Sarah Cummins originally imagined a $30,000 wedding with 170 family members and friends. Instead, she offered up an even greater gesture after she and her fiancé called of their wedding a week before the scheduled nuptials.
The Indiana-based pair learned that their contract at the venue was binding and nonrefundable, so they agreed to throw a swanky dinner instead for the homeless. “For me, it was an opportunity to let these people know they deserved to be at a place like this just as much as everyone else does,” Cummins, 25, told the Indianapolis Star.
The bride contacted local homeless shelters and dozens of veterans to enjoy her original wedding menu—a plated dinner comprised of dishes like chicken breast with artichokes, roasted garlic bruschetta, bourbon-glazed meatballs and wedding cake—at the Ritz Charles in Carmel, Indiana. Local businesses and people banded together and offered up suits and dresses for guests to wear to the reception.
A man named Charlie Allen, who’s now lived at the homeless mission for three months, wore a sport coat with lapels. “For a lot of us, this is a good time to show us what we can have,” he told the paper. “Or to remind us what we had.”
Cummins said her ex, Logan Arujo, agreed to donate the dinner. Both parties footed the bill together. Joining the bride at what would have been her wedding reception were several of her bridesmaids, along with the mother of the bride and other family members.
Cummins, a pharmacy student at Purdue University, said she hasn’t figured out what to do yet with the wedding dress. “It’s too painful to think about,” she concluded to the Indy Star.