Sweet, Sweet Holly. On a cloud of bridal fluff.

You’ve been wanting some bridal inspiration, haven’t you? Well. Holly’s Awe-Inspiring (capitalized for emphasis) Maggie Sottero Bridal Gown will definitely make your heart beat a little bit faster.


Disclaimer Section:

There are so many things I want to write about this session that I’m wondering if you’ll actually read all of them. I just found out about the acronym TLDR (Too Long, Didn’t Read), and I’m pretty sure that applies to my writing. Haha. But also, I’m serious. Sometimes I try to put my emails in bullet points, dashes, and/or underlined sections so that you can keep from going cross-eyed while you read them.

One day, though, my worst fear will come true and I’ll get a response with just one line: TLDR. Oh, that will be a sad day. Especially if I have spent an hour proofing the email (no, I can’t just type it out and press Send. Something is wrong with me).

Let’s just hope that I can either a) make my writing more interesting and exciting to read, or b) learn to condense these things. At least reading my blog is more of an “elective”-type of activity.

This didn’t have anything to do with Holly’s Bridals. It’s just that I want to talk about Holly, her dress, her bridal beauty, her super-sweet Mom and Maid of Honor, Amanda from Nest Floral design who did some extra pretties for us for the session just because she is so fabulous, Pati Gann: her coordinator who came along to make it easier for us and why we love her so much, and the Secretary Desk that my Aunt Sue loaned me for the session. And how Will carried it all through the McKinney Cotton Mill just because I asked him to. Oh, and then more about Holly and how much we loved her wedding. That’s all.

Okay, and Glue Dots. What an amazing invention!


Any of you who know Holly Penn don’t have to be told how amazing she is*. It’s obvious. One day, I’d like to be the kind of person who people think about and feel better just for having thought about me. That’s how she is. When you meet Holly, the “Plain Person Alarm Bells” go off in your head because she is not plain. Or “just normal”, a run-of-the-mill-regular-ol’-person, or the kind of girl who you can meet and forget about. There is something very different about her, and you don’t have to talk to her for very long to find out what that is.

It’s her light. That recognizable pure and perfect light is inside of her, and He is Someone who fuels her every thought. Her every action. The fact that I’m writing this about her probably makes her a little bit nervous, because what I’m describing is a pretty hard-sounding thing to live up to; following God with every fiber of your being. But she has shown us that it’s not hard. Because truly, she is able to be this amazing example just by having love in her heart that pours out onto people and makes them feel cared for. Significant.

Just by being herself, she makes an impression on so many people. It is truly amazing to a) get to witness this domino effect of how quickly and easily the love of Jesus can spread when the people who love Him are genuine and kind, and b) to get to know this many true and wonderful people in our job who have such an affect on us. More on this after the next picture.

We are so fortunate to be reminded of God’s Love when we come into contact with these graceful and loving people. {Tangent Warning:} It kind-of makes me sad that I wasn’t more wholeheartedly following Him when I was growing up (Will and I both grew up Christian and were blessed to always be surrounded by people who loved God, but we always thought we could “really get into God later” or that that was a thing you got more serious about when you were older. The young people our age who did claim to be “really good Christians” seemed a bit insincere and judgmental from the outside. But maybe that was just my perception. Or maybe those were just cases of a few disingenuous people who made the larger whole look worse than it actually was. That one red sock always does make the whole washing machine turn pink, doesn’t it?). But now that also makes me thankful that I can tell such a stark difference in myself between halfhearted almost-following/thinking that it was enough and truly feeling the desire to fully follow.

Wow. All of that pours out of me just when I think about Holly. See what an effect she has on people? Jon is one lucky fellow. He must wake up with the widest smile on his face every single morning when he remembers that she is his wife. For the past four days.

It’s not just Holly who has been introduced into our lives as an example and a gift of God’s love, either. Just like I mentioned a long time ago (almost exactly a year ago, actually), it seems like every single person who we come into contact with lately has been meant to be intertwined in our lives. And it just keeps continuing. You don’t even know how many people call and email us every week and say, “I heard about you from so-and-so”, or “I saw you on so-and-so’s facebook page” or “All of my friends used you for their weddings” (Heeheee- I really like that one) and then they turn out to be these amazing, deep, completely genuine people who truly love the Lord. Some of them are quiet and you can just sense that they are kind and that there is something more in their hearts, and some of them will unashamedly tell you in the first breath that you talk to them. Some show it through the overwhelming love they have for their fiance that we get to experience during the Engagement Session, and some have these blow-you-out-of-the-water wedding ceremonies that are infused with Christ and His love. I can’t imagine my life without all of these people. That’s how I know that this is what we were meant to do right now, and especially that this is how we’ve gotten this far. I had never imagined our lives to be anything other than: “Married with ‘regular jobs’**, and we’ll be happy because we’re together”. To be gifted with so much more beyond your dreams and expectations is like waking up and realizing something that has been there all along: a nice surprise and a really nice gift.

I’m not quite sure how to transition into the rest of the session after that totally-unplanned-tangent, but you don’t have to read my words to get to enjoy this amazing dress and Holly’s prettiness (see also: How Amazing and Beautiful a Dress Can Make You Feel When You’re In It).

This was created in that perfect-time-of-day-during-the-pretty-light. It came and went all in under five minutes, but it sure was glorious. See how it lit the dress up from behind? And I like the little light-dots it created in the backgrounds, too.

This is the one they chose for their Framed 20×30. It was beautifully grand when printed and framed by the amazing Simply Color Lab (we use them because there is no one better. In the world. From experience). We cropped in all the way to the dress, and it looked even more grand. As if it was even possible to show the amazingness of this dress in a photograph. We also took out the building in the background and replaced it with green trees. I could find that one and post it, but frankly I’m too lazy to search for it amongst the thousands of files on my computer right now.

This one was Pati’s favorite. She looks so elegant. Segway-into-Pati-is-AWESOME in 3…2… Thank you, Mrs. Pati Gann, for coming to the session to help us! You were just as wonderful on this day as you were at Saturday’s wedding (and let me tell you, those images are going to be…AAAAHHHHH! They’re pretty).

Aves Photographic Design Bridal Portraits McKinney Cotton Mill 5826 Sweet, Sweet Holly. On a cloud of bridal fluff.

Notice the ruffles at the top of the dress that peek over the corset back. Ruffled perfection.

These are just a few of Nest Floral Studio‘s pretties that they brought for us to play with that day. The yellow ball-thingies are my favorite.


Maybe I’m only seeing it because I know her, but all I can see in this is a light and a kindness just pouring out of her heart.

I don’t even have to say it but I will anyway. Ooooh. Ahhhh.

This is the part where I thank Holly’s Mama, Cristie, and the wonderful MOH, Callyn, for following us around, placing Holly’s dress wherever I said, and by being entourage-ishly fabulous in every way (piping in with the appropriate ooh’s and aah’s when needed, laughing at any of our {my} dumb attempts at humor, and generally helping this day to be completely-larger-than-life for Holly so that she could have this amazing memory from it that can never be replaced).

Oh, and there were some glue dots somewhere in there***. Inside joke! Inside joke! Yes, I have an inside joke with Mrs. Holly Penn! Piorkowski!

This goes without saying, but thank you Holly, for being such a wonderful person that we both smile whenever we mention you. For getting married and being excited about it. And for…being you. Oh, and for feeding us at the wedding. ;) We liked that too.
XOXO, Lauren and Will
*That’s a phrase I stole from Pati Gann. It was worth repeating because it’s true.
**Whatever those are.
***Not really even an “inside joke” because putting glue dots on the bottom of a vase isn’t exactly funny. Per se… It’s just that before I revealed it, no one but us at the shoot knew where the glue dots were. Oh, dang it. I think I just ruined the “inside” part of my not-really-funny “joke”.

Mom - These are so beautiful! And you know I love reading every word you write! I’m so happy that you and Will are so blessed to get to know so many wonderful people.

meganheartsphoto - That image they got the 20×30 in. OMG. Breathtaking. Like whoa. That should be the cover of a magazine.

Pati Gann - Lauren, I love your words. You make words into beautiful stories. If photography doesn’t work out, which I know it WILL, then writing is where you should go! You and Will are such sweet spirits and have captured everything about Holly. She has been such an inspiration to me as well. Her love for Lord is truly radiant in her heart and in her beautiful face! Thank you for making dreams into printed reality! Love ya! Pati Gann/Perfectly Planned by Pati.

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