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It’s one of those feel-good stories that sounds too good to be true.
When 27-year- old, Quinn Duane, decided not to go through with her wedding, she was faced with a dilemma—what should she do about the the reception she planned for 120 guests? She could have cancelled, but instead decided to turn lemons into lemonade.
This past Saturday, the day that was originally supposed to be the day of her wedding, Duane invited Sacramento’s homeless to dine at the Citizen Hotel. According The Guardian, about 90 homeless people including “single people, grandparents and whole families with newborns showed up and enjoyed a meal that included appetizers, salad, gnocchi, salmon, and sirloin.” Apparently, some guests even dressed up for the event.
It was noted that Duane herself did not intend, but did plan to fly to Belize with her mother, on what would have been her honeymoon.
When I read the story, I was touched by a lot of things. The first being the kindness of Duane’s gesture as well as her courage to call off her wedding, only days before it was supposed to take place.
Frankly, if I had been 27 and in her shoes, I don’t know if I could have done it.
As it happens, I live in a location that is a popular destination for weddings. The wedding industry is big business and several people I know make their living from the wedding business as photographers, event planners and caterers. Indeed, a few friends of mine even work as stylists for wedding photo shoots for magazines and websites showcasing “perfect” weddings that are fabricated.
Therefore, Big Wedding, Inc., is a major part of my life, even though I’ve never had a wedding myself.
I bucked the trend of big weddings by getting married eight years ago on a rainy January day at the county’s clerk office. I went immediately after work, and don’t even have a photo from that day.
However, if I am being totally honest, the pressures were there even without the stress of having to plan a wedding. A major reason for me getting married was the feeling that I was getting past my prime. Even though I was only 29 and didn’t consider myself old by any means, others around me gently or in some cases not-so-gently reminded me that I no longer had the luxury of time if I was serious about settling down and wanting to have children some day.
I can’t honestly say what I would have done in hindsight, but I do wish I had known more about people who decided not to marry and actually turned their lives into something positive.
Therefore, as this story goes viral, I hope that people will take more from this than just the fact that Duane invited the homeless to what would have been her reception dinner.
Instead, I hope they see that it is okay to call off a wedding, even during the final hour.
Indeed, it’s not just okay, but fine.
While I have no idea what caused Duane to call off her big day, it’s clear that she seems to be doing well. Even though she doesn’t need it, I still wish her good luck and congratulations for following her heart instead of bowing to the expectations of others.
Author: Kimberly Lo
Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock
Photo: flickr/Shelley Panzerella