It was supposed to be a beautiful wedding overlooking the Sacramento skyline, but after the groom got cold feet the would-be bride’s family was left with a venue, but no wedding.
The tables were set, food was out of the oven and one-by-one guests started to arrive.
But it wasn’t the men, women and children the Duane family originally planned to host, but they were happy to do it nonetheless.
“When I found out on Monday that the wedding would not be taking place, I just seemed like, of course this would be something that we would do to give back,” said Kari Duane, the would-be bride’s mother.
Earlier in the week, the groom got cold feet and called off the wedding.
Rather than cancel the $35,000 outing, the bride’s family invited the city’s homeless for a once-in-a-lifetime meal at one of Sacramento’s finest hotels.
“To lose out on something so important to yourself and then give it to someone else is really giving, really kind,” said Erika Craycraft, who is homeless.
Many came with their families, giving their children a rare night out.
“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,” said Rashad Abdullah, who is also homeless.
More than 100 people were invited to the wedding before it got canceled, so there was plenty to go around, including salad, cauliflower, gnocchi and salmon.
While there were plenty of full stomachs and smiles, the night was still painful for the Duanes, as their daughter chose to stay home.
“I feel a lot of heartbreak and heartache for her, but I will take away something good from this, I will,” Kari Duane said.
The family turned a night that was supposed to be about their family into one that took care of others.