Holland Sanders and Mike Lopez
By Meda Kessler
Picking a significant wedding date — or one that’s easy to remember — is common for engaged couples.
Holland and Mike, who have been together for 11 years, chose March 21, 2020, to make their union official. Holland heads up a boutique public relations agency, and Mike is an artist. They dubbed their date: “3, 2, 1 … go.”
Their photographers, Denton-based A Sea of Love, were the first to notify them — two weeks out — that COVID was a concern. Holland’s brother has Crohn’s disease and would be at risk. Groomsmen were scheduled to fly in from Scotland and New York, and one of the bridesmaids lived in San Francisco. With vendors, guests, family and friends notified and supportive, the couple decided to reschedule. “9-19-20 sounded good,” says Holland. “Mike and I celebrated on our original wedding date with a special dinner and a bottle of champagne. We got dressed up and played music.”
Come fall, COVID remained a factor, but the couple felt everyone understood the necessary protocols. Holland also realized she needed help — even with a smaller wedding. “I was in the throes of keeping my business afloat so Deryk Poynor and Jordan Cook of The Greenhouse 817 became our planners,” says Holland. “They had made suggestions for the first date; they helped take control of the second one.”
Holland’s personal style is reflected in her wedding ensemble. A ballgown from Fort Worth’s WED Bridal Boutique was a surprise choice, as she originally sought out something with more of an Old World feel. “The minute I tried it on, I had the dress moment,” says Holland. But gold disc earrings from Vintage Martini in Dallas and Stella McCartney platform mesh lace-ups were signature Holland. The groom’s classic dark suit was the perfect foil to his bride’s bold look.
While Mike was perfectly happy to let Holland’s personality shine, she embraced his sentimentality. The groom and the bride both had something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue for the wedding. Mike tucked an old silver Mexican coin into his shoe, a gift from Holland’s brother, who also was a groomsman, and he wore an emerald tie pin from his mother. Holland’s father gifted him a blue-handled pocketknife.
The ceremony and reception — 35 attended the nuptials and 40 more guests joined them for the evening celebration — took place at Fort Worth’s Weston Gardens. Holland and Mike had looked at places in the Hill Country, but found Weston’s bucolic setting perfect for the outdoor event. Benjamin Novak Hudgins, co-owner of Novak Hair Studios, officiated. As with many of the guests and vendors, Holland had met Novak originally when he signed on as a public relations client. “He’s now a good friend. It meant so much to have him marry us, as he was able to speak with so much candor.”
While the intimate event meant the couple could spend more time with their guests, they also made sure friends and family as far away as Australia and Mexico City were able to livestream their wedding.
“This year has made us understand the importance of letting go; both of us are very focused and detail-oriented, and the process pushed us into this unknown space,” says Holland. “Coming up with solutions was hard; finding joy wasn’t.”