A bride-to-be and her fiance called off their wedding, leaving thousands of dollars in decorations, materials and food to simply go to waste. But Sarah Cummins had other ideas.
The $30,000 price tag for the wedding between Cummins and ex-fiance Logan Araujo included an extravagant setting at the Ritz Charles in Carmel, Indiana, and plated dinners for 170 guests, according to the IndyStar. Cummins and Araujo called off their wedding for undisclosed reasons, but Cummins felt it wrong to simply waste such a beautiful event.
"It was really devastating," said Cummins, 25. "I called everyone, canceled, apologized, cried, called vendors, cried some more, and then I started feeling really sick about just throwing away all the food I ordered for the reception," she said.
So, Cummins called a local homeless shelter and offered to serve the families who needed assistance.
She then worked with the wedding planner at the Ritz Charles, Maggie LaDow, to help make preparations for their new guests. Cummins even helped organize two large buses to help transport 150 people and their families to the event, according to WXIN.
Bourbon-glazed meatballs, goat cheese and roasted garlic bruschetta will headline the dinner, with wedding cake for dessert. Cummins plans to have the dinner at the Ritz Charles Garden Pavilion, weather permitting.
For Cummins, she says she'd like to attend the meal if she can keep her emotions in check.
"I will at least have some kind of happy memory to pull from. I’ve worked so many weekends and so much overtime to pay for this, I wanted to make sure it would be the perfect wedding,” Cummins said.
Homeless shelter manager Cheryl Herzog thought Cummins' gesture was certainly special, given the circumstances.
"I was so touched that Sarah had taken a painful experience and turned it into a joyful one for families in need," Herzog said. "It is truly a very kind gesture on her part."
Even Cummins' ex-fiance, who is also dealing with the recent death of his mother, appreciated Cummins' decision to make something happy from their loss.
"I'm happy through my grief and also Sarah's that she was able to make a selfless and very thoughtful decision in such a hard time," Araujo said.
After the dinner, Cummins will head to what would have been her honeymoon in the Dominican Republic. She is taking her mother with her. Cummins says she hopes it will provide the necessary alone time she feels she needs before she returns to school at Purdue University.