them to set up a wedding ceremony and get on your way back to the Temple of Mara.

At this stage, you will once again have to speak to Maramal, who at this point probably feels like a bit of a third wheel. After you ask him to set up your wedding, the procession will be available exactly 24hrs after your character completes their conversation with the said priest.

What most players do here, me included, is simply wait in the chapel for 24hrs until your spouse-to-be and other guests you’ve met along your travels fill up the hall. After this, you will be an officially married Nord, lizard person, or what have you. Congratulations!

Who is the Goddess Mara?

Goddess Mara

The Goddess Mara is one of the Nine Divines, also known as the Eight and One. These Divine Gods and Goddesses form the most important and popular religion in all of Tamriel. Each god or goddess within this religion have their own sect or duty leading people to pray to them separately depending on their need at the time.

Mara is seen as the Mother Goddess and the goddess of love/marriage throughout all of Tamriel. In this role, she instructs her followers to “live soberly and peacefully. Honour your parents and preserve the peace and security of home and family”. 

In Elder Scrolls lore, she is often affiliated with Nir, the presence which birthed creation. In the realm of Skyrim, she is either married to or acts as a concubine of Akatosh or Lorkhan. Another piece of trivia regarding Mara is that she has appeared, in one form or another in every Elder Scrolls game to date.

Best Characters to Marry in Skyrim

Aela the Huntress

Now, don’t get me wrong, the only real reason you should get married is for love, right? Wrong, in the harsh, enemy-dense wilderness and underground caves of Skyrim, you will come up against many enemies, some of which will really give you a run for your money.

Therefore, marrying someone who will help you through this playthrough in a way that benefits your character the most is key. Whilst all spouses give some base level bonuses, there are some with personal traits which make them great husband or wife material. Let’s have a look at some of these potential spouses.

  •  Aela the Huntress: This NPC has the ability to act as a spouse and a follower. Her bow and general combat skills will definitely come in handy in your fight against Alduin.
  •  Vilkas: Another member of the fighters guild, therefore, a pretty good fighter. However, he also has the ability to train you in the Two-Handed skill tree as a master himself.
  • Shahvee: This potential spouse does not give your character any distinct advantages however they are the only marriable Argonian in the game and, therefore the only spouse on this lift with some unique dialogue options you cannot get anywhere else in Skyrim
  •  Farkas: Brother to Vilkas, master trainer of the Heavy Armour skill tree and, you guessed it, a pretty good fighter in his own right.

The Age-Old Questions, Why Get Married?


I am not going to lie to you, dear reader. The benefits to marriage in Skyrim are not immense. You don’t somehow gain the ability to fast travel whilst being pursued by enemies or skip past those puzzles, which definitely didn’t send you to google a couple of times on your first playthrough.

No, instead the biggest benefit to marriage in Skyrim is the quality of immersion such an option grants to its players. The little dialogue options which pop up with your spouse do wonders in really making the player, you and me, feel part of the world.

To me, this value is more than enough reason to get married. However, there are still a couple of perks here and there you might be interested in.

  • Further DLC immersion: Most of us by now either have all of the DLCs as they launched or got them for free with our special edition copies of the game, therefore, DLCs and their effects on the world at large are hard to ignore. Marriage is just one mechanic the developers decided to accentuate in order to weave these storylines more tightly into the base game. Firstly, with the Dawngaurd DLC, the developers added the mechanic for shared vampirism, allowing both you and your spouse to become vampires together. Also, in the Hearthfire DLC, once married, the option to adopt with your spouse becomes available.
  • Gold, sweet gold: Your spouse has the ability to open a trading store seemingly from your shared home, allowing the player to not only trade with their spouse but also to collect their share of the business, up to 100 gold per in-game day.
  • Boosts and boons: Having a spouse can benefit your overall gaming experience in two ways. First of all, once a day, your character can acquire a homecooked meal from their spouse, granting them a 25% boost in Stamina, Health, and Magicka regeneration for a base 600 seconds. Secondly, by sleeping in the same bed as your spouse, you will gain a perk called Lover’s Comfort. This perk increases all skill XP acquisition by 15% for 8 hours.

Marriage and Console Commands

My first copy of Skyrim, like many of you, was purchased on the day of release, 11.11.11. This copy was for the PlayStation 3 at the time, and therefore the magical realm of console commands was still lost on me. It was only a few years into the lifecycle of Skyrim that I plucked up the courage to buy my very first gaming PC.

Finally, I was a member of the PC master race, and the entire world of console commands (CC) was made available to me. At first, I would only use the CC function if the game bugged out in some way.

Being a Bethesda game, this happened more times than I am sure Todd would like to admit. After getting familiar with the system and the idea of cheating the game for my own personal enjoyment though, I discovered the sheer power of the CC function. 

It is through these CCs that the PC gamers amongst us can sort of cheat the system in order to make the process of marriage within Skyrim a little bit easier.  Whilst still having to wear the Amulet of Mara, these CCs enable the player to raise the disposition of NPCs around the in-game world, thus adding them into the ‘marriageable’ faction in the games internal logic system. 

To do this, the player must have their potential spouse in view, large enough on screen to ensure that when clicked on, the game is aware of which entity is being selected.

After you select them, an ID code should appear in the console command menu, this ID will need to be inserted into the following commands in the {Character ID} section. To begin, type the following commands one at a time into the console command menu, pressing enter when each is completed:

setrelationshiprank {Character ID} 4

player.setrelationshiprank {Character ID} 4

After you have entered these commands and with your potential spouse still in view, enter this final command:

addfac 19809 1 

After these sets of commands, your potential spouse will by dying to fall head over heels for you.


Question: Can You Get a Divorce in Skyrim?

Answer: Sadly, for the more fickle-minded player, subject to rapid changes of mind, there is no divorce mechanic in Skyrim. Whether this is because the developers could simply not be bothered to programme out all the different dialogue options and logic systems such a change would cause or because they have a rather till death do us part attitude over at Bethesda, we simply do not know why this option is not available.

The locked-in nature of the marriage system in Skyrim can also be more annoying when your spouse somehow happens to pass away as even then you are not allowed to remarry. Instead, you must live out your days as the most powerful widow/widower in all the land. 

That being said, however, there is a way around this for the PC gamers out there. You see, if this issue is really a pain that you simply cannot get over there is a range of console commands which can be entered in a specific order, allowing you to almost reset your character to a time before marriage, within the games logic and tracking system that is.

To do this, you must once again have your spouse in view before entering the console command menu. Clicking on your spouse will mark them as for divorce once all of the following commands have been entered in order:

• removfac 51596
• player.removefac C6472
• resetquest 74793
• resetquesr 21382
• setstage 74793 10

After hitting enter on each of these commands in order, simply return to your main game and wait for 24 hours. Once this time has passed you should be able to marry another NPC.

Question: Can You Marry Characters which Bethesda Have not Marker Already for Marriage?

Answer: Sadly no, due to the different dialogue options available only from spouses, the developers decided that it just wasn’t feasible to record these lines for all of the NPCs in the game, therefore there is a very specific list of marriageable partners in the game.

Question: Can You Marry Serana in Skyrim

Answer: One of the more popular marriage requests is that of Serana, many gamers wish to marry the central vampire companion from the Dawngaurd DLC however, she and any other vampires placed in the game via this expansion pack are actually unmarriable via the in-game mechanics. This decision was so heavily disagreed with, that the modding community of Skyrim decided to make it right. Therefore, to marry Sarena one simply has to download the “Marriable Serana” mod by C0drm0nk33 from the Skyrim Mod Nexus. After properly installed, Serana will now be moved into the ‘marriageable faction’ in your playthrough. 

That being said, you still have to go through the regular procedures via the Temple of Mara as well as completing the main questline of the Dawngaurd expansion pack.

Question: Can You Have Children in Skyrim

Answer: You cannot have children in the conventional way in Skyrim whatsoever. However, you do have the ability to adopt certain children which you may come across during your travels. To do this your character will need a home and have completed the quest’ innocence lost’. After this quest is when most people are greeted with the option to adopt as the quest ends with you murdering the witch-like proprietor of Riften and Skyrim’s only orphanage. There are also further opportunities to adopt provided by the Hearthfire DLC.


So that’s it, a complete guide to marrying in Skyrim. Hopefully, from this guide, you should have a great understanding of just how to get hitched in the beautiful isles of Skyrim. So, with this in mind, happy travels, and please, try to avoid an arrow to the knee!

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