When her fiance backed out of their Jan. 16 wedding, a Washington bride decided to donate her reception to the homeless.
Fox News reports Dana Olsen, 29, said she knew she wouldn’t be able to get a full refund, which led to her decision.
“After the shock of what had happened wore off, I started to think about what to do,” she said. “It just felt really terrible and wasteful and awful to just have all that money and this beautiful event that wasn’t going to happen. I just couldn’t stand the thought of it being wasted.”
Olsen and her mother, Karen, decided to invite 150 homeless women and children from Mary’s Place Shelter in Seattle for the fully catered reception.
“She just wanted to marry the guy that she loved, and that’s not happening,” Olsen’s mother said. “And if she can’t have that, she is very happy to share it with someone else.”
“I’m proud of her,” she added, reports The Seattle Times.
The attendees, some of whom fled domestic violence, were given make-overs for the occasion by others inspired by Olsen’s act, while the little girls donned tiaras.
"It's a nice setting to take my kids," Aariona Foster, one of the homeless women, told KOMO. "That's the fun part for me."
Many talked about their own similar heartbreaks of almost getting something they wanted -- false job offers, a home or contacts -- but these abruptly being snatched away.
“People make promises, then you find yourself alone,” 28-year-old Sarah, a homeless woman who was once prosperous, said.
Some expressed their gratitude for the reception, with one individual stating of Olsen, “It takes a big heart to give away to other people everything your heart was in.”
While the women and children dined and danced to live music, Washington-born Olson went hiking with her father in California, where Olsen currently lives.
“He’s a big teddy bear,” Olsen’s mother said. “He’s the perfect guy for her to be with today.”
“I feel good. This is a happy thing going on here,” Olsen said.
Still, the almost-bride added she did pause and reflect during the hour in which she was originally supposed to be wed.