"We both love local bookshops, sitting in and having a cup of coffee. It felt only right to include it on our wedding day," said Janine Shuter

By Joelle Goldstein
May 28, 2021 01:52 PM
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Janice and Joe Shuter
Janice and Joe Shuter
| Credit: Blackwell's, Oxford’s Bookshop/Twitter

A couple with dyslexia and a "massive love of literacy" recently celebrated their wedding in the most sentimental way: by returning to the very place they went on their first date.

Janine and Joe Shuter both knew that when they tied the knot, they wanted to return to Blackwell's bookshop in Oxford, where they had gone on their first date five years earlier, the PA News Agency reported.

So when the time came, the newlyweds made it happen — showing up at the beloved store, where they surprised the staff in their wedding attire before snapping photos inside, according to the outlet.

"For us, Blackwell's means everything," Janine, 24, told PA News Agency on behalf of her husband, 37. "We both love local bookshops, sitting in and having a cup of coffee. It felt only right to include it on our wedding day."

In a post on Twitter, Blackwell's said of the sweet surprise: "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."

England, Oxfordshire, Oxford, Blackwell Bookshop
Blackwell’s bookshop in Oxford
| Credit: Dukas/Universal Images Group via Getty

As avid readers who both have dyslexia, the Shuters — who met through work six years ago — said they've always adored Blackwell's.

"That first date was really special because we had both grown up with a massive love of literacy, even though we are both dyslexic," Janine explained to PA News Agency.

"It is history, and because it is local — and don't get me wrong, we still shop at Amazon, it's about what you can afford — but we know how important local bookshops are," she added.

Over the years, as the couple grew — along with the number of books on their shelf (they now have 880!) — it became evident that Blackwell's would play a part in their wedding day.

"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," Janine told PA News Agency.

On the day of their nuptials, Janine and Joe tied the knot before showing up to the bookstore unannounced in their dress and suit.

"We walked in like it was completely normal, and it took the staff behind the till about 10 seconds before they realized," Janine recalled to the outlet."It was really lovely."

"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 continued.

In addition to the sweet greetings from the staff, the newlyweds were gifted books and an "old-fashioned blank book," according to the outlet.

The Shuters also didn't leave without buying some books of their choice — all of which were purchased with vouchers gifted to them by their wedding guests, and at a discounted price from the staff, PA News Agency reported.

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"I just felt so lucky, and really grateful," Janine told the outlet.

Speaking to PA News Agency of the surprise, bookseller Charlie Bush said: "The wedding day visit from the newlyweds completely made our day here at Blackwell's. We were so delighted that they spent some of their special day with us and picked up lots of books as wedding presents."

"Janine and Joe had their first date at Blackwell's five years ago so it was so lovely for us to welcome them back on their big day," Bush continued. "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."

"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?" Bush sweetly added.