US woman turns cancelled $41,000 wedding into party for the homeless

The Garden Pavilion at the Ritz Charles, where Ms Sarah Cummins' wedding was supposed to have been held.
The Garden Pavilion at the Ritz Charles, where Ms Sarah Cummins' wedding was supposed to have been held. PHOTO: RITZ CHARLES

INDIANA - A woman who had to cancel her wedding decided to host the homeless to dinner instead of letting it go to waste.

Ms Sarah Cummins, had paid US$30,000 (S$41,000) for a plated 170-seat dinner last Saturday (July 15) at the swanky Ritz Charles in Carmel, Indiana.

She told the Indianapolis Star that she and her fiance, Mr Logan Araujo, called off the wedding a week ago, but declined to give any reason.

She said: "It was really devastating, I called everyone, cancelled, apologised, 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."

Left with a non-refundable event on her hands - Mr Araujo had paid for a large part of it - Ms Cummins decided to host the homeless to dinner instead.

She worked with the venue's wedding planner and contacted homeless shelters. Buses were arranged to pick them up.

Local businesses and residents donated clothing for the new guests to wear, and a cheerful Ms Cummins welcomed them at the party.

"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," she added.

On the menu was chicken breast with artichokes, bourbon-glazed meatballs, roasted garlic bruschetta and, of course, wedding cake.

Mr Araujo, whose mother reportedly died recently, said in an interview that he had agreed to Ms Cummins' proposed solution.

"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," he said.

Ms Cummins, however, is still not sure what she will do with her wedding dress.

"It's too painful to think about," she said.