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Jilted bride donates wedding so that others can have a party

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By Kevin Wallevand / WDAY-TV

FARGO, N.D. - It was set to be a perfect fall wedding in Fargo: A ballroom reception, a much sought-after band, limos and a bridal suite.

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Then, a phone call: The bride was left at the altar and out thousands of dollars already spent on the party.

But in the end, Michelle Marxen is having the last laugh, and clients of Creative Care for Reaching Independence - a Moorhead, Minn., organization that serves people with disabilities - are coming out the winners.

Take one look at Marxen's wedding planner, and there is no doubt the Oct. 19 event was set to be a "wow" wedding.

“My fairy-tale wedding," she said. "You know, as a young girl, you dream of your wedding day.”

Signed contracts reveal a planned night of fabulous flowers, music from the band Tripwire, a dream gown, the big ballroom at the Ramada, photographers and limos.

“We were staying in the governor's suite,” Marxen said.

The day the wedding invitations were set to go out, Marxen said, her fiancé told her “I love you” and went to work. But then Michelle got a phone call on her way back from a funeral. It was her fiancé.

“He didn't want to marry me," she recalled him saying. "He said he didn't love me anymore.

“We spent a whole year planning this wedding and it all ended with one phone call.”

Marxen said she spent the next few days calling vendors - but she still had to pay them even if the wedding was off. “Contracts are contracts," she said.

So, out thousands of dollars, Marxen and her family decided to make lemonade out of lemons and still throw a party - just for for someone else. The ballroom will host a Halloween celebration for the clients of CCRI.

“I was speechless," CCRI's Jody Hudson said of the donation. "I could not believe it. I called the next day to make sure it was for real.”

Instead of a weekend of what ifs and whys, Marxen said it's a way to make the best of a bride's worst nightmare.

"What was supposed to be my special day will now be their special day," she said.

Marxen won't be there in person, though - she'll be in Las Vegas on the night of her planned wedding.

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