These High School Sweethearts Made it Official With a Backyard Wedding in Colorado

Devon and Patrick were engaged for four years before they tied the knot, so it's only fitting that they went all out for their summer "I do's"

Updated 02/20/17

Photo by Laura Murray Photography

When high school sweethearts Devon Fleiss and Patrick Martin celebrated their graduation with a vacation to the Dominican Republic, Patrick made the trip even more memorable with a heartfelt proposal. The couple agreed to hold off on the wedding until after Devon completed college, so they had four years to dream up the perfect “fancy farm backyard wedding”. On July 23, 2016, 241 guests joined the couple at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Boulder, Colorado, for a traditional ceremony followed by a lively reception at their farm and home in nearby Hygiene.

"Since we're so young, we wanted our wedding to be fun and relaxed but still have a formal vibe," the bride says. "Having our reception at our house was the perfect way to achieve that. We were able to have a big backyard party with all of our loved ones, but make it a bit formal with an elegant tent and beautiful tables." A day-of coordinator from Calluna Events was there to manage all the details and Laura Murray Photography captured every special element of the couple's hometown celebration.

Photo by Laura Murray Photography

"Being engaged for four years was hard," Devon remembers. "Way too much time to spend looking at Pinterest! But everything seemed to come together perfectly in the end." One of the first details guests saw was the bride and groom's invitation suite—an elegant, neutral design with a custom monogram and an illustrated map.

Photo by Laura Murray Photography
Laura Murray Photography
Photo by Laura Murray Photography
Photo by Laura Murray Photography

Devon wore a strapless lace gown by Anna Maier, but personalized the dress by having a piece of her grandmother’s lace veil sewn inside. Paired with an off-the-shoulder jacket, which she wore for the ceremony and then removed for the reception, a pair of shimmering Christian Louboutin shoes, and 150-year-old earrings, a gift from the groom on the day of the wedding.

The bride's one requirement for her bouquet was that it felt very natural, an extension of the couple's beautiful Colorado backdrop. Her florist delivered with a light mix of dahlias, ranunculus, roses, and greenery.

Photo by Laura Murray Photography
Photo by Laura Murray Photography

Patrick wore a timeless black tux with a white bowtie, coordinating perfectly with his groomsmen. Each man wore a different boutonniere made up of a unique mix of white flowers, greenery, and berries.

Photo by Laura Murray Photography
Photo by Laura Murray Photography

Devon’s ten bridesmaids all wore Jenny Yoo dresses in a neutral gray tone and Patrick’s twin cousins served as flower girls. “We just wanted to put them in simple lace dresses and let their cuteness do the rest,” the bride says.

Photo by Laura Murray Photography
Photo by Laura Murray Photography
Photo by Laura Murray Photography

Guests gathered in the pews of St. John’s Episcopal Church to watch Devon walk down the aisle, accompanied by her father, while a string quartet played "Ave Maria." After a traditional ceremony, the couple's 250 guests stopped traffic in downtown Boulder while tossing flower petals as the elated newlyweds exited the church.

"Just after we were married, we went to the side of the church to wait for the guests to line up for the petal toss. It was just the two of us, and it was the best moment of the day," says Devon. "We were so happy to be married. We both said that we thought our love would not change after getting married, but we were so wrong. In that moment, my love for Patrick grew exponentially."

Photo by Laura Murray Photography
Photo by Laura Murray Photography

After the ceremony, everyone headed back to the couple's home for a tented reception that mixed elegant style with backyard charm. "It was important to us that our guests had fun," Devon says.

Photo by Laura Murray Photography
Photo by Laura Murray Photography
Photo by Laura Murray Photography
Photo by Laura Murray Photography

A fire truck from Patrick’s fire department made an appearance at the party, along with a vintage VW-turned photo booth. Guests sipped spicy margaritas before finding their table assignments on Devon’s DIY project: A seating chart made from hay bales and strung with cards. But before guests made it into the sailcloth tent, they were sure to grab a pair of flip-flops from the baskets the couple provided to ensure their dance floor would be packed all night.

Photo by Laura Murray Photography
Photo by Laura Murray Photography
Photo by Laura Murray Photography
Photo by Laura Murray Photography

The couple chose an open sailcloth tent, allowing Colorado's lush landscape to be enjoyed on all sides. Beneath the peaked top, Devon and Patrick lined the space with café light, helping to differentiate the dining space from the dance floor on the lawn. Round tables were topped with ivory linens, while long wooden tables were left bare with the exception of an airy ivory runner. Centerpieces included a variety of tall blue and white candles along with flower arrangements in shades of green, white, and yellow, the couple's chosen color scheme.

Instead of numbering tables, Patrick and Devon named each for a locale they love in Colorado.

Photo by Laura Murray Photography
Photo by Laura Murray Photography
Photo by Laura Murray Photography
Photo by Laura Murray Photography

Place settings included a modern gray plate set atop a textured clear charger, a look that perfectly spoke to the couple's elegant-meets-laid-back style. While centerpieces of roses, dahlias, and locale greenery were certainly eye catching, it was the addition of fresh fruit to tabletops that truly added something special to the day's décor.

Photo by Laura Murray Photography
Photo by Laura Murray Photography

The idea behind Devon and Patrick’s dinner menu was elevated barbecue, so they served blackened red trout with sweet corn and roasted red pepper relish and sirloin steak served with blackberry chimichurri. Guests also dove into a vanilla wedding cake with fresh berries.

This young bride knows the importance of creating lasting memories on the big day. For brides planning their own wedding, Devon says, “Splurge on good photography and a good videographer. Aside from your love, photos and a video are the only thing that last beyond the day!”

Ceremony Venue: St. John's Episcopal Church || Reception Venue: Private residence || Wedding Coordinator: Kaylee Maresh of Calluna Events || Bride's Wedding Dress: Anna Maier, purchased at Anna Bé || Shoes: Christian Louboutin || Hair: Clementine's Denver || Makeup: Faces by Liz || Groom's & Groomsmen's Attire: Men's Wearhouse || Flower Girl Attire: David's Bridal || Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands: XIV Karats || Flowers: Siloh Floral Artistry || Invitations: Chatham and Caron || Music: DJ Jahsonic || Catering: A Spice of Life || Cake: Shamanes || Rentals: Yonder; All Events Rentals || Videographer: Satellite Pictures || Photographer: Laura Murray Photography

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