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Lindsey Nelson: New Year’s Wedding, New Commitment

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What a way to ring in 2014! For Lindsey Nelson, she did it with a new name and a very special celebration. It was December 31, 2013, and Lindsey hosted an outstanding bash that served two purposes: a fantastic New Year’s Eve party and a wedding reception.
“When Jeff and I got engaged, we were thinking of June 7 as the date, but then we thought about doing it sooner, perhaps even New Year’s Eve,” recalled the 28-year-old Roeland Park, Kansas, resident. “We laughed about it, but then we put together a list about was most important to us. At the top of the list was celebrating our new life with friends and family, so we decided to throw an awesome New Year’s party for our wedding reception that would be different from any other wedding.”
Now, the holidays have an even sweeter appeal for Lindsey and Jeff as they remember their special day just over a year ago. “Not only that, neither of us will ever have a good excuse for forgetting our anniversary date,” she laughed.
Even though she’s not a big believer in numerology, Lindsey says she also liked the number 13 because her parents, Randy and Sue Martin, met on that day. To further round out the number connection, becoming Mr. and Mrs. Jeff Nelson on the last day of the year meant the full tax deduction for married couples in 2013. “It helped us buy a house this spring in Roeland Park,” Lindsey shared.
Yes, the holidays are exciting enough, but Jeff and Lindsey definitely went a step further by hosting their wedding on the last day of the year. Adding to the glamour, sparkle and glitz of welcoming a new year, Lindsey and Jeff understood the significance of starting a new life in a new year, filled with hope and new opportunities, goals and dreams.
Lindsey grew up in Wichita, Kansas, and her parents still live there. She met her husband while both were attending the University of Kansas in Lawrence. “It was 2008, the summer after I graduated with my undergraduate degree. I was a waitress at a yacht club in Lawrence,” she recalled. “Jeff and some of his friends came in, and I waited on them. When they left the restaurant, he had written a poem to me at the bottom of the receipt. He actually used the letters in my name to compose it. Then he added his phone number at bottom. When I read it, I laughed and texted him in a joking way, ‘You’re creepy! : ).’” But for Lindsey, this little poem would soon become the best tip she ever received as a waitress.
During that summer, the couple started spending more time together, and Lindsey began to realize that Jeff could be the one for her. “We fell in love during my first year of law school when he was living in KC and I was in Lawrence,” she said. “He stuck it out despite our being in different cities and me with almost no free time. Some nights he would drive to Lawrence straight after work just so he could take me to dinner.”
Lindsey went on to receive her law degree from KU and now works in corporate real estate. Twenty-eight-year old Jeff has been an information technology consultant at AOScloud for six years. Given that Lindsey was so focused on obtaining her law degree, marriage plans for the couple were on the back burner for quite some time.
Jeff waited to pop the question until after Lindsey took the bar exam in February 2013 because he didn’t want her to be distracted by planning for a wedding. But secretly he had already asked her parents for her hand so he would be ready to go. “That Friday night, we were meeting some friends at a new wine bar in Waldo to celebrate my bar exam. The plans were to cook dinner at home and then go to the bar. I’m taking my time getting ready. In fact, I’m sitting in my bath robe, eating dinner with him,” she recalled. “After we finished, I was in bathroom, fixing my hair, and he walked in and asked if his blazer would be too dressy to wear that night. I turned around, and there he was down on one knee, and he asked me to marry him. Of course, I said, ‘Yes.’ There I was taking my sweet time getting ready. I had no idea that our parents and families were waiting in the driveway for me to say yes and celebrate with us!”
Lindsey and Jeff were married at the Country Club Congregational United Church of Christ in Kansas City. In passing by it numerous times, she had thought the church was beautiful and the perfect spot for her wedding. Little did she know that Jeff’s parents, Don and Kay Nelson, had been married at that very church.
Given that the date for these nuptials was December 31 and that the temperatures had been brutally cold so far that year, the weather was actually quite mild for the day. Although it was a bit breezy, the sun brightly lit the sky, resulting in pleasant temperatures.
In the wedding party, Lindsey had chosen six bridesmaids, two bridal attendants and two flower girls. She outfitted them out in short dresses rather than formal gowns. “I wanted them to have tulle skirts to really bring out the party spirit of New Year’s Eve, but most importantly, I wanted them to have fun, dance and really cut loose. The dresses were more of a party look for them.” Continuing her theme of being decked out for the celebration, Lindsey donned a fox fur stole over her wedding gown for her exit from the church. “My middle name is Fox so I decided to add that to my ensemble,” she noted. “It was vintage fur, so it fulfilled my need for ‘something old’ as well.”
To continue the New Year’s Eve festivities, each of the wedding attendees received a sparkler and customized book of matches as they left the church. When Lindsey and Jeff appeared at the door, all of the sparklers were lit and the newlyweds walked through the gleaming ribbons of fireworks as they made their way to a trolley that took them to the reception at Loose Mansion on Armour Boulevard in Kansas City.
The beautiful, historic Loose Mansion perfectly fit the reception needs for Lindsey and Jeff. The 15,000-square-foot mansion and 2,200-square-foot Carriage House are located just one mile north of the Country Club Plaza and close to the church. The newly restored mansion provided an elegant, unique and romantic setting, the perfect ambiance for this special wedding event. Its hand-carved mahogany woodwork, beautiful tile and many fireplaces offered an absolutely breathtaking environment for the reception. Given that it was decorated for the holiday season added even more to the atmosphere for Lindsey and Jeff. “Loose Mansion was perfect for our reception. We had planned for about 160 guests so it was the right size and gave the festivities an intimate feel, like having a wedding at someone’s home,” Lindsey reminisced. “It was so glamorous, decked to the nines for Christmas. Trees were up and the place was filled with holiday decorations, creating an environment that was just absolutely gorgeous. Not only was it pretty, it helped us keep within our budget. Our floral expenses were really kept to a minimum because of the decorations.”
Guests were treated to a plated dinner with choice of salmon or beef tenderloin and various side dishes to complement the entrees. The cake was breathtaking and designed to match the flowers in the bodice of Lindsey’s wedding gown, complete with crystals. Each layer was highlighted with a gold ribbon around the tier. As the evening progressed and the move to a New Year’s Eve party came, late-night snacks were presented. After the second champagne toast of the New Year, guests munched on mini-macaroni pizzas while decked out in top hats, tiaras and all of the other bling that comes with bringing in a new year.
Now that she’s experienced her own wedding, reception and first New Year’s Eve party as a newlywed, Lindsey offered some thoughtful advice for other women planning their own big day. “When you get a month out from the actual date, you have to stop making decisions and trust yourself. Don’t stress about the details, just trust yourself, and enjoy the experience,” she advised. “Just think to yourself, ‘You got this, girl, and now enjoy your wedding.’”
As for the future, Lindsey and Jeff are busy with remodeling projects at their new home. A big job of refinishing the hardwood floors has been completed, and what was planned to be a holiday weekend project turned out to take over a week. But they persevered with the assistance of both dads who volunteered to help. Now, they’ve added a new member to the house, a puppy.
While 2014 started out with a new life-long commitment to one another, Lindsey says that not a lot has changed for them since that New Year’s Eve night. “We’ve been together so long that it continues to be good, just like it’s always been,” she smiled. “I think it speaks well of our relationship. Right now, we’re simply enjoying the fun of being newlyweds.”