Featured Bride Justine S., Wedding Location: Maple Grove, MN | Wedding Date: January 14th, 2012 There are the girls who grew up fantasizing about their perfect wedding down to the very last detail, and then there's me. From a dream to reality. Granted, I am not really that different. I must admit - I definitely dreamed. I suppose I sheepishly perused dress websites, eyed jewelry stores, and even stealthily flipped through bridal magazines in Barnes and Noble, but I never had a clear picture of what I wanted. I knew I was more of a ballgown/a-line kind of girl, but I couldn't see what I'd be wearing. I knew I wanted my sisters (and a few others) up there with me, and I knew I wanted to be married in my church, but everything I pictured was general and undefined. So here we are now, in the midst of planning - and I see it, only the process of sifting through dreams and reality is like opening the box of a jigsaw puzzle for the first time: it's tedious, but you know the end result is going to be awesome. Figuring it out. Being the exact opposite of Type A, I haven't really followed a linear pattern in planning this wedding. We got engaged, then told our parents. Then the siblings. Then our families. Then all our friends. Then the gathering of information began. We are artsy types (both musicians), so I've attached myself to blogs like Ruffled and Style Me Pretty (the latter of which I got from my cousin's wife - love it!) and bookmarked things I liked and wanted to emulate or take inspiration from. We love downtown, so looked there first - however, that is where our first compromise had to be made. It still pains me a little to think we didn't get that venue we fell in LOVE with, but I know what we got was lovely, and we can rock it. I'd get married in a shack with holes in its roof in the rain, as long as I was still marrying Mike. I know that's sappy, and probably a bit clichéd, but I know it's right. So, now the date is set (January 14, 2012!). The church is reserved, the reception venue is booked, and my lovely husband-to-be is questioning the use of the words “linens” and “stationery” instead of “tablecloths” and “invitations.” Right on schedule, right? Enjoy the journey. But my point is this: it's been a learning experience. It's going to be frustrating at times. There are going to be things to compromise on. There will be hitches, mishaps, and times when you have to consider what you can realistically pull off. In being one half of this experience, I have learned that even though you may now have a picture in your head, that picture is going to morph, even if slightly. But the thing to keep in mind is who you are and who he is - most importantly, who you are together. This is the best trend I have noticed--that couples are taking the most fun and wonderful parts about who they are and inserting them into aspects of their wedding. That is what is going to make it the best day ever. So I didn't see every detail until it was real. The greatest is that I have the best half of the story: the groom. Better than I imagined--taller, quirkier, sweeter, smarter, handsomer, funnier...blonder. :) ~~ Other Posts You’ll Love: Why We’re Seeing Each Other Before the Wedding 411 On the Wedding Florist Picking the Perfect Wedding Hairstyle & Wedding Shoes for Your Perfect Day Let’s Be Friends! Follow us on Twitter!