This is an easy one.
Last September, Chilli Amar, who many of you know better as the fun and chatty voice of traffic on 105.9 The Edge, asked me to photograph her wedding. If you've ever listened to Chilli on the radio or read her blog, you know that she is never at a loss for words.
A conversation with her just days before the wedding went something like this:
"Matt, I'm getting ready at my aunt's house in McLean. The address is...wait a sec...can you hang on? I have to do this first. I'll be back in one minute. GUYS, NO INCIDENTS REPORTED ON I-95 SOUTHBOUND BUT A DISABLED TRUCK WILL BLOCK YOUR LEFT LANE GOING NORTH. ON I-270, WE'VE GOT ROADWORK GOING ON BEFORE YOU GET TO FATHER HURLEY BOULEVARD. TRY AND STAY TO THE LEFT. SLOW GOING AROUND THE BELTWAY BETWEEN CONNECTICUT AVE. AND GEORGIA AVE., A GUY CHANGING A FLAT TIRE. Okay, I'm back. So, I'm getting ready at my aunt's house in McLean."
Chilli is adorable, she's a great Caps fan (need I say more?), and she was as excited about her wedding as anyone I've ever seen. Don Carnevale plays hockey in the adult league at Kettler (where my daughter plays, need I say more?) and is a perfect complement to Chilli. But when we first spoke, I got a glimpse of the more serious side of Chilli and it was quite touching.
Her engagement was bittersweet, she told me in an early email, not because she wasn't head over heels in love with her fiance Don, which she clearly was, but because both Don and Chilli's mothers had passed away within a short time of each other.
"My mother was supposed to be here," Chilli wrote. "None of this makes sense without her. She was my compass. Without her love, laughter and support through all of this, I'm lost."
Chilli wanted pictures that were real, photographs that would capture the meaning in her wedding. She knew early on in the process what was important to her. (And here I must thank one of my favorite brides of all time, Laura Gonzalez, the advertising manager at the station, for putting us in contact.)
Well, I'm happy to report that Chilli and Don had a wonderfully joyous wedding last week, beginning at the beautiful St. Mary Armenian Church in Washington and culminating with a great reception at the Lansdowne Resort in Leesburg, Virginia. I'm certain that both Chilli and Don's mothers would have been very proud of their children, especially the moving "crowning" ceremony portion of the church service.)
And if Chilli was worrying that she would be lacking for love and support, she can now relax. (I know she's relaxing because I've been getting Facebook updates from Bora Bora every day.) Between all her aunts, there was enough laughter and support to fill an arena. I loved it when they all broke out into Armenian folk dancing. (I also loved when Chilli and her sister looked out the sunroof of their limo and saw the threatening clouds moving away. For me, that meant great light later in the day!)
In a day or two, Chilli will be back from the peace and quiet of the South Pacific and back on the air. And I'm sure she'll have plenty to say, as she always does. But the important stuff can be shared with only one other listener, and his name happens to be Don Carnevale.
|© 2017 Matt Mendelsohn Photography|