Hosting your dream wedding!
Welcome back to the Bodleian Blog! Today we want to show how we would host your dream wedding at the Bodleian, while explaining exactly where your wedding would take place. This post is all about showing what we can to do achieve a streamlined, stress-free day tailored to your wedding vision.
Choosing your venue based on what it can offer is very important. That’s why the Bodleian accounts for all ceremony types and wedding receptions. For those of you who are here to learn more about specific wedding options, the next part may interest you…
The Bodleian is fully licensed to host civil ceremonies. These types of ceremonies are non-religious, legally binding marriages that are led by a registrar. Ceremonies at the Bodleian can fall any time between 9am-3pm during the week. It is a three-hour minimum hire time for Convocation House and couples will usually opt for the 12-3 slot with their ceremony starting at 1pm. We can accommodate up to 100 guests in Convocation House.
We can also host non-legal weddings, which can also be known as a ‘blessing’ ‘wedding celebration ceremony’ or a ‘humanist ceremony.’ The benefit of holding non-legal ceremonies is that they can be personalised. You can have longer readings, (these can include religious content) sing songs/hymns and write your own vows. If this is a little bit of you, why not check out our wonderful recommended celebrant, Jennifer Patrice? Read on to find out her details…
Suggested ceremony timeline:
12pm: The doors open – the suppliers, registrars/celebrants, groom, and groomsmen arrive onsite. The Bodleian team will set up the registrar table and provide seating for the registrar and bride and groom
12:30: When everything is set up, guests are welcomed into Convocation House via Chancellor’s Court
12:45: Bride and bridal party arrive and wait in Chancellor’s Court. Bride will have a brief interview with the registrar (if applicable) and then prepare herself for the music cue
13:00: The doors open, and the bride and bridal party slowly flow into the room and make their way down the aisle. The ceremony will begin and will usually last about half an hour
13:30: Congratulations! The ‘I do’s’ have been vowed and now you have the option to either have a drinks reception, or group photographs taken outside
14:30: Guests and bridal party will depart to the reception venue.
15:00: Convocation House and Chancellor’s Court will close
Weddings ceremonies and receptions mainly take place on Saturdays and Sundays, although, depending on the library opening times, we can offer bespoke timings on Fridays too. For a 17:00 wedding ceremony, the hire period is 16:00 – 01:00. Again, if you want to extend your experience in the Divinity School, we can also arrange an additional hour for you. Maximum capacity for seated guests in the Divinity School is 120. So how does it all work?
Suggested ceremony and reception timeline:
16:00 – The doors open – All of your selected suppliers will arrive onsite to start setting up for the wedding reception in the Divinity School, and Convocation house to prepare for your ceremony
16:30 – Your guests will start to arrive and will enter Convocation House. Bride and bridal party will arrive fifteen minutes after this, when all guests are seated
17:00 – Ceremony takes place. Meanwhile, the caterers (Oxford Fine Dining) will be doing a silent set up in the Divinity School. They will also be setting up a drinks station in the Old School’s Quad, (or Proscholium) ready for the drinks reception
18:45 – Your master (or mistress) of ceremonies will call all guests to dine in the Divinity School
19:00 – Once seated, the Wedding Breakfast will take hold. Speeches and cake cutting will also take place during this time
22:00 – Amplified music can start and dancing in Divinity School can take place
00:00 – All guests to have departed
01:00 – All suppliers to have cleared up the party remains and the venue will close
We do more!
We have previously offered a combination of the following wedding types:
-Wedding ceremony and drinks reception
-Ceremony and drinks reception
-Drinks reception in the Old Schools Quad, followed by an evening reception in the Divinity School
-Couple’s photographs in the Duke Humfrey’s Library
-Tours in the Duke Humfrey’s Library – This could take place after your wedding ceremony or before your wedding breakfast
-Full wedding breakfast in the Divinity School
Until next time…
If reading this post has helped you think more about how we would run your dream wedding at the Bodleian, or, if it has simply made you more generally aware of how weddings are coordinated, please like this post to show your appreciation.
Finally, we want to hear from you! If you have any questions for us about weddings, let us know!
Contact Jennifer Patrice about your wedding celebration ceremony:
Contact the Oxford Registry Office about your civil ceremony:
Photography: Alexandra Jane Photography: http://www.alexandrajane.co.uk