Fargo, ND — Michelle Marxen and her fiancé were supposed to get married Saturday, October 19. But after a year of planning, on the day the wedding invitations were supposed to go out, Marxen received a phone call on her way back home from a funeral. It was her fiancé.
“He didn’t wanna marry me,” Marxen told WDAY TV. “He said he didn’t love me anymore.”
Marxen said she spent the next few days calling friends, family, and vendors to tell them that the wedding was canceled. But because she had signed contracts, she still had to pay.
“Contracts are contracts,” she said.
Instead of letting the money go to waste, Marxen and her family decided to donate the ballroom where the wedding would have been held to Creative Care for Reaching Independence, a non-profit organization that helps people with disabilities.
“I was speechless,” said Jody Hudson, director of development and communications at CCRI. “Actually the next day I called her to make sure it was for real.”
It was. And thanks to Michelle Marxen’s generous donation, the organization is throwing a Halloween party for their clients. The group decorated pumpkins and made posters in preparation for the event. Though she didn’t get her dream wedding, the day will still be memorable for Marxen.
“What was supposed to be my special day will now be their special day,” she said. Marxen also said she will be in Las Vegas the night of the planned wedding.
Michelle Marxen isn’t the only person to donate her canceled wedding. Last month, Carol and Willie Fowler turned their daughter’s canceled reception into a dinner for the homeless.
“My husband actually prayed about it,” Carol Fowler said. “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.'”
Like Jody Hudson, Elisabeth Omilami, head of Hosea Feed the Hungry, thought it sounded too good to be true.
“At first, I thought it was a prank call because it was such an amazing offering,” she said.
As for the would-be bride, Carol Fowler said she was handling things very well.
“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,” she said.