Carol and Willie Fowler found out 40 days before the big day that their daughter Tamara's wedding was off.
They comforted their daughter as best the could but couldn't help but wonder, 'What on earth are we going to do about the venue, the food and the entertainment?' Most of it had already been paid for and anything else they cancelled would see them lose their deposits. They had been expecting 200 guests to attend, all of whom had to be informed that the nuptials were off.
Carol and Willie started to pray.
It was Willie who came up with the idea to turn their daughter's misfortune into something good. Instead of cancelling the event they'd go ahead with it, and invited 200 homeless people to attend.
Carol Fowler explained their decision to Here & Now, saying, "Forty days prior to the wedding ... we were made aware that there would no longer be a wedding. [Donating the reception] was my husband's idea. We prayed about it. And when he woke up the next morning, he said, 'we're going to call Hosea Feed the Hungry and ask if we can donate it to the needy.' I immediately looked up the number and called and spoke with Mrs. Elisabeth Omilami, and in doing so, we partnered. And it was such a wonderful feeling just to partner with them."
They called the event the 'The First Annual Fowler Family Celebration of Love'.
Many of the homeless thought it was a prank, however staff at Hosea Feed the Hungry managed to convince them it was a legitimate offer and they agreed to attend.
It was a huge success. The special guests were treated to a four-course dinner at reception hall Villa Christina. All the food was eaten with great gusto, there was entertainment and special activities organised for the kids. It was so successful the family plans to host another charity dinner next year.
Let's hope this time it doesn't come at their daughter's expense.
As for Tamara, Carol says her daughter is doing as well as can be expected. "We're very pleased that she's handling it so well." Tamara even attended what would have been her own reception, taking comfort in the excitement and gratitude shown by their guests. Her mum said, "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."
All images courtesy of Hosea Feed the Hungry
What would you say to this bride if you could to comfort her, aside from, 'Plenty more fish in the sea'?
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