A wedding reception was scheduled to take place on Saturday, July 15 at the Ritz Charles in Indianapolis. However, the Wedding was canceled a week ago for reasons unknown, and there was a non-refundable fee of $30,000. What Sarah Cummins did to bring purpose to her pain was remarkable. Instead of letting her money and all that food go to waste, she invited veterans from four homeless shelters to enjoy the reception in the glass house at the high-end hotel.

Saturday was originally planned to be one of the best days of Sarah's life. Instead, she greeted dozens of men and women from Hoosier Veterans Assistance Foundation to enjoy a special dinner.

Cummins confessed that it was difficult for her to be there, but she had received word that the guests wanted to meet her. Her mother, aunt and three of her seven bridesmaids were there to support her.

She cheerfully greeted each guest and welcomed them to the reception that had originally been prepared for 170 of her closest friends and relatives as well of those of the groom.

The couple

Sarah is a 25-year-old pharmacy student at Purdue University who was supposed to have been the bride and Logan Araujo was supposed to have been the groom. The couple had saved and planned the wedding and reception over a two-year period. Cummins concluded that it was a way of letting the veterans know they deserved to be in a luxury place like that and to be treated special with the delicious food that some admitted they had never had before.

Cummings had only one week to rearrange plans for the hotel to receive different guests for the event. The only thing the hotel said it had to do was to remove the head table. Everything else went on without other adjustments except the wedding cake was sliced in advance and was served as dessert at the end of the meal.

Help from community

The guests were dressed in semi-formal clothing and every one of them acknowledged that they enjoyed the meal and the atmosphere. When word spread about what Cummins was planning, others pitched in to help. Men donated suits from their own closets. A tailor donated several outfits and the Gifted Gown contributed dresses and accessories for the women.

When Cummins suggested the idea to Araujo, he was on board with the suggestion and thought it was a selfless way to deal with their pain. Cummin said Araujo had paid most of the money for the wedding and ceremony. Cummins, her parents, and Araujo's family friend paid the balance. Only the photographer returned the $500 deposit, but money for the DJ, a harpist, tuxedos, bridesmaid dresses, centerpieces and a wedding dress was lost.

Cummin concluded that it was supposed to have been her dream wedding. What she wanted had been chosen with care. That included the venue, the cake, her dress, and everything else. She is glad that she was able to have guests at the reception after all. They really appreciated it.