An Indiana woman who called off her $30,000 wedding threw a party Saturday for the homeless at the swanky event center she had booked for the reception.
Sarah Cummins told the Indianapolis Star she called off the wedding a week ago, but declined to give a reason.
She was left with a nonrefundable contract for the Ritz Charles in Carmel and a plated dinner for 170 guests.
Cummins says she decided that rather than throw away the food she would bring some purpose to the event and contacted area homeless shelters.
A school bus pulled up Saturday from one organization and about a dozen homeless veterans stepped off to join the party. They were greeted by Cummins in a sleeveless top and pastel pants rather than a wedding dress.
"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," Cummins said.
Several local businesses and residents donated suits, dresses and other items for the guests to wear.
Charlie Allen, who's spent three months at a homeless mission, received a donated jacket.
"I didn't have a sport coat," he said, tugging gently at the lapels. "I think I look pretty nice in it."
Three of Cummins seven bridesmaids, along with her mother and aunts, came to support her at the event. Guests dined on bourbon-glazed meatballs, goat cheese and roasted garlic bruschetta, chicken breast with artichokes and Chardonnay cream sauce and wedding cake.
Cummins, a 25-year-old Purdue University pharmacy student, said her ex-fiance, Logan Araujo, footed most of the bill for the wedding contract, with Cummins and her parents, along with one of Araujo's family friends, paying the rest.
Cummins said she is not sure yet what she will do with the wedding dress.
"It's too painful to think about."