How to Marry Lydia in Skyrim? Step-By-Step Instructions

How to Marry Lydia in skyrim

Marriage in Skyrim is often overlooked even though it has some benefits no matter how small they are. Choosing the right partner is important and making a decision is hard. There are many eligible bachelors and bachelorettes scattered across the province of Skyrim. Some of them are good candidates, some of them, not so much (I’m looking at you Cosnach). If an object of your heart’s desire is Lydia, fear not, we prepared this step-by-step guide on how to win her over. So, how do you Marry Lydia in Skyrim?

Ask Lydia to marry you after you’ve completed the Quest Dragon Rising for Jarl Balgruuf the Greater. After the completion of the quest, Lydia will be appointed as your housecarl and a follower. The next step is to travel to Riften and discuss the marriage topic with Maramal. While you’re there make sure to purchase the Amulet of Mara. While wearing the Amulet of Mara, interact with Lydia and the dialogue option for marriage should be there. After you’ve discussed marriage with Lydia travel to Maramal in Riften again and talk to him about getting married. He will set the date of the wedding for the next day. Exit the chapel, and wait for 24 hours. After you re-enter the chapel you should see your guests and Lydia waiting for you. 

If you’ve done everything right you should be married to Lydia right about now and she can get in your way while you are exploring the dungeons eternally. But, if the Great Chapel of Mara is empty and you’re not sure how to proceed, stay with us, we have prepared detailed instructions too!

1. Complete the Dragon Rising Quest 

Dragon Rising is the second quest you will do for Jarl Balgruuf the Greater after you’ve completed the quest Bleak Falls Barrow. When you return with the Dragon Tablet in your inventory Jarl Balgruuf the Greater will send you on your way to defend Whiterun from a Dragon. Dragon has been spotted near Whiterun, more specifically near Western Watchtower overlooking the Whiterun. 

After you’ve talked with Jarl Balgruuf make your way to the Western Watchtower where Irileth, a captain of Balgruuf’s guard is waiting for you. Once there prepare to battle it out with Dragon Mirmulnir.  After you’ve defeated Mirmulnir, return to Jarl Balgruuf he will appoint to you a title of Thane of Whiterun and give you your personal Housecarl. That Housecarl is Lydia. 

2. Ask Lydia to Follow you

The thing with Lydia is, she doesn’t require much bonding before you can ask her to marry you. As soon as she’s your Housecarl she has a pretty high disposition toward you. You can ask her to follow you, or send her on her way. If you choose the latter she will hang out in Dragonsreach until you need her again, if you have a house purchased she will be there. If you’re planning to marry her as soon as possible, ask her to follow you. 

Lydia, your Whiterun Housecarl and potential spouse

3. Get The Amulet of Mara 

You can get Amulet of Mara in several ways:

  • you can purchase it from Maramal
  • You can get it after you complete the quest The Book of Love 
  • You can purchase it from General Goods Merchants from time to time
  • You can loot it off of a random chest or a container that has a chance of dropping jewelry. 
The marriage dialogue will not trigger unless you are wearing an Amulet of Mara

Let us assume that you don’t have the Amulet of Mara and that you will purchase it straight from Maramal. In that case, make your way to Riften, specifically to the Temple of Mara. 

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If you have trouble finding Temple of Mara just remember, along with Mistveil Keep, it’s the only decent-looking place in “town” you won’t miss it. Once there, interact with Maramal, and make sure to exhaust all dialogue options connected to marriage. Purchase the Amulet of Mara from him and you’re ready to go. 

4. Ask Lydia to marry you 

Once you have Amulet of Mara equip it. Interact with Lydia and select the “Interested in me are you” dialogue option. If you haven’t done any war crimes in front of her up to this point, she should have a decent and high disposition toward you and the matter is settled. 

5. Return to Maramal in Riften 

After Lydia said yes, make your way back to Temple of Mara in Riften. There you should talk to Maramal once again since he is your designated priest and wedding coordinator. He will set the date for the next day and all you have to do is wait. You can stroll around, visit the thieves guild in the meantime, get some Skooma, whatever. But the most painless way is to simply find a quiet corner and wait for 24 hours hoping that a vampire attack won’t interrupt you.

6. Marry Lydia

Once 24 hours have passed you can return to the Temple of Mara. If you’ve made some friends along the way they should be there. Oh, and your bride should be there too. Now follows the most critical part. The ceremony itself will be short and uncomplicated but it can get bugged easily, so make sure that no one interrupts it. Especially a guard shouting “Skyrim belongs to the Nords”. If everything went according to plan Lydia should be your wife. 

Temple of Mara in Riften, where your wedding ceremony will be held

While being married you have several benefits. Your wife or husband can prepare a homecooked meal for you once a day. You can also get a temporary 15 % boost while increasing your skills. Your spouse will occasionally surprise you with a gift or set up shop somewhere, which makes for a reliable small income.

Can Lydia be my steward and my wife? 

Yes, Lydia can be your steward and your wife at the same time but it may cause some problems and bugs due to Lydia already being a housecarl of your property Breezehome in Whiterun. To make sure everything runs smoothly, you can always marry Lydia and appoint someone else to be your steward. 

Can you marry Lydia as a vampire? 

Yes, you can, in fact, you can turn Lydia into a vampire as well. If you have Dawnguard addon installed and have sided with Vampires, make your way to Vingalmo who will explain all the details and offer you the quest The Gift. You will have to use vampire seduction on your spouse and feed off of her. 

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Is Lydia a good wife in Skyrim? 

Lydia is an excellent choice for a wife in Skyrim. She has pretty high stats and her level can scale pretty high which makes her a very useful late-game companion. She is also one of the first marriage candidates available to you since you practically meet her at the beginning of the game, she doesn’t require much effort or a needlessly long storyline. Even though Lydia might not be the most original choice she is a safe choice and when you’re just starting a game, it’s the only choice that matters. 

  • Valentina Kraljik

    Valentina Kraljik is a writer and editor at Fiction Horizon with a passion for exploring the world of media. With a degree in Information Sciences, she brings a unique and informed perspective to her work. Valentina's writing covers a wide range of topics connected to TV shows, m...