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Carol and Willie Fowler were expecting to see their daughter walk down the aisle, but ended up with a celebration for more than 200 homeless people instead.

The Fowlers’ daughter cancelled her wedding 6 weeks before the ceremony. When most people would be angry over the situation the family turned their elaborate wedding reception into a good cause.

Carol Fowler explained how prayer helped them make the decision, she told ABCNews, “My husband actually prayed about it.” Adding, “The next morning he woke, I was in the process of canceling the venue, letting them know that we had no use for it, and he said, ‘No, we’re going to call “Hosea Feed the Hungry” and have them round-up people from the shelters.’”

The supportive parents decided since they were going to spend the money anyway, they might as well not waste the it; especially because the cancelled ceremony was only weeks away.

The Fowlers’ children worked with the “Hosea Feed the Hungry” charity and that’s how they decided to work with the organization.

The family reached out to Elizabeth Omilami, the charity’s chief executive officer about gathering preferably 200 children and women together for a meal at the location of what was going to be their daughter’s reception. The event was held at Villa Christina, a five-star elegant restaurant located in Atlanta, Georgia.

The charity and Omilami organized for buses to transport the people from the shelters to the restaurant for the event. The thankful guests were met at the door with glasses of punch and lemonade, coconut shrimp, beef tenderloin kabob and the kids were served mac n’ cheese.

To make the young guests feel even more special, the Fowlers hired a face painter, juggler and a clown. The kiddies also had a special kids menu that included french fries, chicken fingers and fruit.  The adults were served salmon and chicken.

The Fowlers said the money was well spent, “the feeling was one you cannot explain, to see the faces and hear their thank you’s.”

The Fowlers did not reveal why the wedding was cancelled but it seems like this event made the unhappy moment worthwhile. The Fowlers’ daughter called the event “surreal but incredibly rewarding.” The event also fell on Willie “Bill” Fowler’s 70th birthday.

The family hopes to make this an annual event. Mrs. Fowler explained to Tom Joyner Morning Show commentator Jacque Reid why they have been inspired to do so, “because when you see the faces and particularly the faces of the children and the excitement and the enjoyment; It is so fulfilling. It is a feeling that you cannot get from receiving; giving is far more special. And sharing the love.”

Family Donates Cancelled Wedding Reception to Homeless  was originally published on