Couple Celebrates Wedding Day at Bookstore Where They Had Their First Date

Earlier this week, an adorable newlywed couple surprised staff at an Oxford bookstore by showing up just after tying the knot, dressed to the nines in their wedding attire. As it turns out, the couple had shared their first date at the store, and they wanted to commemorate their marriage with a return visit.

According to The Evening Standard, Janine and Joe Shuter, aged 24 and 37, respectively, met six years ago through their jobs. The couple shares a deep love of reading: since their first date at Blackwell's bookstore five years ago, the couple has amassed a whopping shared collection of 880 books.

"That first date was really special because we had both grown up with a massive love of literacy, even though we are both dyslexic. We both love local bookshops, sitting in and having a cup of coffee. It felt only right to include it on our wedding day," explained Janine.

Newlyweds at Blackwell's
The newlywed couple stopped by Blackwell's—the bookstore where they shared their first date—to commemorate their wedding day. @blackwelloxford/Twitter

According to the news outlet, the couple also saw their wedding day visit as a way to offer support to independent booksellers.

"We really wanted to make sure we found some sort of way, even on a COVID-restricted wedding day, to give back, by spending money at a local bookshop," said Janine to the PA news agency, as reported by The Evening Standard.

On the big day, she and her groom reportedly "walked in like it was completely normal." She said it took the staff "about 10 seconds" to notice what was going on.

"It was really lovely," she recounted. "The manager of the store, she came and spoke to us and was so happy, and my father-in-law told me that after she spoke to us, she broke down in tears because she was so happy." She added: "I just felt so lucky, and really grateful."

Blackwell's offered the couple the perfect gift—a selection of books, including an "old-fashioned blank book." The couple made some extra purchases, picking up copies of Eight Ghosts: The English Heritage Book Of New Ghost Stories, An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine, and Sudden Traveller by Sarah Hall.
According to Blackwell's employee Charlie Bush, "the wedding day visit from the newlyweds completely made [their] day."

The bookstore's Twitter account also marked the occasion with a picture from the couple's visit—and as it turns out, the Shuters aren't the only ones to have a Blackwell's love story.

Wedding bells at Blackwell's

Many many congratulations to this happy couple who visited the bookshop on their wedding day, after meeting for their first date here five years ago.

Our day has been made! Thank you. pic.twitter.com/0s6zcFQjj8

— Blackwell's, Oxford’s Bookshop (@blackwelloxford) May 25, 2021

"My partner and I met at Blackwell's Edinburgh about 14 years ago when I worked evenings and would take over his til at the end of his shift. One night he asked me out. We have two children now. I wonder how many Blackwell's children exist," wrote @Hedzie, referring to the bookstore's Edinburgh location.

"My husband and I got engaged at Blackwell's, site of our first date. In the Poet's Corner. That was 12 years ago and I'll never forget the employees' kindness that night," added @Naomipedia.

Indeed, Bush confirmed that Blackwell's is a popular site for couples, new and old alike. "Our Broad Street shop has been the site of many dates and even a number of proposals over the years, so it was a real delight for wedding day celebrations to visit our bookshop this week," he said, according to The Evening Standard. "Books and reading are real personal passions and there's no better place for a first date than a bookshop–who knows where it might lead?"