The Scots did not quite see marriage in this light. Their view was very much based on an agreement between the couple concerned that they wanted to be married to each other. So two forms of marriage evolved north of the border - regular marriages involving residency rules, the calling of banns and so-called irregular marriages of which there were different kinds:
1: You could be legally married in Scotland if you declared in front of witnesses (whose names were recorded in a document) that you and your partner wished to be considered as a married couple.
2: A promise of marriage followed by a sexual relationship was a legal marriage as long as there was some kind of written proof (i.e. the proposal was in writing or one of the couple was prepared to go in to court and swear on oath that it was so) or witnesses had heard the proposal.
3. Marriage by habit and repute. That is, the couple made no secret of their relationship and lived openly together as husband and wife.
Scottish courts weren't happy about these irregular marriages but the children of such unions were classed as legitimate and could inherit in exactly the same way as did the children of regular marriages.
Irregular marriages had been banned in England from 1753 onwards but not so in Scotland. There were other differences too - parental consent was not required for brides and grooms under 21, marriages were legal for girls over the age of 12 and boys over the age of 14 - a situation which remained until 1929 when the age was raised to 16 for both sexes. And as the Scottish border was only a line on a map, English couples could run away to places like Gretna Green, marry over the blacksmith's anvil and have a perfectly legal marriage which their parents could not have annulled. The invention of the motor car made this a possible romantic dream for many couples and continued well into the 1930s. It took an Act of Parliament to sanction civil marriage in a registrar's office along with the introduction of a written certificate for which the groom paid and which was generally handed to the woman for safe keeping to stop runaway marriages across the Scottish border.