I do, I do, I . . . GOAL!!!!!!

Spare a thought at 3pm tomorrow for the 16 Oxfordshire County Council registrars marrying couples just as England take on Sweden in the quarter-finals of the World Cup.

As the nation’s eyes fix on Gareth Southgate’s men, eight brides and grooms at approved venues across the county will be hoping their wedding guests will be more focussed on their special day rather than watching Harry Kane carry the Three Lions to victory in the first semi-final in 28 years.

Among them is Man United football fan Duncan Finch and his bride Lauren Ashford who will be exchanging vows and rings at the picture-perfect Merriscourt Barn in Chipping Norton – where the ushers have been told to confiscate all phones from the 65 guests.

Mr Finch, from Buckinghamshire, said: “We wanted a Cotswold-style wedding and when the 7th came up as a potential date, I have to admit I thought of Beckham and his shirt number (He wore 7 for United and England). I thought it was a good omen.

“But no-one could have guessed that this match would happen on this of all days.”

Predicting a 2-1 win to England and no nail-biting penalty shoot-outs, Mr Finch said he and his wife-to-be were confident their close family and friends would be much more engaged in their nuptials.

While his ushers will be ready to dish out a red card to anyone sneakily watch the on-pitch action in Samara, Mr Finch is preparing to cater for the football supporters among the guests.

He spent today finalising preparations and ensuring the venue would install a big screen TV in a discreet location, so people can keep an eye on the score during the reception.

Jacquie Bugeja, Head of Registration for Oxfordshire County Council, said: “We wish Duncan and Lauren every happiness for the future and hope their big day tomorrow will be perfect in every way. Our registrars across the county will ensure everyone’s special moment is memorable for all the right reasons.”

She joked: “I am sure our team wouldn’t dream of speeding up the exchange of vows and promises so everyone can get on and watch the game…. only if they are asked to do so.”