• Mon, Sep 23 - 11:30 am ET

Daughter’s Wedding Cancelled, So Awesome Parents Invite 200 Homeless To Reception

0920-atlanta-wedding-e1379700230238-624x413I always wondered what happened to expensive catering deposits when a wedding is called off, because as so many of us know some places either refuse to give refunds or only give a small percentage of refunds back so not only do you have to deal with a heartbroken bride or groom, you have a mess of chicken cordon bleu sitting around with no one to eat it. The Fowler family found themselves in this exact situation when their daughter’s wedding was unexpectedly called off, so they did something amazing with the situation. They had a big party to feed the homeless. From WBUR:

Hosts of a cancelled wedding donated an elaborate reception to Atlanta’s homeless last Sunday.

Carol and Willie Fowler teamed up with Hosea Feed the Hungry, a local organization serving families in need, to turn the wedding-that-wasn’t into the first annual Fowler Family Celebration of Love, feeding 200 unexpected guests.

“We’re very pleased that she’s handling it so well,” Carol Fowler told Here & Now about her daughter. “She was also very delighted to see and know that others had an opportunity to enjoy something, rather than just allow it to go to waste.”

The Fowler family plans on holding a similar event next year. I think this is such a cool idea because it’s so wasteful to think that no one would have enjoyed the reception if they hadn’t decided to share it with their community, and I’m sure their daughter’s heartbreak is being eased a bit knowing that even though her special day was pretty much ruined, she created a special day for so many others. I have never had anyone close to me have a wedding cancelled, but we all have seen so many stories about cancelled weddings becoming just this nightmare drama of legalities and gift returning and deposits lost and sad, sad people that this family turning it into a joyous occasion just warms my tiny little heart. What a bunch of gracious people. I don’t know what your weddings were like but when I look back on (BOTH!) of mine, they were lovely and fun but so expensive and so stressful. It sort of makes me wish I had just a cookout in a backyard and donated the rest of what everything else costs, flowers and cake and all that.

Plus, I hope the one-time groom is feeling a little sheepish that he is missing out on having these awesome people for his parents-in-law. It’s better that the wedding was called off sooner rather than later, and I guess it’s good the bride didn’t go through something only to have it end badly after second thoughts, but I can’t help thinking he probably feels pretty glum that instead of crying and wringing their hands over this, the family did something beautiful for others.

(Image: WNYC.Org/emin kuliyev/shutterstock)

Share This Post:
  • Heather Von St James

    Hi I’m Heather!
    Please email me when you get a chance, I have a question about your blog! Heather.vonstjames(at)gmail.com
    Thanks!!

  • Angela

    What a beautiful idea! I actually hope though that the groom is taking comfort in this as well, especially as we don’t know what transpired between the couple. It’s very likely that he’s nursing a broken heart himself.

  • Amber Starr

    What a great way to turn a sad scenario in to something good. This really made me smile :)

  • Kelby Johnson

    This is an amazing and very thoughtful idea! I bet those people were very very grateful for the dinner!!! Faith in humanity: somewhat restored!!!

  • keelhaulrose

    As awesome as these parents would be as in-laws, I don’t think we should wish the groom feels sheepish. We don’t know what transpired between the couple, and there’s always the chance the bride called it off.

  • Amber

    It’s a lovely gesture.

    I don’t like the nasty comments about the groom though. Why do you feel the need to paint him as some evil jerk who would rub his hands together in glee over the ruined wedding?

    For all we know, the marriage is off because he walked in on his fiance getting double teamed by his best friend and his brother.

  • http://anniedeezy.tumblr.com/ Annie

    My wedding was called off about a week and a half before shit was going to go down. Plans for the reception included franks and those awful grills at the park. ;)

    This is an awesome idea. I’m going to make an assumption that this is a very well to do family to have had 200 guests at a wedding, and go on to say that it’s so nice to see people use their wealth like this. Good for them.

    • Blah

      While it was only 200 guests, I do think they must be well off, since they’ve decided to make this an annual event.

    • http://anniedeezy.tumblr.com/ Annie

      Right, food enough for 200 people is a lot! And it’s not just soup and sandwiches, it’s fancy, which must be great for morale.

  • Momma425

    This is a beautiful idea! I hope the bride is feeling better.
    You know, after doing the whole wedding shebang reciently, I can’t help but think how better that money could have been spent. The leftover food went bad in my parent’s fridge, the flowers were lovely and died within a week, I have a white dress that I wore the one time and can’t wear again, and we have all this “mr and mrs” stuff as decoration that we will probably never use again. Would have been a lot less expensive to just go to the courthouse and put that money towards our home downpayment, or feeding the homeless.

    • MoD

      I feel this way so often. I’ve been married twice, the first time was a good $10k, which I realize isn’t even all that much for a wedding compared to a lot of people! But a $10,000 party is nuts! And that’s what it really is, a party.

      I was just as bought into it as anyone else the first time I got married, but now when I hear people talk about their big, elaborate weddings…and they’re living in a crappy apartment, paycheck to paycheck, I want to yell at them to cancel the party and put a down payment on a house.

    • whiteroses

      This. My husband and I got married in the best room of my in-laws house. I wore a dress I already owned. We spent 80 dollars on each ring, 40 for my hair and nails, and 120 for the officiant. After that, we took the three people who witnessed our wedding out to dinner. The final total was something like 300 dollars.
      I was pregnant at the time, and we couldn’t justify dropping several thousand dollars when we were going to have a more immediate, pressing expense very shortly.

  • Lisa Richards

    that is so great that thay help the homeless