Editor’s Note: This story is an exclusive from our news gathering partners, The IndyStar.
CARMEL, Ind. – A Carmel woman who was supposed to get married this weekend will instead spend the day helping the homeless, the IndyStar reports.
Purdue University pharmacy student Sarah Cummins, 25, has spent the past few years planning her dream wedding with Logan Araujo. They spent years saving and working overtime to pay for the $30,000 extravaganza.
But last week they called off the wedding for reasons they would rather not say. Not only was Cummins left with a broken heart, but she was also left with a nonrefundable contract for a reception at the the Ritz Charles in Carmel on Saturday night, which includes plated dinners for 170 guests.
“It was really devastating to me. 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,” Cummins told the IndyStar.
The thought occurred to her that she could use the food to serve those less fortunate and bring something positive to her pain.
She worked with Ritz Charles event planner Maddie LaDow to rearrange the reception area, and she started contacting homeless shelters in Indianapolis and Noblesville to invite residents to the reception.
Cummins arranged for two buses to pick up about 150 residents and their families.
The dinner for the homeless will take place outdoors in the garden pavilion. Cummins said that’s initially where she wanted to get married, but she didn’t want to risk bad weather.
The residents from the homeless shelter will dine on bourbon-glazed meatballs, goat cheese and roasted garlic bruschetta, chicken breast with artichokes and Chardonnay cream.
For dessert, there’s wedding cake, of course.
“I will at least have some kind of happy memory to pull from. I’ve worked so many weekends and so much overtime to pay for this, I wanted to make sure it would be the perfect wedding,” Cummins told the IndyStar.
Cummins said if she’s not too emotional, she plans to stay for the dinner with her mom and her two sisters.
After the dinner, she will leave for the Dominican Republic on her honeymoon by herself. “I’m going by myself. I’m nervous, but I feel like it will be really good strength-building for me. I want that time alone,” Cummins said.
Araujo, who is grieving from the recent death of his mother and heartbroken after the cancellation of the wedding, says he thinks what Cummins is doing is beautiful.
“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. He also wants his late mother, Kimberly Araujo, to be remembered at the dinner.