One Texas woman truly made lemonade from lemons on what would have been her wedding day. Bride-to-be Kolbie Sanders was scheduled to marry on October 20, at the BelleVue Wedding and Event Venue in Tyler, Texas, but just one week before her impending nuptials, she broke off her engagement and took to Facebook to share a now-viral announcement.
“With my engagement ending, I’ve come to find tremendous peace in knowing that I did the right thing for the both of us,” Sanders wrote on October 14. “With that being said, now I want to do the right thing by others and let some good come out of this decision. This is a long shot but since my wedding venue has been paid for in full already, I have decided to donate my venue valued at $3,500 to a couple to use for their wedding day!”
Sanders faced two initial challenges. First, she had less than 24 hours to source a deserving couple, and then the chosen pair had to marry on her original scheduled wedding date of Saturday, October 20. Thankfully, her post went viral receiving hundreds of comments and over 4,000 shares on Facebook leaving Sanders with a wide array of beautiful stories from couples and one tough choice.
Eventually, she narrowed down that list to 45, and ultimately gifted Halie Hipster and Matt Jones with her wedding venue. The reason behind the gesture was rather moving. Hipster told Sanders the story of how her grandfather was battling Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. It was likely he wouldn’t survive until next fall (her proposed wedding season), when she had wanted him to walk her down the aisle.
Quite rapidly, other local vendors—including a florist, hairstylist and makeup artist, as well as a photographer—banded together to help Hipster with her wedding as well. The original bride even showed up to support the couple on their wedding day and took a few photos with the pair.
“This was natural to me, I didn’t have to think about it,” she told Good Morning America. “I’m really glad that she won. Her reaction definitely made all of this worth it.”
On Facebook, Sanders posted a slideshow with the couple and another picture with the bride’s grandfather.
She wrote, “These 3 people are the reason why good things come from making good decisions in good faith. This is why everyone should show acts of kindness to their neighbors, friends, family members, and especially complete strangers because you can end up changing the outcome of someone’s entire life when you stop caring about the outcome of your own. So blessed to know the Hipsher/Jones family and beyond grateful to have been able to witness the best day of their lives. Your love and strength in life is beyond inspiring and I can’t wait continue to see your love grow.”
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