Photography by
Joseph West

Laura Ellis & Grayson Barnes

July 4, 2015 in Colorado Springs, Colorado

Grayson Barnes and Laura Ellis first met at the University of Oklahoma. After a few years of being friends, the two began dating during their final year in college. Five years later, they were engaged.

Graduating from law school, Grayson moved to Tulsa to start his career and Laura followed suit, working for a new interior design firm. Once they were settled and working in the same town, Grayson decided to purchase an engagement ring in New Orleans while the couple was there to watch OU play in the 2014 Sugar Bowl. The proposal took place six months later back at home, after dinner at one of their favorite restaurants. Once Laura said “yes,” friends and family joined the engaged pair to celebrate with champagne.

When it came time to plan the wedding, Laura knew exactly who she wanted to be in charge of the wedding planning process–her best friend, Chelsea Wenner of Belle of the Ball in Houston. The Garden of the Gods Club and Resort in Colorado Springs was chosen as the wedding venue, and the date was set for July 4, 2015.

The wedding day was absolutely perfect. While the bride and her bridesmaids were getting their hair and makeup done, the groom and guests were lounging by the pool, playing games, hiking, taking in the views, and celebrating the 4th of July. Prior to the ceremony, the bride and groom did a first look–a wonderful choice for the couple, as it calmed their nerves and allowed for photos to be taken before the party started.

A beautiful rock formation at The Garden of the Gods provided the perfect backdrop for the wedding ceremony and required minimal ceremony décor. As a personal touch, the couple was married by the groom’s mother–the Honorable Deborah Barnes.

For the reception, the décor was clean, fresh, white and modern. The bride’s love of the color gold and the unique look of the protea flower served as the main inspiration behind the reception space. A theme was built around Colorado’s natural environment as well, which included lush greenery, eucalyptus, succulents, Boston ferns, and plenty of proteas.

Even before the food was served, people were already on the dance floor and enjoying music from the Pocket Aces Brass Band, who flew in from New Orleans. Once they took a moment to have a seat, guests tucked into some delicious food that is best described as “an upscale backyard barbeque.”

With a black and white American flag hanging over the dance floor, the newlyweds wanted their first dance to be unique and different. The couple chose a fun, summer anthem and danced to “Cheerleader” by Omni, and had spent the night dancing and partying with their family and friends.

>Written By: Lauren Malamala

Location: Garden of the Gods Club and Resort Colorado Springs, CO; Planner: Belle of the Ball Houston, TX; Floral and Event Design, Linen, Rentals, Lighting: Design Works Denver, CO;
Cake: Chef Sugar’s Colorado Springs, CO; Wedding Dress: Amsale; Groom’s Attire: Ralph Lauren Black Label; Bride’s Jewelry: Vince Camuto;

Photography by

Cinematography by

Laura Ellis & Grayson Barnes

July 4, 2015 in Colorado Springs, Colorado

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