By Marla Lehner
11/04/2012 at 09:35 AM EST
Carly Patterson and Mark Caldwell
Paul Dyer, VIM! Studio
The athlete, who took home the gold medal for women’s all-around in gymnastics in the 2004 Olympics, tied the knot with Mark Caldwell, in Dallas, Texas, on Saturday evening, her rep confirms to PEOPLE exclusively.
Patterson, 24, and Caldwell, 27, exchanged vows at the Main Street Garden Park in front of about 250 friends and family members. The bride, who was walked down the aisle by her father Ricky Patterson, wore a Vera Wang gown and Jimmy Choo heels.
“My dress was the very first one I tried on,” Patterson tells PEOPLE. “I knew it was the one immediately.”
Patterson also says she knew almost immediately after meeting Caldwell at a mutual friend’s wedding more than three years ago that he was the man for her.
“This might sound cliché, but after two weeks of dating Mark I knew he was a completely different from any other guy I’ve ever met,” Patterson says of her hubby, who is a consultant for Accenture’s management consulting group. “Mark is handsome, loving and he makes me laugh. He is a great support system and motivator in my life. I feel so lucky and fortunate that I get to spend forever with my best friend and the love of my life.”
The couple got engaged in January of this year.
Good Eats and Live Music
For the reception, held at Dallas’s popular wedding site The Main Room, guests dined on panko crusted fried macaroni & cheese balls with white truffle sauce, chicken and waffles with a bourbon maple sauce, crab meat and cream cheese wantons, and they were also treated to a taco station, prime rib carving station and a pasta station.
A live 10-piece band called The Good Question provided music and entertainment.
Darren Lekar of Fete des Fleur provided decorations in gold, silver and pearl – with a few splashes of green in honor of the bride’s favorite color.
“Mark and I chose a Southern theme for the koozies [we are providing] because of my Louisiana upbringing,” says Patterson. “We did black and gold for the Saints inscribed with ‘Les Bon Temps Rouler.’ ” (That is a Cajun expression meaning “let the good times roll.”) Other koozies have the words “A love brewed down South” on them.
Floral arrangements included Dutch hydrangeas, cymbidium orchids, Ecuadorian roses and tulips.
Says Patterson, “Mark and I had the most incredible night of our lives celebrating with all of our close friends and family. We are so excited to start this journey together and so blessed to have found each other.”
Koozies at Carly Patterson’s wedding
Courtesy Carly Patterson