Hello from the Ashmolean

Written by Emma Hla
Images by MT Studio.
Located in the heart of historic Oxford, set amongst the city’s dreaming spires, the Ashmolean’s iconic forecourt and magnificent spaces create a stunning backdrop for a wedding. With all galleries licenced for ceremonies the Ashmolean ensures the widest choice of styles and a wealth of unique opportunities for some amazing photography.

Stacey, Wedding Manager at the Ashmolean, is here to tell us more… Oh and there’s a very lovely special offer at the end, so keep scrolling.

Notes from the Ashmolean

Stacey says…

Not many couples can say that they exchanged vows surrounded by half a million years of art and history. As Britain’s first public museum, the Ashmolean has been telling human stories since 1683 which is why we encourage our wedding clients to add theirs!

We inspire guests by welcoming them in an award-winning building, encourage them to marvel at world-renowned collections and enjoy outstanding hospitality amid architecture filled with colossal statues, crystal chandeliers and fine oil paintings.

We find that couples who book with us are excited by the opportunity to celebrate their special day in a rich treasure house. The majestic 18th-century façade with pillars and portico make for an impressive entrance. Once guests are welcomed in they are ushered up the grand sweeping staircase passing under an enormous gold chandelier which adds to the sense of awe and wonder.

Our ceremonies can take place in any of sixty galleries to suit every couple. Guests are always stunned as they enter the European Art Gallery which is surrounded by the riches of a historic art collection – an opulent reception room with bronze sculptures, fine furniture and Old Master paintings all reminiscent of an English country house. Away from the main doors, we have another, more private, entrance to the building through which the bride or groom can make their way up, unseen. Whilst guests await and reflect, the bride descends the traditional staircase for her special moment.

For a taste of the contemporary the wedding party can enjoy reception drinks, canapés, bowl food or food stalls in the Atrium. At the heart of the Ashmolean this dramatic space features a colossal statue of Apollo as well as an architectural staircase, rising up the full height of the building – the perfect spot for speeches. Couples can be really creative with lighting here. We find that bright pop colours work well against the clean, white backdrop of the Atrium.

Guests are invited to dine surrounded by one of the largest collections of Greek and Roman statues in Britain. For a less formal experience the Rooftop Restaurant is available for private dining. Guests can make the most of a warm summer evening and enjoy drinks on the terrace overlooking the rooftops of Oxford.

The party can go on until the early hours in our Vaulted Café. Its flagstone floor, alcoves and booth-style seating recreate that late night feel and everyone can dance the night away.

Surrounded by rich collections and magnificent architecture couples can choose from countless backdrops for striking photographs and intimate portraits that leave unique and lasting memories of the day.

The Ashmolean is proud to work with an exclusive catering partner, Clerkenwell Green Events, who create spectacular occasions with a magical sense of the unexpected, exquisite taste and exacting attention to detail. This, coupled with a little black book of trusted local suppliers, bring our clients’ dream celebration to life.



Confirm your wedding booking with the Ashmolean before the end of March 2019 and celebrate your engagement with a complimentary photoshoot in Oxford, the city of dreaming spires, with MT Studio Photography.

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