Her eyes burned from the tears. She had been crying all day. With her wedding in just a week, she shouldn’t be feeling this way… she was far from being from the happy bride-to-be. But they had already booked the venue, and she had picked out the gown of her dreams.
She decided that she would still go to the altar, but not to say “I do.”
Kolbie Sanders had a seemingly perfect life. 24 years old and with her whole life ahead of her, she had been planning her fairytale wedding. Kobie had been dating Skylar for 4 years now, and the couple had been engaged for the last 18 months.
It seemed to be a good time for the lovebirds to finally tie the knot.
Kobie’s mother and sister fawned over her in the months leading up to the wedding. They accompanied her to venues, sampled wedding cake, attended bridesmaid’s fittings, and even helped her to pick out the perfect dress. They were thrilled for Kobie–as they should have been.
Kobie was so swept up in the chaos of planning her perfect wedding that she never realized that something crucial was missing.
Kobie and Skyler had even decided on a venue–Belle Vue in Tyler, Texas. With all the trimmings and little extras, the price for just one night quickly skyrocketed to a whopping $3,500, but the couple gritted their teeth and paid for the booking in full with no regrets.
Belle Vue was, after all, the perfect location to celebrate their union.
With the venue secured, her dress picked out, alterations made, invitations sent out and caterers booked, Kobie went to bed that night with a heavy heart. She lay in her bed and looked up at the ceiling.
Only one week to go, and she would be at the altar, saying “I do” to the man she loved with all her heart. But why was she feeling this pang of regret deep down in her belly?
The next morning, Kobie felt exhausted. She had tossed and turned all night, and she couldn’t shake the feeling that something was terribly wrong. Skylar felt the anxiety coming off her in waves as she sat across from him at the breakfast table. Her eyes were red and puffy, and she looked fragile as she sat there, aimlessly spooning at her muesli.
Then, she looked up and said the words he never wanted to hear.
“We need to talk,” Kobie said, breaking the silence. But Skylar knew exactly what she was going to tell him. He saw it written on her face, and he felt his world fall apart. The tears streamed down Kobie’s face, but in her heart, she knew.
She had just never realized it until now.
Breaking It Off
Kobie felt that, although she still loved Skylar, there just wasn’t a spark between them. There hadn’t been for months. It was the most difficult decision she ever had to make, but she knew she had to trust her instincts.
She had been so caught up in the whirlwind of planning her dream wedding that she hadn’t paused to think.
But now that Kobie had broken off the wedding, it was too late to get a refund on all the money she had already spent on the wedding. The booking for the wedding venue would be completely wasted now, she thought sadly.
She felt so depressed she just wanted to curl into a ball and cry. Then, the had an idea.
Making The Best Of It
If she couldn’t have her wedding at Belle Vue, that didn’t mean that somebody else couldn’t. Kobie rose with new resolve. She was going to make the best of this situation, and she knew exactly how she would do it.
She got on the phone with the owners of the wedding venue, and they gave her 24 hours to donate the venue to another couple. But who would she give it to?
Calling On Couples
Kobie took to Facebook, calling on other couples who were free to get married on October 20th–the day that would have been her wedding.
Suddenly, the comments were flooding in–from caterers and make-up artists to photographers and dressmakers–they were all so inspired by Kobie’s gesture that they offered to donate their services to the chosen couple at no charge!
How To Choose?
By the end of the day, Kobie had the names of dozens of hopeful couples. But how to choose just one? Then, she decided that the couples whose stories touched her heart the most would be entered into a random draw. This way, she could ensure that one of the most deserving couples would get the free wedding venue.
There was one story that really caught Kobie’s attention, though.
22-year old Halie Hipsher and her fiancé Matthew Jones were struggling financially, and when Kobie read their story, her heart went out to them. The young couple were very much in love and had been engaged for a year, but had never managed to set aside enough money to have their dream wedding.
And that was because all of their money went into one important aspect of their lives.
Halie and Matthew were parents–they have a baby named Riley. But that wasn’t the only reason Kobie felt that they were so deserving of a free wedding venue.
Haile’s grandfather, or “paw-paw” as she affectionately calls him, had recently been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Halie worried every day that he wouldn’t make it to see her finally walk down the aisle.
So, when Kobie pulled Halie and Matthew’s names from the draw, she couldn’t be happier with her decision. She announced the winners in a live Facebook video, and the young couple was ecstatic.
They would finally be able to have the wedding that they wouldn’t have been able to afford. And best of all, Halie’s grandfather would be the guest of honor.
Of course, the lucky and deserving couple were insistent that Kobie attended their wedding–it was thanks to her generosity that they would finally be able to tie the knot. Kobie accepted the invitation and even helped Halie with all her wedding day preparations!
Although it was a bittersweet day for Kobie, she knew that she had done the right thing.
Halie Hipsher became Halie Jones on the afternoon of October 20th, and the wedding was everything the couple had dreamed of, and more.
Even though the invitations had been last-minute, the venue was packed with their friends and loved ones as they gathered to witness their union. But, most importantly, Halie’s beloved Paw-Paw was there, too.
“Throwing together everything on short notice was difficult but worked out. Walking down the aisle was breathtaking and I wouldn’t want to change one second of the day because it is all I could’ve dreamed of and more,” Halie explained in an interview.
And she owed it all to one selfless woman.
Kobie couldn’t be happier for the couple, “It proves that I did the right things with my own marriage and chose the right person. It was fate that I drew her name,” she explained.
Her initial Facebook post exploded, but afterward, everyone wanted to know about the newlyweds and how Halie’s grandfather was doing.
The Right Decision
Soon after the Facebook post went viral, local news stations picked up the story. Kobie’s generosity has been an inspiration to thousands.
But she remains humble: “This was natural to me, I didn’t have to think about it,” she said. “I’m really glad that she won. Her reaction definitely made all of this worth it.”