How to Get Married in Skyrim
Required Snarky Sarcasm
The path to marriage is rather simple in the lands of Skyrim, giving many otherwise loveless souls the opportunity to temporarily lessen the forever alone nature of their true, far less interesting real lives. Thanks to the witty programmers at Bethesda, none of us have to go through those awkward first words, terrible first dates, or depressing rejections (well, hopefully...). If only real life had 3 forced dialogue options for every scenario done with the voice-acting enthusiasm of Sean Connery and Jeremy Irons. Alas, it is not so.
Yes, reader. This is you.
Don't worry, your chosen woman - or man - will surely live up to everything you dream about. Don't kid yourself either, I know about the dreams you're denying with that fervent head shake right now. You know the ones I'm talking about - those terribly awkward, overly optimistic, and soul-crushingly brief wet dreams of yours. How did I know, you ask? You're reading this guide after all.
Well, er... Now that we've developed a rather... Close... and fun-loving relationship as reader and writer, onwards to the true content of this guide!
Skyrim, being the giant open-world choice-based adventure that it is, gives you the option to marry an NPC of your choice. Options truly do abound, as neither race nor gender stand in the way of you and your chosen beloved. You can break the required steps into the following sections:
- Complete The Bonds of Matrimony quest.
- Quest Walkthrough
- Potential Lovers
The Bonds of Matrimony - Quest Walkthrough
Here's a bulleted summary of what you need to do.
Quest Giver: Maramel
Location: The Bee and the Barb; a tavern in Riften
- Speak to Maramel about the Amulet of Mara.
- Obtain an Amulet of Mara.
- Find who you wish to marry and raise their disposition towards you.
- Request Marriage
- Travel back to the Temple of Mara for the Ceremony
- Get cold feet and back out, or...
- Marry, love happily ever after, and choose a house to move into.
You must first travel to Riften, and seek out Maramal at the Bee and the Barb tavern. Talk to him about the Amulet of Mara, and you will begin the quest. Note that even if you have an amulet prior to this, you MUST speak to him and begin the quest to get any dialogue options involving marriage.
There are several different ways you can obtain an amulet:
- Random loot or stock in a merchant's store.
- Purchase from Maramel for 200 gold.
- Talk to the priest in the Temple of Mara and complete his quest; you receive an amulet.
- The locations Bleak Fall's Barrow, Ancient's Ascent (dragon shrine) and Hela's Folly all contain one each according to the wiki.
Yes, reader. This is also you.
Remember those wet dreams we talked about earlier?
They'll never happen. Nor should they.
Finding a Spouse
After you have the amulet equipped, you're off to find your soul mate! All you need to do is approach an NPC that you are allowed to marry (we'll get into that later). This is where things get hot and romantic.
NPC's will require small tasks - called objectives - of you inorder to raise their disposition (how much they "like" you). Once completed, you will unlock the dialogue options concerning marriage. Assuming you've complete the NPC's required objective to raise their disposition, they will see your equipped amulet and... Perhaps ask about it. Or perhaps not. Either way, you should have an option asking whether or not they're interested. They'll say yes.
Damn, if only real life was that smooth.
Travel back to the Temple of Mara in Riften to schedule your wedding. You actually have to be on time to the wedding, so remember when you scheduled it. If you miss it, you will have to reschedule.
Well, here you are. Your life as a happy bachelor or bachelaurrete flashing before your soon to be shadowed and lifeless eyes. Believe it or not, you actually have a last second chance to back out of your wedding during attendance. Of course everyone will be upset with you, but who cares - you can go bang as many street whores as you want after.
Before you go through with it, make sure it's what you want - you can only get married once. Even if your spouse dies. We'll just assume you take the marriage route for the sake of this guide.
After the wedding, you have to speak to your wife about living arrangements (remember to do this unless you want to lose your spouse). This will be the home your spouse moves into, so choose wisely, although you can easily switch it later. If your spouse owns a house, you can elect to move in with her; the propert then becomes yours. Items left in your new property shouldn't disappear, but due to bugs concerning reseting storage units you should test it to be safe.
You now have the option of returning to whatever home you chose and asking your spouse about their store. The store gives you an income of 100 gold per day. If your spouse moved in with you (and not the other way around), they also become a merchant and will trade general goods with you.
The Benefits of Marriage
Sex! Lots and lots of sex!
Uhm, no. You get no sex. That was for your single self.
No sex...? Can I change my mind?
You can always commit homicide, my bolded alter-ego friend. They say we crazy! But we knows, yes, we knows...
On a serious note, here are some of the benefits:
- Your spouse will make you a home-cooked meal once a day, which restores magicka, health, and stamina.
- You occasionally get crappy home made gifts.
- The previously mentioned 100 gold per day and general store functioning. Don't mention your income of 3,000 gold a minute slaying dragons though, this leads to awkward silences in front of the kids.
- You can change where you live by speaking with them.
- If you married a companion/follower, they can still fill this role. Even though this isn't a benefit since, you know, they did that before...
- Sleeping in the same bed as your spouse gives you the "Lovers Comfort" bonus (all skills level 15% faster). Hm, maybe there is sex...
- Your spouse becomes a semi-essential NPC, only killable by you (assuming he/she was a follower of yours before).
Don't get too excited, now! This is a mod in Oblivion.
"Potential Lovers"? You said there was no sex dammit!
There isn't, I just couldn't think of a title.
The following tables are based off of player submissions to the UESP wiki.
Marriable Character List - Males & Females
Due to the size of the document we've moved the table to a new page. You may view the complete list by following the link below.
Marriable Characters Table
Why Can't I Marry Lydia?
I literally began on the idea of making this guide just because this one question gets asked so much. The simple answer is that yes, you are SUPPOSED to be able to marry Lydia. However, as of the 1.2 patch there is still a bug that causes her marriage dialogue options to never appear, making it impossible to marry her. If you're dead set on Lydia, you should wait, hope, and pray that there will be a fix in the next patch.
EDIT: As of v1.5 (4/5/12), Lydia now offers the option for marriage after you acquire the Breezehome house in Whiterun. If you are unable to get this dialogue option, make sure your game is updated with the recent patch and run the game for 15-20mins.