Complete guide to romance and marriage in Stardew Valley

By Steven Rondina


Apr 12, 2021

Reading time: 8 min

No matter what a player is looking for, Stardew Valley has it. Though the game’s foundation is built on farming, players can find fun in a wide variety of ways. Among that offering is the ability to build relationships with various NPCs, some of which can be romanced and even married by the player.

But what does this require of the player? And should you even bother getting married in Stardew Valley? Here’s everything to know about romance in Stardew Valley.

Who can I marry in Stardew Valley?

There are 12 NPCs that can be married by the player in Stardew Valley. The list includes these characters:

  • Haley
  • Emily
  • Leah
  • Abigail
  • Maru
  • Penny
  • Sam
  • Sebastian
  • Elliott
  • Harvey
  • Alex
  • Shane

Regardless of the player’s gender, they can marry any of the available NPCs. Players can only be married to one NPC at a time, but can initiate romance with multiple NPCs at the same time, and can potentially continue dating other NPCs even after they’ve been married.

Should I get married in Stardew Valley?

There is no real reason not to get married in Stardew Valley, and there are some modest benefits for players that take the plunge.

Once a player gets married in Stardew Valley, their spouse moves onto the farm and adopts a new schedule. The area above the shipping box will be taken over by the spouse and used for the hobbies they could be seen doing before marriage, and one of the rooms in the house will be remodeled based on who the player married.

The player’s spouse has a chance of finishing various chores for the player, including watering outdoor crops, feeding livestock, and repairing fences. Also, they have a chance of gifting players with various foods and other items.

How to get married in Stardew Valley

Getting married in Stardew Valley isn’t too difficult. Building a relationship with any NPC involves regularly talking with a character and giving them gifts, preferably two times per week and on their birthday. Players primarily gain hearts with an NPC by talking to them, giving them gifts they like, or by completing quests. After a certain point in the game, they can also gain hearts by inviting the NPC to see a movie.

Players can lose hearts with an NPC by not talking with them for one week, giving them gifts they dislike, searching garbage cans while they’re nearby, or shooting them with a slingshot. There is no real benefit to lowering one’s relationship with an NPC.

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After the player reaches eight hearts with an NPC, they can officially begin romancing them by gifting them a bouquet which can be purchased from Pierre’s General Store. This allows the player to raise their relationship with the NPC to 10 hearts. 

Once the player reaches 10 hearts with the NPC, they can ask to marry them by gifting the Mermaid’s Pendant. This can be purchased for 5,000g from the mysterious Old Mariner shopkeeper that can be found on the right side of the beach on rainy days. A 10-heart NPC will automatically accept the marriage proposal. 

Once the NPC accepts the proposal, the marriage will occur in the morning three days after the proposal is accepted. The married NPC then has their maximum friendship level grow from 10 to 14.

What differences are there between spouses in Stardew Valley?

There are effectively no major differences between each spouse in Stardew Valley. All of them give the player the same benefits, with the only differences being the appearance of their dedicated spaces and some variation regarding the food items they give to the player. They all do the same chores, level up in the same way, and grow in the same way.

The only real consideration that players need to give in regards to their spouse is their own personal preferences and how quickly their friendship level can be grown. Sebastian, Sam, and Shane are all quite easy to raise up to level 10 thanks to their favorite gifts being more easily sourced from the mine in Stardew Valley.

Can I get married to Robin, Caroline, or Jodi in Stardew Valley?

Unless players utilize mods on the PC version of Stardew Valley, no characters outside the aforementioned 12 can be married or romanced in any way. This means that Caroline, Jodi, Robin, Demetrius, Pierre, and so on cannot be married.

Instead of needing to advance the relationship through romance, players can simply aim for level 10 friendship with these NPCs. Instead of providing marriage perks, these characters will occasionally send items to the player through the mail.

How to get divorced in Stardew Valley

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Players can get divorced from their spouse at any time for 50,000g. This can be done by going to Mayor Lewis’ house and interacting with the desk in the top left corner of his house. After committing to the divorce, the player can cancel it at any point during the remainder of that day.

The day after the player files for divorce, their spouse will be removed from their house and returned to their normal routine and schedule as a bachelor or bachelorette. Their room in the player’s house and their area behind the shipping box will both be emptied. 

After the divorce, the player’s interactions with their former spouse will become more hostile or negative. This will continue forward in both seasonal events and other marriages committed to by the player. The former spouse will also refuse any gifts offered by the player.

If the player wants to restart their romance with a former spouse, they can do so by visiting the Witch’s Hut. After unlocking the area, the player can use the Dark Shrine of Memory for 30,000g. This will wipe the memories of the player’s former spouse, allowing the player to completely restart their relationship from the first greeting.

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How to romance Sebastian in Stardew Valley

Sebastian is one of the easiest characters to romance in Stardew Valley as he particularly enjoys a handful of minerals from the mines. Sebastian’s unique favorite items include the following:

  • Frozen Tear
  • Obsidian
  • Pumpkin Soup
  • Sashimi
  • Void Egg

Frozen Tears are perfect gift material as they can be easily sourced in the icy portion of the mine and aren’t especially useful in recipes. On top of that, Sashimi is one of the easiest food items in the game to prepare and can be done simply by cooking any fish.

Sebastian also likes quartz. This can be very easily sourced both through the mine and through recycling garbage from fishing and rummaging through trash cans. 

Players can give Sebastian his favorite gifts, blaze their way to high-level friendship, and seal the deal with a bouquet and Mermaid Pendant.

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How to romance Abigail in Stardew Valley

Abigail isn’t quite as easy to romance as Sebastian, but she’s still easier than the majority of other NPCs. Her favorite items aren’t as easy to procure, but she can be approached in the same way as Sebastian. Her favorite gifts include:

  • Amethyst
  • Banana Pudding
  • Blackberry Cobbler
  • Chocolate Cake
  • Pufferfish
  • Pumpkin
  • Spicy Eel

Much like Sebastian, she also enjoys quartz. Quartz and the occasional amethyst makes her manageable, but significantly more difficult than Sebastian.

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How to romance Leah in Stardew Valley

Leah’s preferred gifts make it so that she can’t be married especially quickly, but the player can build up their relationship with her pretty easily. This isn’t necessarily because of her favorite items, though:

  • Goat Cheese
  • Poppyseed Mufin
  • Salad
  • Stir Fry
  • Truffle
  • Vegetable Medley
  • Wine

Leah’s favorite items can’t be sourced especially easily, but the items she likes are very easy to come by. She enjoys most forms of eggs, all fruit, milk, and most mushrooms. Best of all, she likes a long list of forageable items as well as Driftwood.

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How to romance Penny in Stardew Valley

Penny is somewhat awkward for the purposes of romance. She likes an odd variety of items that are generally more expensive and harder to come by than those liked by other NPCs, including:

  • Diamond
  • Emerald
  • Melon
  • Poppy
  • Poppyseed Muffin
  • Red Plate
  • Roots Platter
  • Sandfish
  • Tom Kha Soup

Her likes also come with some hurdles. She likes artifacts, which aren’t especially common. She likes milk, which players won’t be regularly producing for a while. The only real option players have to tide her over is to set aside dandelions and leeks for her.

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How to romance Shane in Stardew Valley

Shane doesn’t have a long list of gifts that he loves, but he’s still one of the easiest NPCs to marry, thanks to his favorite gifts:

  • Beer
  • Hot Pepper
  • Pepper Poppers
  • Pizza

Beer, Pepper Poppers, and Pizza can all easily be sourced from the Stardrop Saloon. More importantly, his love of Hot Peppers makes it very easy to woo him. 

Hot Peppers are one of the most cost-effective crops of the summer, meaning players can plant them easily and have an inventory full of them by the end of the season. Stocking up on them and giving them to Shane regularly will have him at 10 hearts in no time at all.

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How to romance Haley in Stardew Valley

Haley isn’t especially difficult to build a relationship with once the player has access to the Calico Desert. It’s a slog before that, however. Here are her favorite gifts:

  • Pink Cake
  • Fruit Salad
  • Sunflower
  • Coconut

Unlike Shane, that short list isn’t especially easy to capitalize on and there aren’t particularly strong alternatives, either. Players are best served building their relationship by setting aside every daffodil they find for her. From there, once they repair the bus and can get to Calico Desert, they can easily find all the coconuts needed to improve their relationship with Haley to the point where they can start romancing her.

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How to romance Emily in Stardew Valley

Compared to other NPCs on this list, Emily has a fairly long list of loved gift options, but she also has relatively expensive tastes. This isn’t a big deal after a certain point, but her love of gemstones might price her out of the picture for players that are just starting and need to donate gems to the library or sell them for extra seed money:

  • Amethyst
  • Aquamarine
  • Cloth
  • Emerald
  • Jade
  • Ruby
  • Survival Burger
  • Topaz
  • Wool

Once players donate 25,000g to the Community Center’s Vault bundle, they receive a Crystalarium that duplicates gemstones. This makes it easy to get Emily up to maximum hearts and makes it so the player can get engaged to her.