KEARNEY — Bailey Bolte always dreamed of being a wedding planner. Now she has achieved that dream.
On Dec. 1, Bolte and her husband Cody opened Legacy on the Bricks at 16 W. 21st St. It’s a venue for weddings, receptions, anniversaries, graduations, quinceaneras, birthdays, bridal and baby showers and more.
It can seat up to 450 people. Its large windows allow sunlight to warm and brighten the dining room. Its walls are white and the floor is gray so clients can decorate in any color scheme they choose. They can choose from black, white or gray table linens.
Legacy on the Bricks has been three years in the making.
Bolte was a paramedic with CHI Health Good Samaritan for five years until she married Cody in the summer of 2019.
Then, seeking more conventional working hours, she opened The Wedding Sisters in June 2020. She runs that business out of her home with the assistance of her sisters Brianna Paxton; Kimberly White and her husband Mahlon, and sister-in-law Chelsey Petersen, who lives in Minden. They rent linens, custom centerpieces, aisle runners, tables, chairs and other items for weddings and other celebrations.
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She loved that venture, but she and Cody still dreamed of owning a wedding event venue. They scouted the region for a location, but came up empty. “We started planning back in 2019, but then COVID hit, and that stalled everything,” Bolte, a Minden native, said.
One morning, not long after Bolte delivered son Ryker in October 2020, she happened to drive by the building at 16 W. 21st and noticed that the east end, the former home of Jacobi CarpetOne Floor & Home, was empty. Jacobi had relocated to a new site on Kearney’s north end.
“I was driving with my little newborn and I saw the ‘for lease’ sign. We looked at it that afternoon and ended up buying the whole building,” she said.
The purchase was final in June 2021. They spent the next six months renovating the 8,000 square feet they use for Legacy on the Bricks. Fitness 101, a 13-year-old business, remains in the building’s other half.
The Boltes tore out everything except the support beams. They put in new plumbing, heating and air conditioning. They painted, installed carpeting and put in a state-of-the-art speaker system, along with seven 70-inch television screens, a sound system, six chandeliers and lights to change the color of the room.
They also put in tables and New York-style venue high-end chairs rather than standard banquet chairs. While the venue can seat up to 450 people, Bolte said tables and chairs can be arranged for groups of any size. “We can get creative,” she said.
So far, business is off and running. Bolte has planned 23 events for 2022, including birthday parties, anniversaries, quinceaneras, weddings, preschool programs and quilting shows. The entire month of June 2023 is booked, and July 2023 isn’t far behind. “We still have available dates for 2022, and a few open weekends, but the community has embraced us. It’s been awesome,” she said.
She and her husband run the business by themselves. They expect their second child, a daughter, on March 15.
Bolte knows how critical wedding planning can be. She and Cody were to get married at the Younes Conference Center on Aug. 3, 2019, but when floods tore through that structure on July 9, those plans suddenly changed.
“I was working that day helping move guests out of hotels, and I knew right away our wedding wasn’t going to happen there,” she said. But they couldn’t find another available venue that would hold their 600 guests.
Then Barb Petersen, Bolte’s mother, called the Kearney County Fairgrounds in Minden. The fairgrounds were to be closed that day in preparation for the county fair, which was to start the day after the wedding. “But I prayed about it,” Petersen said. “The next morning, the fairgrounds called. They said they would let us rent it if we had it cleaned up before Sunday morning.”
Peterson, who owns her own design business, Classic Interiors, led 80 friends and relatives in transforming the fairgrounds into a beautiful wedding venue.
“We put lights on the ceiling. Friends steamed all the tablecloths. It was so special. So many helping hands showed up. Neighbors, the community of Minden and our family really came to our rescue,” Bolte said. True to their word, they had it all cleaned up by 4:30 a.m. Sunday.
That’s partly why Legacy on the Bricks can accommodate 450 guests. Few event sites in Kearney can hold large crowds.
Bolte also did last-minute wedding planning for her sister Brianna’s wedding in May 2020. The ceremony was to happen in Minden, but Brianna’s fiance was in the U.S. Air Force, and when COVID-19 hit, he was not allowed to leave Georgia.
“We all loaded up in a 49-foot motor home pulling a 14-foot trailer,” Petersen said. “I sent blueprints to a landscaper in Georgia, and he built a stamped concrete patio and a pergola. We transformed her backyard in just three days, even staining the fence and doing landscaping.”
Bolte added, “It was an intimate wedding, with fewer than 20 people, but we made it beautiful. We love thinking on our feet. We’ve probably been through any situation people might bring us.”
She and Cody named their business Legacy on the Bricks because both lost a beloved grandparent in May. “We started talking a lot about legacy, and we realized people can start their legacies in our venue. We like to say, “Your legacy starts here,” she said.