One Texas woman’s called-off engagement just became another bride’s free wedding — with less than a week’s notice.
Kolbie Sanders announced on Facebook this Sunday that she and her fiance called off the wedding. The announcement was posted exactly one week before their scheduled Oct. 20 wedding date.
“With my engagement ending, I’ve come to find tremendous peace in knowing that I did the right thing for the both of us,” she wrote on Facebook. “With that being said, now I want to do the right thing by others and let some good come out of this decision.”
In what she called a “long shot,” Sanders vowed to giveaway her $3,500 wedding venue that had already been paid in full. She also said she would offer all of her decorations and any other wedding-planning assistance.
“I planned a dream wedding, and I was so excited about it, and I was like, you know, ‘Someone else deserves to have that,’” Sanders told KLTV in a video interview. She said she got the idea from her hair stylist, according to KTLV.
But with no time to spare, there was a catch.
“The catch: I have 24 hours to find the couple and they would need to be ready to get married on the date that my venue is booked for,” Sanders wrote on Facebook.
So, at 3:35 p.m. on the Sunday before her wedding, she asked her Facebook friends to share the post in hopes of finding a couple who would take advantage of her dream wedding. Sanders asked couples interested in the wedding to private message her with their relationship “backstory.”
“Choosing someone will be hard so the more I know about your relationship, the better!” Sanders said. “This is for couples who can’t afford a fancy venue or for couples who are spending too much money on their kids to be able to afford a nice wedding. This is for couples who love each other and will continue to choose each other for the rest of their lives.”
The private messages filled with love stories started pouring in.
“I read every single post, which there were hundreds, and I’m still getting them,” Sanders said in a Facebook Live at about 5 p.m. Monday.
If the story stood out, she said she put the person’s name on a blue slip of paper and entered the couple into a raffle drawing.
“I felt like I was watching ‘The Notebook,’ but in Facebook message,” Sanders said in the video.
Once she wrote about 45 names down and tossed them in a kitchen bowl, she held the drawing in the Facebook video.
“This is who won,” Sanders said as she pulled out a blue slip slip of paper. On it, the name “Halie Hipsher” was written out.
But Hipsher, also from Texas, did not just win the free venue and decorations. Other local shops and venues offered to pitch in and help bring the wedding to life. Those services include a free bouquet and boutonniere, free hair and makeup for the bride, two dozen cookies, tamales for 150 people and a wedding photographer.
Hipsher and all her friends entered her name into the drawing so that she could marry her soon-to-be husband this week, she said in a Facebook Live video.
“Thank you,” Hispher, a mom of a 7-month old, said in the video. “I can’t say that enough. I’ll probably be saying it 20,000 times.”