Little Faringdon,

Jingle bells to be joined by wedding bells as Hollie gets married at Christmas

Mince pies, turkey and tinsel are what Christmas is famous for – but in Oxfordshire it’s also a popular time of year to get hitched, including for a lady called Hollie who has chosen New Year’s Eve as the date for her wedding!

Oxfordshire County Council provides the county’s Registration Service – and while it’s marriage celebrants will be able to enjoy a break on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, they’re the only dates during the festive period that weddings won’t be taking place in the county.

There are 12 days of Christmas and there are 12 couples who’ll in years to come have reason to start their yuletide celebrations early with Christmas Eve and Christmas Day preceded by a wedding anniversary - there are a dozen weddings scheduled in the county for Saturday, December 23.

There are then four weddings set to take place on Christmas Eve – before there’s a break until December 27 when there’s one more wedding.

Things then really begin to ramp up with nine weddings scheduled on each of Thursday, December 28 and Friday, December 29. There’s then a further six on Saturday, December 30.

There’s no let up over the New Year period with five weddings planned for New Year’s Eve. Then there’s even one couple who will tie the knot on New Year’s Day.

Hollie Weeks, 30 and Paul Haddock, 42 from Little Faringdon in West Oxfordshire are one of the couples who’ll be getting married on New Year’s Eve – at the Old Swan in Minster Lovell.

Hollie, a scientist who works at Milton Park in southern Oxfordshire, said: “Paul proposed on a Summer’s morning in 2016 at Calcot Manor in the Cotswolds. When we started planning I said I wanted the wedding to be on New Year’s Eve and my family and friends wondered if it would even be possible to have a wedding that day.

“However when we got in touch with the county council’s Registration Service they were brilliant from the start – in particular Siobhan O’Brien who is the Registrar who has helped us so much. New Year’s Eve is always an excuse for a party and Paul and I will now always now have an extra reason to celebrate.”

Alicja Gilroy, Superintendant Registrar at the county council, said: “I guess people imagine that Christmas and New Year would be a quieter time for the Registration Service in terms of officiating at marriages – far from it! Our celebrants will be out and about on most of the days including Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

“A wedding is obviously a lovely occasion at any time of the year but there’s an extra special feel about a Christmas wedding.”

“We pride ourselves on the ceremonies we offer in Oxfordshire. All our celebrants are trained to deliver a truly personal ceremony for the couple so whether you want something very elaborate or something very simple our team will work with you to ensure you get the day of your dreams.

“There are 105 venues in Oxfordshire where couples can marry so we believe we have something to suit everyone and every budget. From January 1 to the end of November 2017 we conducted 2,260 marriages in total.”

To find out more give the Registration Service a call on 0345 241 2489.