The Bodleian Library, Oxford
Central to Oxford's identity, this beautiful and historic library offers exhibitions, event spaces and makes for a drop-dead gorgeous wedding venue to boot.
It’s one of the most iconic places in Oxford — first thing to come up on a Google image search — and it’s steeped in history. It’s a hub of knowledge and learning, it’s part of the oldest university in the English speaking world, it holds fascinating exhibitions and… did you know you can get married here?
Yep, literally married in the library: Convocation House and the Divinity School are both licensed for civil weddings and partnerships, so you can properly tie the knot right in the middle of all that heritage. The spaces also make for knockout reception rooms: the Divinity School is a grand stone chamber with arched windows, while Convocation House has a vaulted ceiling and carved chapel benches. For warm-weather weddings you can book the outdoors Old Schools Quad, which features the entirely picturesque Wren door — perfect spot for couple pictures. This allows for a pleasingly customisable wedding: ceremony at the Bodleian and reception elsewhere, or ceremony elsewhere and reception at the Bodleian, or an entirely Bodleian wedding from start to finish.
The fiddly details? Max number of guests is 120 (with an additional 30 permitted for the evening), efficient staff are supplied, and the audio-visual set up and lighting can be sorted by the library’s trusted partner, That Event Company.
It’s not only weddings that you can have here. Though only two rooms are specifically licensed for marriage ceremonies, there’s a much broader range of spaces available throughout Oxford’s 27 ‘Bodleian Libraries’ for drinks receptions, dinners and family celebrations, and corporate events. These range from the University’s oldest teaching and examination room (dating from the 1500s!), to the modern roof terrace of the Weston Library. Decisions, decisions.
Not having a party anytime soon? Tourists and locals alike should be sure not to overlook the Bod simply as a dreamy day out: there are fascinating free exhibitions, walking history tours to take, courses, and a pretty little café and gift shop.
Bodleian Library, Broad St, Oxford, OX1 3BG
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