Since we were engaged for 16 months before we got married, we had plenty of time to take it all in and really enjoy all the planning... that is, until we got about 4 months out and things got crazy up in our lives.  We were traveling down from Fort Collins to Colorado Springs every weekend for our premarital classes, to meet with our wedding coordinator and choose every little detail for our one big day.

Before the all-we-do-is-plan-our-wedding phase hit though, we had a blast soaking in all the pre-marital bliss.  My bridesmaids and I tried on some amazing dresses at boutiques across the state, we ate our weight in cake tastings, and we always had our obligatory after-wedding-appointment drink to calm any nerves and relieve any stress that came up when choosing white or ivory? Kahlua or chocolate? Embossed or engraved?

And now, here is a behind-the-scenes look at everything that made our big day exactly what it was:

This is what I like to call a day in the life... our premarital binder, wedding files, wedding notebook and planner.

Lexi, myself, Brianna and Katira trying on dresses at Something New.

This is the bridesmaid dress we chose!  It looked so gorgeous and flattering on all the girls and was very classic.  Of course, all brides claim their bridesmaids dresses are exquisite and claim "you can wear it again!"  Mine were beautiful, although I'll be honest and say I'm not sure if they could be worn again, hem it maybe?  Anyway, you have to ignore the Easter egg yellow color.  They wore them in black and looked stunning.

We got our wedding cake from a small bakery called Little London and had a pretty good time picking it out.  Just see below.

I took a picture of this cake at the bakery because I loved the black and white damask pattern.  I wanted more texture to the cake though, and saw an amazing magazine picture of a cake with hundreds of flower petals made out of icing sprinkled all over the cake.  The lady that worked there looked like she was going to have a panic attack when I told her I liked that look.  She mumbled something about how long it would take to individually hand-make all the petals, so I gave up that idea.  However, we came up with the idea to use large coconut shavings to get the same look and it turned out wonderful and looked very unique.

The moms and I!

MY interpretation of cake tasting.

This picture was taken at D'vine Wine in Manitou Springs.  Ryan and I made a Malbec and a Chardonnay for our rehearsal dinner.  We're also keeping several bottles for future anniversaries.  We plan to have a bottle on our one year anniversary (unless we're on the beach in Cabo, fingers crossed!), one for our 25 year anniversary and all the others in between.  We are keeping one that will never be opened as well.

On one of our many trips to The Pinery over the past year and a half.  It was absolutely perfect - we loved the modern yet classy look, the gorgeous chandeliers, the dark vaulted ceilings and the overall feel.  We could totally picture ourselves saying our vows and having our first dance there.  Ryan and I, along with our moms, attended a bridal fair held there about a month after we got engaged and fell in love with it!  Another month after the bridal fair we spent a weekend touring wedding venues.  The Pinery was the first one we went to and each appointment after that had us even more convinced that we had already found the perfect spot.

This was taken on the patio at The Pinery.  We had a delicious brunch on Mother's Day and my Nana and Grandpa were able to see where we would be getting married.

The wedding invitations!  We used C.J. Kard and they were great to work with, especially considering the fact that I called them 7 times in one day to change itty-bitty details.  We were thrilled with the end result and they ended up keeping one invitation for their look books.  Make sure to keep an eye out if you go there!

The next pictures are from my wedding shower.  It was put on by Katira and was so beautiful!  When guests first walked in, they were to write down a piece of advice on a card and put it in the jar.  On the envelope, they wrote when the advice should be read (first anniversary, first fight, when you have children, etc.)  One person (we're not sure who, but if you know, tell me!) wrote on the envelope "25th Anniversary."  That was so surreal to me because it will be incredible to open something that was written just for us 25 years before.  And it will be so special to see how far we've come.  I can't wait to open it - it must be great advice considering that person has probably celebrated their own 25th wedding anniversary.

The cutest shower cake I've ever seen!  Plus, it was delicious with all the tropical flavors to set the tone for our tropical honeymoon.  Plus, it was homemade by Katira.  Cake, fondant and all!  She's incredible.

Toilet paper brides!  Pretty impressive, huh?  I had to go with AnnMarie because the dress looked so similar to mine.  That and she threatened me if I turned against family :)

This was one of my favorite shower presents.  AnnMarie stitched and framed it for us.  It's a cute little house with "Tollis Family" stitched on.  We have it sitting out in our home now and it is so special to us.

Opening presents was a blast... but oh so exhausting!

I was so blessed that both my grandmothers were able to make it to my wedding shower here in Colorado.  My mom's mom is from Florida and my dad's mom is from Michigan and they both came, which meant the world to me.  Ryan and I drove home on Friday night for my shower the next day and I walked into the kitchen and was completely oblivious to Gramme standing off to the side.  When I noticed her, I was so excited she was there, went to hug her, and then turned around to see my other grandparents standing on the other side of the kitchen!  It was definitely one of the best surprises I've ever had.

I had to post a few pictures from my bachelorette party.  It.  Was.  Awesome.  These girls made it so much fun and I will never forget it.  Plus, we looked good - they all wore black and I wore a white cocktail dress.  Then of course, we had our hot pink tiaras, necklaces, banners and flashing rings.  Oh yeah!

Luckily Ryan wasn't too upset that I danced with another guy.  This little old man was tearing it up on the dance floor!  He was adorable.

Some bottles of our delectable vino.  Ryan and I made the wine from start to finish and it turned out fantastic, it was the best Malbec I've had.  Ryan also made the labels for each bottle.  We had the Gettin' Married Malbec and the Cabo Chardonnay!  Mmmm!

Made with love, we hope that everyone who tried it loved it.

So there you go, some pictures of the most memorable months of our lives.  Thank you to everyone who had a part in making it perfect, we love you.

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