It was a feast for the stomach, heart, and soul.

*Featured image contains photo by Edlin N’SAFOU MAKOSSO

It takes a strong person to turn a devastating situation into something positive. If the person you planned to spend the rest of your life with called off your wedding just days before, no one would blame you for curling into a ball and ignoring the world for a bit.

So the fact that this bride and her family were able to do something so good in the face of sadness is truly inspiring.

Why a Bride Decided to Go Ahead With Her Reception

a couple holding hands

That’s the situation an Oxnard, California woman found herself in a few years ago when her fiancé called things off just days before the wedding. At that point, the entire $35,000 event had been planned and deposits were paid for, so she faced emotional and financial loss.

She was devastated, but rather than let the party she’d planned go to complete waste, the woman and her family came up with another idea: what if they could put all of that food to good use, and give it to those who needed it most?

According to a news report, the family members proceeded with the planned reception. But instead of having friends and family occupy the 150 seats in the hall, they opened the door to local homeless people and their families.

How a Family Made a Huge Difference With One Simple Move

The event went down at a hotel in Sacramento, where attendees feasted on appetizers, salmon, steak, and an array of other delicious dishes. Adults and kids of all ages (even babies!) partook in the festivities. “They served some mango tacos — they were really good,” one attendee told the outlet.

For many of these people, having a daily, warm meal was an uncertainty. The fact that they got to feast on a multi-course meal originally planned for a wedding was above and beyond.

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Sure, the family could have recuperated some of its money by cancelling the event altogether. But by going ahead, they made a huge difference in so many other people’s lives, all while taking some of the sting out of the situation for themselves.

As for the honeymoon? Well, that had also been paid for, so the bride and her mom decided to take the vacation for themselves.

How One Bride Turned a Negative Situation Into a Positive One

Sadly, planned weddings fall through all of the time for various reasons, and it can be really hard to get your money back. What this family did when the wedding they expected to happen fell through is impressive, especially since they were able to do something good following a week of bad news.

It’s a reminder to all of us that when we’re dealing with hard things, there are ways to see the light. And what better way to feel good again than by knowing we’ve helped to make a difference in someone else’s life?

The next time you find yourself facing a setback or some negativity where things don’t go the way you planned, remember this bride and her family.

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Maybe you donate the food you bought for a dinner party that didn’t happen. Or perhaps the next time you get sick and can’t make a non-refundable trip, you try and transfer that trip to someone else who really needs it instead.

There are many small ways to make a difference, too, whether it’s surprising someone with an extra coffee or item you unexpectedly received, or calling up someone who’s having a hard time and offering to hang out because your previous plans were cancelled.

Whatever you do, do it in the spirit of positivity, and you’re bound to turn a situation around.