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Fort Lauderdale, FL

Stephen-Pratt and Shannon 04-20-24


We shared an amazing September that year. Shannon was in the US for a summer work program and we finally got to spend some time together. Being apart for over 4 or so years we’ve never been able to find happiness outside of each other. I bought the ring and we set out to have the best adventures that summer for her Birthday, trying to make up for a lot of missed opportunities. I knew she was the one and couldn’t let her go again. So we set up a surprise party the night before she left to ask the question, WILL YOU MARRY ME?… She Said Yes.

Wedding Day

April 20, 2024
2:00 PM–8:00 PM
3861 Stirling Road, Hollywood, FL, 33312

What date should I RSVP by?

Kindly RSVP by March 10, 2024.

What happens if I do not RSVP by March 10, 2024?

Unfortunately, if you do not communicate by the deadline we will not be able to accommodate you for either ceremony or reception. Your communication is vital in the process.

Can I take my child with me to the wedding?

Adults only. Unfortunately, we cannot host any children at our wedding. We appreciate your understanding.

Can Photos be taken during the ceremony and reception?

Yes. However, photos taken before and during the ceremony of the bride and groom or wedding party is prohibited from being posted until given the go ahead by the bride and groom to do so. We thank you for your understanding.

What are the addresses of the wedding ceremony and reception venues?

Ceremony and reception will take place at Lavan Venue – 3861 Stirling Rd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312

Is there parking available near your wedding venue?

Yes, parking is available on the premises.

Will your wedding be indoors or outdoors?

The ceremony will be held outdoor, reception indoor.

What is the dress code for your wedding?

Formal attire. White is prohibited. Black is prohibited.

What type of food will be served at your wedding?

We’ll be serving hors d’oeuvres at cocktail hour followed by a sit-down dinner with a choice of entree.

Will there be an open bar?

Yes, within reception hours.

Where should we bring/send our wedding gift?

See wedding registry link on home page, or send direct message for further details.

What is the weather like in the area?

The weather is forecasted to be partly sunny on the 20th of April, with zero probability of a thunderstorm.

Our Story

October 2007, 15 years ago, Shannon, her two sisters, and her cousin began attending My father’s Church. As I recall it somehow they got a hold of my handkerchief and returned it with lip gloss marks. She will tell you it was a paper belonging to them and I was being nosy when the cousin handed it to me. We became friends afterward and sometime later I learned that the lip gloss marks on the paper were from the cousin, not her.

We became fond of each other and decided to make our relationship into something more by November. In high school, we spent a lot of time at the bus park, finding extra reasons to come to church to see each other. She and her sisters often went everywhere as a group so most of our excursions were done together; to the movies, to parties, to the parks, the beach and of course back to church.

Around 2009-11 when I was finishing my associates degree at age 18, my parents emigrated to the US from Jamaica and my filing proceeding began. We were afforded more independence on account of being a bit older and found our relationship needed to change. Together we found we wanted more time with each other so sleepovers were now a thing. Either her mom would have me over for a few days or she’d stay at my home. Longer-term plans and commitments were taking hold as we began to think about our future together.

Eventually, it became clear I’d be emigrating to the US and by then our relationship was solid. The plan was to emigrate and then eventually have her follow. Our decision was to remain faithful and choose each other.

We totally misunderstood the assignment. In year one of me being here we realized distance was taking a toll on our relationship. Only being able to talk over the phone, we were completely out of sync. Daylight savings time, being on different schedules in terms of work and or school, our methods of communicating just would not work. After years of being able to be by each other’s side, collaborating together, coming home to see each other, and spending time in each other’s presence, we just couldn’t transmit all of that over the phone. Neither of us were talkative people over the phone and communicating felt like we were trying to grind gears. This frustration escalated and we got more upset at each other than at the situation and couldn’t come to a resolution. So we hit stop; so much for a solid relationship!

In the months that passed by, Shannon and I fell victim to the “Hey what’s up, and are you ok?I’m just checking on you” messages. It turns out we really cared for each other and even a friendship was better than not being in each other’s life. This relationship had no pressure and no expectations of trying to convey 10 million feelings of affection and longing in general, just not being able to be with each other. This just felt like finding ways to say “I care”.

When the opportunity presented itself for Shannon to do a work and travel program to the USA, she got her 1st visa and came here. We met up after the work program had ended and spent a few days together. Friends felt good, we wanted more from each other but friends felt really good. The time without her for me was frustrating on the romantic front as I was unwilling to entertain anyone else. I had already met my favorite person and I didn’t fancy any of the candies in the store.

So COVID was a thing in 2019 and everyone was sent to work from home. That meant we could literally live on the phone all day! This wasn’t our favorite thing to do but it almost felt like she was in my house the whole time. Shannon and I discovered how to be together apart and this time, we had some experience dealing with a long-distance relationship. This time we identified the limitations that geography played and that it wasn’t a challenge to overcome but an opportunity to use other tools to spend time together and show each other how we felt and who we’ve become over time apart. She was still my favorite person.

We tried getting her a Visa and that didn’t go well but, work and travel! Again! So, I got another opportunity and this time a guy made his plans known. After her work term ended we went on a vacation around her birthday and on October 2, I proposed to her! This is the part I’m blushing over. I couldn’t let her leave again and not show her I chose her, and Shannon chose me. On April 20, 2024, we vow to have and to hold, to weather any storm together.

All that’s left to say is our story is…To Be Continued.

Wedding Party

Shannon Grant – Bride
Stephen-Pratt – Groom
Justine Palmer – Maid of Honour
Abigail Palmer – Bride’s Maid
Maia Cummings – Bride’s Maid
Daijah Palmer – Bride’s Maid
Kevin Hall – Best Man
Chameika Turner – Groom’s member
Roshelle Burnett – Groom’s Member
Bueli Njheri – Groom’s Member
Elizabeth Palmer – Mother of the Bride
Halterine Brown – Mother of the Groom

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