'Never apart': Couple recreates honeymoon at Palmer House for 70th wedding anniversary

Karen Jordan Image
Tuesday, January 31, 2023
Couple recreates honeymoon at Chicago hotel for 70th anniversary
A couple from Waterloo, Iowa recreated their honeymoon at the Palmer House hotel in the Chicago Loop for their 70th wedding anniversary.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Frank Sinatra's version of this jazz standard was climbing the charts in 1953.

That's the same year Vern and Donna Nelson started their lives together as husband and wife. The Iowa couple got married on January 31, 1953 in their hometown of Waterloo and came to Chicago to spend their honeymoon at the Palmer House.

Seventy years later, the Nelsons came back to the Palmer House to celebrate their milestone anniversary, returning to the Empire Room, where they had dinner all those years ago.

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On Tuesday, it was reserved just for them. The hotel displayed the original book with names of musicians who performed at the time, and they were serenaded while taking a spin on the dance floor.

Their son, Vern Jr., said his parents are best friends and were also business partners, running a building management company.

"They're always together, never apart," Vern Jr. said.

The Nelsons started as high school sweethearts. Vern caught Donna's eye while passing her house on his way to play tennis.

The Nelsons followed one rule that helped with their longevity.

"Never go to bed angry or upset. Get that all taken care of before you go to bed," Donna said.

The Nelsons will enjoy their stay at the Palmer House through the end of the week. While in town, they plan to do some sightseeing and other activities. But, mainly, they will celebrate their love that's still going strong, after getting it start exactly 70 years ago.