Skip to Content

Woman gets married at burger chain where she was fed as a homeless teen: ‘I will never forget’

White Castle, an American hamburger restaurant, is also known for its meaningful wedding ceremonies, apart from its delicious hamburger sliders.

Recently, a couple got married here and looked back on the bride’s most wonderful memory of the restaurant. She was a homeless teen in the 1990s and was fed by one of the restaurant’s employees.

Jamie West could never forget that day in her life when a White Castle employee showered her with heartfelt kindness. For over eight years, she was in and out of 94 foster homes.

The young Jamie West.

Source: Jamie West

When she was 12 and a half years old, she had the courage to hitchhike with her friends and lived at a homeless camp near Arizona State University. She later hitchhiked to Southern California, living on beaches in a counterculture setting.

At 16, West was entirely on her own and has been abusing drugs and alcohol. One fateful day, she came across a White Castle in a town she wasn’t familiar with and asked for some water.

“This woman working there said, ‘Oh, Sugar, you poor thing — go get yourself cleaned up in the bathroom,’” West recalled.

Jamie and Drew plans to have one of the most meaningful wedding ceremonies

Source: Drew Schmitt

“I went in there and cried, then washed up. When I came out, these big sacks filled with slider hamburgers were waiting for me.”

The woman explained that she wanted to give her the food instead of throwing them away. West was so touched that she hugged the woman, grabbed the food, and ran away.

Jamie and Drew promised each other to have one of the most meaningful wedding ceremonies in White Castle.

Courtesy Jamie West

West remembered that other restaurants and fast food chains at that time were a little harsh to homeless people like her and some wouldn’t even allow them to enter. This was why she was so grateful for the woman who gave her the food and never forgot about her.

“Every time after that, when I saw a White Castle, I knew it was somewhere that I would be safe to run to, and if I was starving, I would be able to get fed,” West says.

“It wasn’t something I wanted to take advantage of because the system was so pure. And it was such a beautiful experience to get treated like a human being. I didn’t want to ruin it.”

It took West a few years to finally pull herself together and get back on track. In her 20s, she moved back to Arizona and met her now husband, Drew Schmitt.

In 2019, West heard that a White Castle would be open near her home in Scottsdale, Arizona. She was so excited that she got crowns, axes, and swords and camped outside with Schmitt on the opening day.

Jamie and Drew eat their burger-shaped wedding cake

Source: Jamie West

The couple, dressed in Renaissance costumes, were the first people to get inside the building and were even interviewed by the local news.

West shared her unforgettable White Castle story and they were inducted into the restaurant’s hall of fame. This event also led to the couple’s engagement.

Jamie and Drew's wedding ring finger tattoos

Source: Jamie West

West and Schmitt had one of the most meaningful wedding ceremonies in White Castle. West wore a blue, beaded, and embellished wedding dress with a matching crown while Schmitt donned a handmade and custom leather armor and a quilt.

“My dress was a quinceanera dress because it’s our 15th year together,” shared West.

To commemorate West’s most unforgettable moment of White Castle, they opted for a slider-shaped wedding cake.

Jamie and Drew are thankful to have one of the most meaningful wedding ceremonies in White Castle.

Courtesy Jamie West

They had a medieval-themed ceremony where the flower girls used dehydrated onions instead of flower petals and the guests had White Castle hamburger sliders. Instead of real wedding rings, the couple had Celtic ring finger tattoos.

“We’re so thankful that we found each other and have become each other’s partners and best friends,” said Schmitt. “Jamie has been through tough challenges in her life, so it is wonderful that she’s now in this happy place.”

Finally, West had a message for the White Castle employee who saved her on one of the darker days of her life: “Thank you for being the reason I exist right now, not knowing what you were doing and just feeding somebody because you’re a good human.”

Watch Jamie’s heart-warming White Castle story in the video below:

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.