"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".
Sarah Cummins, a 25-year-old pharmacy student at Purdue University, was set to marry Logan Araujo at the Ritz Charles event venue in Carmel on Saturday, but after the couple called off the wedding for "undisclosed reasons", Cummins chose to invite residents of four area homeless shelters, including a group of veterans, to take part in the reception the couple had been planning for two years, the Indianapolis Star reports.
The wedding cost about $30,000, all but $500 of which was nonrefundable.
Even though Cummins has not given the reasons for calling off her wedding, she has admitted that it was "really devastating".
So, she chose to do something incredible with her investment. Though there wasn't going to be a wedding, she realized it wasn't too late to throw a party. "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".
After contacting local shelters, 25-year-old Cummins welcomed dozens of homeless to feast on a meal consisting of bourbon meatballs, salmon, goat cheese, roasted garlic bruschetta and cake.
Sarah Cummins talks with men from Wheeler Mission at the Ritz Charles
Plus, with a little media attention, local businesses donated suits and dresses to the guests for the reception.
Mr Araujo, whose mother reportedly died recently, said he had agreed to Ms Cummins' proposed solution.
"My heart breaks for the would-be bride and groom, but I wish everyone could've seen the guests' faces as they walked into this reception", Bartner wrote Saturday in a Facebook post. Among the attendees was Charlie Allen, a homeless man who received a jacket as a donation.
"I will at least have some kind of happy memory to pull from", Cummins told the Star. I think I look pretty nice in it.
They just won't be Sarah Cummins and Logan Araujo's friends and family.
"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.