I am so excited to share Estrela and Shawn-Patrick’s Bride and Groom Session at Pensacola Beach from this past weekend, and even more excited to share a little bit about their story. Estrela is a 21 year old Brazilian beauty passionate about her faith in Christ and her passion for people – particularly the sick in body and spirit. She came to study in Pensacola, FL in 2009. Having completed a BA in International Relations, a minor in Spanish from UWF and an AA in Education from PSC, she is currently back in school finishing the science pre-requisites required for medical school. She spent a lot of time praying about her future husband, and chose not to date until she met some one she felt God was calling her toward. In the meantime, she began to pray that God would unite their ways so that she would be able to develop a strong friendship with him. The very next day, she met Shawn Patrick. Shawn-Patrick is an incredibly sweet and well rounded guy who has moved all over as the son of a military family. He and Estrela hit it off and found they shared many common interests. However, only a week later, Estrela moved to Spain for missions and to study abroad while Shawn Patrick stayed in Florida. Despite the miles of ocean between them, Shawn Patrick felt God telling him to pursue Estrela from the time they met. He as well had been praying for a wife, not just a girlfriend. The two talked for a year on Skype and developed a strong friendship, just as Estrela had prayed for. When she moved back to the U.S., however, another separation would challenge their relationship. Shawn-Patrick moved to Maryland, and he and Estrela thought maybe that was a sign that they were not supposed to stay together. Despite the second time being split apart, they both began feeling a call to get married. He wrote a letter to her parents and traveled down to FL to give a purity ring to Estrela to symbolize his intentions toward their relationship.
When visiting Shawn-Patrick and his parents on a trip to Washington D.C., Estrela experience the surprise of her life as Shawn-Patrick knelt down in the middle of the Washington D.C. Capitol building during their “tour” to ask her to be his bride. They married this summer and have been loving the exciting beginning of their new lives together! Their goal is to finish their degrees and serve as missionary doctors overseas together.
One of Estrela and Shaw-Patrick’s favorite dates is to take walks along the beach and talk about anything and everything, so it was just perfect to take their photos at one of her favorite places on Earth! The day I was going to be meeting the two of them at the beach for our session, my stomach was in knots due to the 90% chance of thunderstorms. It was the only day we had for the session, so I began praying for the rain, thunder and lightning to hold off for the evening. Little did I know, Estrela was praying also. Sure enough, I watched the forecast on our drive out to the beach drop to 80%, 60%, and then 40%. And would you believe – not one cloud of rain came our way! It did bring us some amazing moody skies though which I was crazy about!
As you’ll see below, we made some time to incorporate a few special details symbolizing some special moments from their wedding. Be sure to read about the wedding song and the blessing of the hands…you will love those stories!! 😀
I could not have been more tickled watching Shawn-Patrick carry Estrela’s guitar out to the white sandy beach. Estrela loves to play guitar and sing, so one of her wedding surprises was when she began singing a special song she wrote just for Shawn-Patrick during their ceremony. She wrote them on a napkin and tucked it into her bouquet, just in case her excitement got the best of her. She still had the napkin and it was so sweet the way her voice lit up Shawn-Patrick’s smile. There is truly something amazing in the way a girl can share her love in a song from her heart.
During Estrela and Shawn-Patrick’s wedding ceremony, they held eachother’s hands while each bridesmaid read a special blessing over their hands. It was a moment and fully think about how you have a hand to hold through everything you will experience in marriage, and after each blessing you more fully cherish the relationship that can be found in a husband and wife.
These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow, and forever.
These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as together you build your future.
These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch, will comfort you like no other.
These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief fills your mind.
These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes; tears of sorrow, and tears of joy.
These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children.
These are the hands that will help you to hold your family as one.
These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it.
And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged, will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.
There wasn’t really a sunset per say, but I will take these gorgeous deep blue clouds any day! It could not have been a more perfect evening for the two of them, and Estrela chuckled as she said that couple’s portraits make for amazing marriage therapy! I mean, how often do you have a chance to take an hour or two to just hold, kiss, and talk lovingly to each other? It was so sweet to watch them take a time out from work, school and the craziness of life to just be together.
Congratulations to you both Estrela and Shawn-Patrick! I wish you both the best and pray that each year you find so much to be grateful for, to see how you’ve learned and grown together, and how you have walked alongside each other through anything and everything that comes your way. Thank you both for letting me do what I love and get to know you both!