August is a lucky month for Holly Martin and Mark Coutin. “We met through a friend in August of 2007, started dating the August before our senior year of college in 2011, got engaged in August of 2016, and were married on August 5, 2017,” says the bride. Though the pair both grew up in Texas, it was in the hills above Boulder, Colorado, where they made it official. “We were at my family’s cabin in Eldora and took a hike to the nearby waterfalls, which is where Mark proposed,” says Holly. They have both fallen in love with the Centennial State, and knew coming back to Boulder to tie the knot was the perfect way to add extra meaning to their destination wedding.
Mark and Holly tapped local planning company Calluna Events to help them tackle long-distance wedding planning by connecting them with stellar local vendors and keeping the process as easy as possible. “I loved the idea of an outdoor summer wedding with tons of floral and greenery,” says Holly. A palette of white, blush, and vibrant green was simple, elegant, and slightly rustic, adding summery touches to the First Congregational Church of Boulder and the terrace and ballroom at the St. Julien Hotel. “Honing in on our vision—and ignoring Pinterest!—was a challenge, but once I did that and started delegating, planning was a breeze,” says Holly. Photographer Jodee Debes was on hand to capture the airy mountain celebration—so keep reading for pics of Holly and Mark's rehearsal dinner and wedding!
The weekend kicked off with a rehearsal dinner at Holly’s parents’ cabin in Eldora. “We’d talked about having the wedding there, but didn’t think there would be space for all 135 of our guests,” says Holly. So the night before the wedding, they set up teepees, poured Moscow mules, and treated guests to a delicious meal catered by a local chef—and Top Chef winner!
The next morning, Holly got ready with her bridesmaids before joining Mark for photos before the ceremony. She wore a strapless Rivini mermaid gown finished with lace and gathered tulle, while the groom wore a custom midnight blue J. Hilburn tuxedo, a gift from his father. Holly’s white and blush bouquet, created by Bare Root Flora, combined dahlias, ranunculus, garden roses, and lots of greenery.
“I always knew I wanted my bridesmaids to wear white,” says Holly. She chose a cream Joanna August wrap dress with cap sleeves for her friends to wear.
The bride walked down the aisle with her father.
Pillar candles and swags of greenery decorated the aisle of the First Congregational Church of Boulder. “Mark was raised Catholic and I was raised Presbyterian, so First Congregational was a great neutral setting,” Holly says. “We love the stunning original gothic wood ceiling, and the fact that they would let my uncle San, a minister, marry us!”
Holly and Mark are self-proclaimed margarita fanatics, so of course the tequila-based cocktail was front and center at their reception. “We worked with the bartenders at the St. Julien to create a custom menu with classic lime, blood orange, and spicy jalapeño varieties,” says the bride.
Escort cards were arranged on a moss-laden table topped with punchy pink ranunculus and roses.
Every outdoor wedding comes with the risk of inclement weather, and Holly and Mark’s was no exception. “About halfway through cocktail hour, our planner suggested that we seat guests for dinner early in hopes of being done and inside the ballroom before a rain storm arrived,” the bride recalls. “Mark and I shared our first dance beneath the gazebo, then took our seats while my dad gave his toast. A drizzle began while he was speaking, and by the time he was done, it was pouring!” Guests quickly made their way inside, where the hotel staff was waiting with towels and bars had been arranged for an impromptu second cocktail hour. “My sister and the best man took to the stage to give their speeches, and by the time they were done, the hotel had re-set our reception beneath an unused tent next to the hotel. I couldn’t believe my eyes!” Holly remembers.
Whether al fresco or beneath a tent, the dinner tables were a lesson in stunning simplicity. Bare tables were paired with cross-back chairs, and topped with organic centerpieces of dahlias, garden roses, and ranunculus in vibrant shades of pink. The meal included local Palisade peach salad, Colorado beef steaks, and roasted chicken finished with herbs from the hotel’s garden.
“We flew in our band, Blind Date, from Austin,” says Holly. “They played at my sister’s wedding, and the night wouldn’t have been the same without them!” As the evening continued, there were guitar solos on top of tables, a performance by the bridal party, and tons of glow sticks. “It was the best night of our lives!” Holly raves.
Wedding Planner: Calluna Events
Event Design: Eclectic Hive
Ceremony Venue: First Congregational Church
Reception Venue, Catering & Cake: The St. Julien Hotel and Spa
Officiant: Reverend Dr. San Williams
Bride's Dress: Rivini
Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo
Hair: Andres Mendoza
Makeup: Jessica Shinyeda
Bridesmaids' Dresses: Joanna August, from Bella Bridesmaids
Groom's Attire: J. Hilburn
Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands: Blue Nile
Floral Design: Bare Root Flora
Paper Products: The Inviting Pear
Calligraphy: Be Sweet Ink
Ceremony Music: Lyric Ensemble
Reception Music: Blind Date Austin
Rentals: Event Rent, All Events
Lighting Design: LMD Productions
Favors: Freedom Bakery and Confections
Videography: Forget Me Not Media
Photography: Jodee Debes