On Saturday night, dozens of homeless people will eat a gourmet meal at an upscale venue.
And, thanks to a woman with a broken heart, they won’t have to pay a dime for it.
Sarah Cummins and her ex-fiancé canceled their wedding after two years of planning, according to The Indianapolis Star. Cummins preferred not to say why the wedding was canceled, but the 25-year-old pharmacy student at Purdue told the newspaper she was devastated. She had to call her friends, relatives, vendors — telling them through tears that the wedding was off.
With a nonrefundable contract at the venue, the Ritz Charles in Carmel, Ind., and enough gourmet food for 170 guests who would no longer be attending, Cummins decided to invite dozens of homeless people to prevent the food from going to waste.
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She called multiple shelters in the area, including Dayspring Center. Cheryl Herzog, the center’s development director, told The Indy Star that she was moved by Cummins’ kindness.
“I was so touched that Sarah had taken a painful experience and turned it into a joyful one for families in need,” Herzog told the paper.
As for the homeless guests, whose lives can be full of hardship and stress, Herzog said, a night at the Ritz Charles will be “very special for them.”
Maddie LaDow, an event planner with the Ritz Charles, told the paper that people have canceled weddings before. When they do, they often throw a party at the venue anyway or simply walk away, LaDow said, “but none have ever done anything this charitable.”
Cummins and her mother will spend Saturday preparing the venue for the homeless guests, who will arrive by bus Saturday afternoon. They are setting up centerpieces on tables in the enclosed garden pavilion, where the homeless guests will enjoy a meal of bourbon-glazed meatballs, roasted garlic bruschetta, chicken breast with artichoke and, of course, wedding cake.
Everything will be the same as it would have been had the wedding not been canceled, Cummins said, except there will be no head table for the bridal party, no cake table and no gift table. But with hopes of 150 homeless people attending, Cummins said she will “at least have some kind of happy memory to pull from” on what she once thought would be her wedding night.