"You can end up changing the outcome of someone’s entire life when you stop caring about the outcome of your own," Kolbie Sanders wrote on Facebook
After a bride-to-be made the extremely difficult decision to call off her engagement just weeks before her wedding and found out the venue and decorations were non-refundable, she knew she wanted the party and celebration to live on.
Kolbie Sanders, 24, then immediately turned to Facebook, Today reports, and told her friends that she wanted to donate her venue, which was valued at $3,500. But there was one catch: Sanders, of Tyler, Texas, only had 24 hours to find the couple — and they would have to agree to the same wedding date of Oct. 20.
“I have partnered with the venue and they are on board with this decision and we are both excited to see if we can help a couple in need of making their wedding that much more beautiful with a free venue,” she wrote. “I figured the best way for this to work is for everyone to SHARE this post so that it reaches a higher audience.”
Sanders asked anyone who was interested to privately message her on Facebook and tell her everything from details about their relationship backstory to why the donation would help.
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According to Today, Sanders put all the names of people who wrote her in a hat and pulled out 22-year-old Halie Hipsher’s name.
“I was in shock,” she told the news outlet. “As soon as my sister called me I was like, ‘All right, this is real, this is my name.'”
If the gift wasn’t special enough, Hipsher added that her grandfather — who is battling stage 4 pancreatic cancer — wouldn’t have been there for the couple’s original wedding date, which was planned for a year from now.
Instead of being the bride that day, Sanders ended up going to the wedding as a guest. “It was overwhelming,” Sanders told Today about attending the nuptials that were originally going to be hers. “I had so many emotions that day.”
In a Facebook post after the celebration, Sanders reflected on her decision to give someone else the wedding she had envisioned for herself.
“This is why everyone should show acts of kindness to their neighbors, friends, family members, and especially complete strangers because you can end up changing the outcome of someone’s entire life when you stop caring about the outcome of your own,” she wrote. “So blessed to know the Hipsher/Jones family and beyond grateful to have been able to witness the best day of their lives. Your love and strength in life is beyond inspiring and I can’t wait continue to see your love grow.”