“My family jokes that I’d been planning my wedding since I was 5 years old,” says Lindsey Melvin, who admits that when she was a little girl she’d spend hours plotting elaborate weddings for her Barbie dolls.
As an adult, her dreams for the perfect big day only became more clear. She’d even picked out the engagement ring she hoped she’d one day wear—and being the operations coordinator for Tiffany & Co. on the Plaza, Lindsey had plenty of time to mull through the choices.
But despite all that planning and dreaming, Lindsey was still taken completely by surprise when Mike Garcia, her boyfriend of seven years, got down on one knee, produced the ring she’d always wanted and popped the question during a vacation to England.
“It was my dream setting, and so romantic,” says Lindsey. “It felt like something out of a Jane Austen novel.”
The magic moment took place in a gazebo on the lawn of the Cambridge college she’d attended during a yearlong study-abroad program. She’d always wanted to revisit the historic city one day with Mike, so the couple saved their money to make the trip. But as the departure date drew closer, Mike was making plans of his own, secretly working with Lindsey’s Tiffany colleagues to purchase the ring.
After returning home to Kansas City, the couple set a date for the following autumn. And although Lindsey was more than happy to take the lead on the legwork, she says bringing their wedding day to life was a truly collaborative effort.
“We wanted our wedding to honor the serious sacred commitment we were making,” she says, “but we also hoped to honor each other and our loved ones in a way that felt like home.”
That vision made the first big decision—where to tie the knot—easy. They had been attending Jacob’s Well, a non-denominational church in K.C.’s Volker neighborhood, together for more than five years, and there was no question that was where they wanted to say their vows.
They also knew they wanted the celebration afterwards to have a classic look and feel.
“Choosing Loose Mansion as our reception venue really helped set the tone for our wedding because it gave us a formal, elegant feel and what I think is an intimate, timeless setting,” Lindsey explains.
With those details in place, the rest soon fell into place. Lindsey knew she wanted her bridesmaids to wear long navy gowns, and chose complementary blush and pale pinks as accents.
She shared inspirational images of “whimsical, vine-y” bouquets and floral arrangements with her floral designer, and was adamant that sprigs of lavender should be included.
“There was lavender everywhere around us in Cambridge when Mike proposed,” Lindsey explains. “Later I found out that it symbolizes love, devotion, and new adventures.”
Those English country-style flowers also appeared on the wedding invitations, which she and her sister Jessie created themselves—Lindsey designed the monogram and Jessie hand-painted the floral motif with watercolors.
“It really meant a lot to me to have that time to bond with her because I don’t get to see her as much as I wish I could,” says Lindsey, explaining that they worked together when Jessie, who lives in India, was home for visits.
Despite all those years of planning Barbie weddings and dreaming of her own, the day still held plenty of unexpected moments, Lindsey says.
One of those came when her father held her hand and walked her down the aisle. Though he’d been his typical outgoing and strong self the day before during the rehearsal, Lindsey remembers being surprised to feel her dad’s hand trembling slightly as they approached the altar, where Mike stood beaming at his bride.
After saying “I do,” the couple exited the church, showered with dried lavender by their guests, and made their way to Loose Mansion, where photographs of their family members adorned the mantels “to make it feel like home” and vintage Barbie and Ken bride and groom figures perched atop their classic tiered white cake as a nod to Lindsey’s early wedding fantasies.
It wasn’t any of these little details alone that made the day so special, though—it was all of them and more.
“I’ll never forget sitting at the head table together, both of us just trying to soak it all in,” says Lindsey. “Seeing everything come together, and seeing all of our friends and family who had come out to support us. It felt like a dream.”
WHO DID WHAT
Planner: Beth Chappelow with Chappelow Events
Ceremony site: Jacob’s Well
Reception site: Loose Mansion
Caterer & coordination: Loose Mansion
Cake: HyVee Mission Location
Flowers: Jessica Corbett with Hitched Planning and Floral
Photographer: Rusty Wright with Waldron Photograph Company
DJ: Complete Weddings and Events
Transportation: Pech Limo