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Joe Downtown: Meet the first couple to be married at Denny’s wedding chapel


Special to the Las Vegas Sun

Ames, Iowa, residents Nancy Levandowski and Steve Keller, wearing identical “We go together like eggs and bacon” T-shirts from Denny’s, are photographed before boarding a flight to Las Vegas. On Wednesday, April 3, the two will be married at the Denny’s on Fremont Street, the inaugural wedding at the restaurant’s chapel.

Updated Thursday, April 4, 2013 | 9:40 a.m.

Click to enlarge photo

Nancy Levandowski and Steve Keller

Map of Denny's at Neonopolis

Denny's at Neonopolis

450 Fremont St., Las Vegas

A couple from Ames, Iowa, will be the first to exchange wedding vows in a Denny’s when they get married Wednesday at the national chain’s restaurant on Fremont Street.

Nancy Levandowski and Steve Keller, both in their 50s, won a contest to become the first to marry in Denny’s only wedding chapel. The restaurant is on the first floor of Neonopolis at Fremont and South Fourth streets, near the eastern end of the Fremont Street Experience’s overhead light show.

Levandowski runs the food service system for Iowa State University; her fiance is a food sales manager.

After learning about the Denny’s chapel on Food Network, Levandowski called Denny’s, then sent a letter to the company asking that her wedding be the first in a Denny’s restaurant.

“We were talking about it and we both spent many late evenings in Denny’s in our lives and started talking about the fond memories,” she said, adding that during her college years at Santa Clara (Calif.) University she spent many nights studying at Denny’s with its “ever-flowing coffee. Then I’d get my Grand Slam breakfast before I went and took the final.”

After she found out she had won the privilege, Levandowski flew to Las Vegas to view the restaurant and chapel.

Denny’s is taking care of Levandowski and Keller's flight, hotel and other amenities, “and we’re providing the couple,” a jubilant Levandowski said from a car on the way to the airport Tuesday afternoon.

In the background, Keller said, “we’re providing a couple of nuts,” to which they both laughed. This is the second marriage for both.

For the trip to the airport, Levandowski noted, they were wearing Denny’s T-shirts that read: “We go together like eggs and bacon.”

Denny’s also is providing food for the wedding, including a Pancake Puppies cake festooned with a Denny’s logo on top. Levandowski had a university chef create a butter mold to go on top of the cake, which she is ferrying to Las Vegas in a Styrofoam cooler.

“It’s been in the freezer, and it’s still pretty cold (back in Iowa), so I’m praying a lot” that it doesn’t melt or get damaged, she said. For wedding favors, the couple is giving out poker chips with the Denny’s logo on one side and “Steve and Nancy, April 3” on the other.

Levandowski said a minister would preside over the service, which she described as traditional.

“We’re just really excited to have family and friends to come and relax and enjoy ourselves and have a great time,” Levandowski said.

After this wedding, Denny’s will provide a basic wedding service for $95 that includes use of the chapel, Denny’s T-shirts, use of a photo booth, a Pancake Puppies wedding cake, a bottle of Champagne and a 20 percent food discount for the wedding party.

The public is invited to watch, though the wedding reception is only for wedding guests. The ceremony is scheduled for 6 p.m.

CORRECTION: This version corrects the spelling of the bride's name. | (April 4, 2013)

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