Sarah Cummins had paid USA $30,000 (AUD $38,000) for the nonrefundable weddingreception for 170 people.
She was left with a non-refundable contract for the Ritz Charles in Carmel and a plated dinner for 170 guests on Saturday night. The Purdue University pharmacy student spent years saving and working overtime to pay for the $30,000 ceremony and reception. "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.
Instead, she chose to invite a local homeless shelter to come share the food that was meant to help celebrate her wedding. It was her former fiancé who had paid most of the bill, while Cummins and her parents and an Araujo family friend had paid the balance. After canceling the wedding - for unspecified reasons - Cummins was unable to get her deposit back. Cummins spoke with Araujo, and they both agreed to her plan to invite the homeless population in town to enjoy a feast.
On the menu was chicken breast with artichokes, bourbon-glazed meatballs, roasted garlic bruschetta and, of course, wedding cake.
"We're doing all the same stuff, just arranging the tables differently, so there's no head table for the bridal party, no cake table or gift table".
'It was really devastating.
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On Saturday evening, residents from homeless shelters in Indianapolis and Noblesville shuffled into the Ritz's enclosed garden pavilion dressed to the nines in clothing donated by community members.
Some of Ms Cummins' family joined her at the event, along with three bridesmaids. She cheerfully greeted and welcomed her guests when they arrived to attend the party.
Sarah Cummins talking to guests at her weddingreception.
Ms Cummins said she was not sure what she would do with the wedding dress.
"I will at least have some kind of happy memory to pull from", she said.
"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.
Center development director Cheryl Herzog says the wedding feast will be a very special event for the homless people at her shelter.
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