Bristol

Big Issue vendor marries woman he gave 50p for meter

Wedding of Jack Richardson
Image caption Jack Richardson said he has been "humbled by the generosity of people" who have donated wedding gifts

A couple whose romance blossomed after he asked her for money - and she burst into tears - have got married.

Jack Richardson was begging in Bristol in 2013 when he asked Toni Osborne for some spare change.

She broke down because at the time she could not afford electricity - so he gave her 50p for the meter and the pair kept in touch.

Now a Big Issue seller, he proposed at his Park Street pitch in November. She said "her heart burst".

Listen: Jack and Toni describe their romance

The couple met two years ago, just before the groom says he was was "badged up" to sell the Big Issue and was "still having to spot-beg every day".

He said: "I asked her for money, it was just before Christmas and she burst into tears. She didn't have quite enough to put the lights on over Christmas, so I gave her enough to put the lights on.

"After I got badged up, she had an appointment at the bottom of the hill, so I saw her every week."

Image caption Jack Richardson said a man "about his size" had offered an Armani suit

They kept in touch and she offered him a roof when the room in which he was sleeping in an underground car park got boarded up.

Mr Richardson said they then "fell for each other head-over-heels".

Two years on, the couple have been busy preparing for their big day and have had numerous offers of help to organise the wedding.

"We've had money put by for a dress for Toni, [Big Issue] customers have offered to bake cakes for the wedding," he said.

Image caption "I wanted to give my beloved the wedding she deserves" said Jack Richardson

The couple had initially planned a registry office ceremony until a vicar Mr Richardson met at a soup kitchen offered to do the service free of charge.

Other people helping out include wine merchants, photographers, hairdressers and a man "about his size" who offered an Armani suit to borrow.

Mr Richardson said: "I wanted to give my beloved the wedding she deserved but I couldn't. Thanks to the kindness of people I've now been able to."

A Big Issue spokesperson said: "We're really happy for Jack and Toni. It's lovely to have a good news story from one of our vendors."

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