Oxford is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cities in the world. People from all over the world seem to feel the same way. Just take a stroll around the Bodleian Library, and you will probably see a wedding couple taking photos under the Bridge of Sights. So… should you get married in Oxford?
An Oxford wedding can be quirky, elegant, or relaxed – there are so many options! Did you know, for example, that you can get married in Oxford Town Hall? The same location that saw Nelson Mandela accept his Freedom of the City award and where the Rolling Stones played. This venue has rooms with victorian decor and beautiful balconies. Or maybe you prefer to hold your wedding reception in the Sheldonian Theatre, or the Examination Schools’ stunning room. Excited, already? We’re just getting started!
Why Should you get Married in Oxford?
Oxford has all the things you need to celebrate your special day, from perfect wedding reception venues to exclusive photo opportunities and, of course, access to some of the best dining experiences out there. Not to mention you can have a properly-themed Harry Potter wedding. You might think of Oxford as a University city, one where secrets are kept behind closed doors and accessible only to students. The truth is, anyone can get married in Oxford. You can rent Rhodes House; you can get married in the Bodleian, the botanic gardens, even the boathouses or the Modern Art museum. There truly is a perfect place for everyone, so let’s go through some of the exclusive venues Oxford has to offer to couples (because we can promise you won’t find a similar range anywhere else in the country).
Can You Get Married in an Oxford College?
Luckily, you don’t need to be part of the University to get married at an Oxford college. In fact, there are two of them that are approved for marriages, civil ceremonies, and civil partnerships. These are:
- St Hilda’s College: This Oxford venue is approved for ceremonies, breakfast, and receptions and also offers a selection of rooms and an outdoor location. Their dining hall can sit up to 200.
- St Edmund’s Hall: This beautiful historic Hall is also complemented by excellent cuisine and can hold ceremonies and drinks receptions. You can get married in the Old Dining Hall, the College Chapel, or Wolfson Hall and the wedding venue also includes accommodation.
Oxford Best Wedding Venues
As we mentioned, if this is your first time looking at Oxford wedding venues, you’ll be in for a surprise. You can rent many unique places in the city to hold your wedding reception and ceremony. Below are some of our favourites and how to book them for a memorable day.
1. Getting Married at Oxford Town Hall
Many have called the Town Hall the most beautiful wedding venue in Oxfordshire. There is definitely something to this place. The magnificent Town Hall is situated at the heart of Oxford; it’s full of Victorian splendour and has five different licensed rooms with a variety of capacities. It’s also one of the larger venues in the city if you’re looking for a large dancefloor (will 500 people capacity suffice?).
Oxford Town Hall Venue Pictures
2. Getting Married at Bodleian Library
The Bodleian is an Oxford historical venue like no other. Steeped in elegance and romance, some of the grandest rooms in the library (such as Divinity School, Convocation House and Chancellor’s Court) are licensed for civil weddings and partnerships. You can choose between an intimate and small ceremony and a jubilant extensive celebration and make sure to find friendly and professional service.
Bodleian Library Venue Pictures
3. Getting Married at Rhodes House
Yes, you read that right. You can get married or hold your reception at Rhodes House. This venue is classically Oxford. It has a massive hall, dramatic bay windows, beamed ceilings, a beautiful outdoor space with award-winning gardens and a beautiful dance floor. If you prefer a smaller ceremony, you can also rent a warm, wood-panelled space called Beit Room, which also has a gorgeous vaulted ceiling and dramatic tall windows.
Imagination and history blend together at Rhodes House. Their Events team can also help you transform all your Oxford wedding ideas into reality.
> Find out more about getting married at Rhodes House
Rhodes House Venue Pictures
4. Getting Married at the Old Bank Hotel
The Old Bank Hotel is located on Oxford’s famous high street and is a 5-star hotel with 43 luxury bedrooms. The hotel has unrivalled views of Oxford city, particularly from its rooftop bedroom and terrace. And the good news is: The Old Bank Hotel hosts wedding receptions (and you can provide your guests with luxury accommodation too). The hotel has two private rooms (the Gallery and the Red Room), both of which are licensed for civil ceremonies. The Gallery can accommodate up to 50 people sitting down and 70 standing. The Red Room has space for 30 sitting guests.
> Learn how to book the Old Hotel as your Oxford wedding venue
Old Bank Hotel Venue Pictures
5. Getting Married at Oxford's Cherwell Boathouse
You can celebrate all types of occasions at Cherwell Boathouse. The venue has a marquee on the terrace overlooking the river and a restaurant, conservatory, and lower boathouse. The marquee can accommodate 20 to 120 guests and caters for informal canapé events, music, and dancing. For groups of up to 50, you can also rent the conservatory. The Lower Boathouse is open from mid-April to October and serves as a rustic event space for the warmer months. There is also a gazebo you can rent from May to September with room for 15 to 20 people.
Cherwell Boathouse Venue Pictures
6. Getting Married at Oxford Botanic Garden
Oxford Botanic Garden & Arboretum provides a stunning botanical backdrop for wedding receptions. Situated in the heart of historic Oxford, the botanic garden is the UK’s oldest botanic garden and a year-round oasis of calm. It’s also the perfect venue for holding a drinks reception, evening buffet or unique wedding reception. The gardens offer several spaces you can rent, such as the Events Lawn, the Conservatory, the Harcourt Arboretum, the Woodland Barn, and other spaces.
> Learn how to hire a space for your wedding at Oxford Botanic Gardens
Oxford Botanic Garden Venue Pictures
Frequently Asked Questions About Oxford Weddings
Can you get married in Oxford if you're not affiliated to the University?
Of course! Anyone can get married in Oxford. You can rent venues like the Bodleian Library or Rhodes House, no matter your affiliation with the university. All these places have licenses to hold civilian ceremonies granted by the local council. Just make sure you contact the venues in advance, as they can be quite popular and frequently booked.