From paint-splattering their perfectly white dresses to supporting Syrian refugees, brides around the world have come up with all kinds of ways to cope with canceled weddings. The heartbreak associated with a dream wedding turned “worst nightmare” just a short week before the big day is enough to launch any bride-to-be into mental breakdown mode.
But instead of getting bitter, one Indiana woman decided to turn her marital misfortune into a means of helping those in need. Sarah Cummins, a Purdue University pharmacy student, had a lavish $30,000 reception planned at the Ritz Charles in Carmel, Indiana, for 170 guests. And to complicate the matter, the high-dollar event was non-refundable.
After she and her fiancé called off the wedding for personal reasons, Cummins decided to do something pretty spectacular with her now a plated-dinner party for none. Instead of throwing away perfectly good food, she called the local homeless shelters to invite guests for a free gourmet meal. When a bus full of poverty-stricken strangers showed up to the swanky Ritz dinner, they were greeted with the alluring aroma of roasted garlic bruschetta,
bourbon-glazed meatballs, and artichoke chicken breasts doused in chardonnay cream sauce. And of course, they couldn’t let a perfectly good wedding cake go to waste. Along with her seven bridesmaids, mom and aunts, Sarah warmly greeted the grateful guests one by one. Though devastated by the circumstances preceding the event, Sarah couldn’t have been happier to bring a smile and savory meal to such deserving people.
“For me, it was an opportunity to let these people know they deserved to be at a place like this just as much as everyone else does,” said Cummins. “For a lot of us, this is a good time to show us what we can have. Or to remind us what we had,” said Charlie Allen, a guest who has spent three months at a local homeless shelter.
While she was grateful for the positive press coverage, Cummins was quick to praise her ex-fiancé, Logan Araujo, for his contribution to the event. Logan was credited with footing the bill for the majority of the wedding contract, and she agreed that the homeless dinner was a commendable way to deal with their unfortunate situation.
Cummins declined to cite a reason for the split, mentioning that it’s “too painful to think about.” We wish both of these selfless individuals the best in the future, albeit apart. Amidst the end of their love story, kudos to them for spreading joy to those less fortunate. May they inspire us all with the courage to rise above our own painful circumstances to love others well.