an infinite number of ways to begin a love story, and this couple’s journey to
the altar proves at you can find happiness in even the most helpless
Jack Richardson was homeless and selling the Big Issue on the streets of Bristol when he met his bride-to-be, Toni Osborne. He asked her if she’d like to buy a copy of the magazine – but in a twist of fate, he ended up giving her money instead. She burst into tears at his request, confiding that she didn’t have enough money to keep the electricity on over Christmas.
After gifting her 50p, the pair became friends, chatting each time Toni walked passed Jack’s area. But soon would come the day when Toni could repay the favour: the underground car park where Jack slept would be boarded up and he’d soon find himself sleeping on the streets again.
“But Toni – this amazing woman who I had been speaking to – offered to put me up for a couple of months. So I moved into her place and my life changed completely. We started getting close, and slowly but surely we fell head over heels in love with one another,” said Jack.
When the pair became engaged – Jack going down on one knee on the spot they’d first met – the community sprang into action, with a vicar, hairdresser and even a graphic designer donating their skills to their big day.
“An amazing person has even donated money for Toni to get a wedding dress. Then there’s a guy I know, from the pub down the road, who is my size and has a box of Armani suits,” said Jack.
“It was a beautiful service and we're so grateful for all the support everyone's given us. We couldn't be happier.”
Toni describes the experience as “one mad love story”: “Before, I was bumbling around on my own. He has changed my outlook on everything completely,” she told the Bristol Post. Her husband is now studying for a degree in psychology and plans to put his experiences to use by helping other homeless people get off the streets.