After groom cancels wedding, would-be bride’s family invites homeless to celebration instead

Posted at 2:12 PM, Oct 19, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-19 14:12:55-04

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The guests at this California wedding weren’t the ones the host family expected. In fact, they were total strangers, KCRA reports.

When a would-be groom cancelled the nuptials just days before the ceremony, the jilted bride’s family turned their heartbreak into kindness — by inviting the city’s homeless to enjoy what would’ve been their daughter’s wedding feast.

“I think it’s very generous actually. To lose out on something so important to yourself and then give it to someone else is really giving,” Erika Craycraft, a homeless woman who took advantage of the strangers’ generosity, said.

Earlier in the week, the would-be groom called off the ceremony. But instead of canceling the $35,000 celebration, the bridge’ family invited the city’s homeless for a once-in-a-lifetime meal at one of Sacramento’s finest hotels.

“When I found out on Monday that the wedding would not be taking place, it just seemed, like, of course this would be something that we would do to give back,” Kari Duane, the would-be bride’s mother, told KCRA.

On the menu for the night: salad, salmon and tri-tip steak. It was unlike the cuisine they’re used to at soup kitchens and shelters.

“This is not coming out of our kitchen,” Tamara Dotson said. “We love our chef leo but he wouldn’t be preparing nothing like this.”

Not only did the event fill hungry stomachs, it satisfied a need not made in a kitchen: giving families a rare night out with their children.

“When you’re going through a hard time and struggle, for you to get out to do something different and with your family, it was really a blessing,” Rashad Abdullah said.

But even though the room was filled with smiles, the night was still painful for the Duane family. Their 27-year-old daughter chose to stay home.

“I feel a lot of heartache and heartbreak for her, but I will take away something good from this, I will,” her mother told the station.

Part of the $35,000 price tag on the ceremony included a non-refundable honeymoon to Belize, which mother and daughter will take together.