A COUPLE that went on their first date at a bookshop returned six years later on their wedding day.

Oxford pair Janine, 24, and Joe Shuter, 37, went to the Caffè Nero at Blackwell’s in late 2015 after meeting through work.

At the time, they both worked at the Pegasus Theatre in Cowley with Mrs Shuter describing the first date as ‘a date but not a date’.

See also: Fundraiser for nephew with rare condition set to hit £30,000

She added: “We sat in the cafe, it was quite natural and relaxed.

“We had a coffee and a hot chocolate, and shared a muffin, it was just lovely.”

Despite both Mr and Mrs Shuter being dyslexic, they share a lifelong passion for literature, reading and independent businesses, hence why Blackwell’s was chosen for the location of the first ‘date’.

“We then spent a few more months like this before I made the first move, and even now it stills feels like we’re in that honeymoon period,” said Mrs Shuter.

With the couple both working for charitable organisations – Mr Shuter is a centre manager at North Oxford Association, while Mrs Shuter is a project coordinator at the OYAP Trust in Bicester – it was important to get as many community groups involved in the wedding after Mr Shuter proposed in the summer of 2019.

Read more: Students take part in African Studies course

However, the coronavirus pandemic threw a spanner in the works when it came to planning the big day.

“We wanted so many organisations to get involved and to give back,” said Mrs Shuter.

“It wasn’t just our day and we wanted to share it.

“With Covid we couldn’t do that, so we planned the wedding again a couple of times.”

However, with 13 guests, the couple finally tied the knot at Oxford Register Office on Tuesday.

“It was a very special day, we got some photos down the canal and got some beautiful pictures,” said Mrs Shuter.

“It was always planned to go book shopping on the day and thankfully we managed to get to Blackwell’s.

“It was really important for us to go there on our wedding day.”

Read also: Support floods in for fireman’s 100km mission in aid of poorly niece

After getting some photos taken at the store, the couple picked up a handful of wedding presents, adding to their 900-book collection at home.

Staff gifted them some books, an ‘old-fashioned blank book’ and a discount on their purchases.

Charlie Bush, a bookseller at Blackwell’s, 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 six years ago so it was so lovely for us to welcome them back on their big day.

“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?”