That’s what every bride wants on her wedding day.
Truth is, most couples don’t have the means to put together one of those dreamy, almost not to believe weddings that is so fantastic. Not to mention the amount of time and effort that must go into pulling that kind of wedding off.
I’ve seen movies where there was a huge wedding with every extra you could think of—consider something like this:
First, you need a gorgeous location fronting some bit of water, secluded on an estate that is covered with beautiful trees and landscaping. How about a pool on the estate, with several bars set up here and there for the guests to enjoy. Then put together a lineup of food that is more than you could imagine—how about American food coupled with samplings of food from other cultures and countries?
Of course, a wedding would never be so memorable if you didn’t have hundreds of people there to make it a big party so let’s say at least 300 people. Then after the ceremony everyone got to mingle for a while to enjoy more food than you could imagine. As the sun was setting everyone retired to the huge reception area that was outside on the estate, but a party area that was cooled, covered and protected from bugs or any weather problems that would hinder this fabulous celebration.
And then the party would kick into high gear with a great D.J., more food, desserts and of course, a well-stocked bar that had perhaps the most important ingredient—enough bartenders that no one had to wait for a drink!
The bride announces that she insists on one goal for the evening—for everyone to dance all night!
Oh yea, and don’t forget the choreographed dance that the bride and groom had practiced for weeks with the entire wedding party—just to throw a little extra surprise into the night. Of course it takes a while to perform the dance since the dance floor was so packed with guests that you could hardly get a spot.
Oh no, that’s still not enough. How about the New Orleans Brass Band showing up after hours of dance music to take over the party, bringing a taste of the Crescent City to the North Shore to ensure that nothing was left out.
Yes, that kind of wedding is too crazy to imagine, right? Does anyone around here do that kind of thing? It’s probably only found in Hollywood where the “Lives of the Rich and Famous” goes on every weekend.
But hold on just a second because I’ve got a surprise for you. The wedding just described does, in fact, go on right here in St. Tammany Parish. And it did occur this past weekend when Jenny Amaraneni and Chris Fisher were married at the home of longtime Slidell physician Dr. Kumar Amaraneni.
Kumar and I became good friends after I began The Slidell Independent eight years ago. He is well known throughout St. Tammany Parish since he was formerly the head of the Slidell Memorial E.R. for many years. But more than that I learned over the years he is a man who is so friendly and caring for others that anyone who gets to know him considers it an honor to be called his friend.
I felt that way myself and over the years I eventually did a feature story about his life when I learned about a near-death experience he had several years ago, suffering a heart attack on the Gulf Coast and somehow surviving as he was rushed back to Slidell. Thankfully, at his daughter’s wedding, Kumar was far removed from that frightening time and clearly had the night of his life.
This past weekend it was time for him to show his daughter his love with the wedding of her dreams. I knew a little about Jenny from several years ago when Kumar told me about her company—SOLO Eyewear. With a marketing and advertising degree from the University of San Diego, Jenny became co-founder of a company that recycles plastic and bamboo to make eyeglasses, then donates 10 percent of the proceeds to helping people in underprivileged countries have eye exams, get glasses and have cataract surgery. To date they have helped over 13,000 people in 32 countries.
Hearing that story tells you all you need to know about who Jenny is. When you get to know Kumar, you understand where the good heart, compassion and intentions come from.
On Saturday night it was time for everyone to do one thing and that was be part of a wedding that most people in this world never get the opportunity to attend. As for my wife and I—and me without my camera—it was a night we probably enjoyed as much as anything we have done.
It’s a reminder to me that life can be too short and you need to take advantage of any opportunity to make one day, this day, today, be a fun one.
For this past Saturday night my wife and I can thank our friend Kumar for that.
Congratulations to Jenny and Chris on a wedding to remember, and one they should know was a fabulous memory for every person fortunate enough to be there.
Kevin Chiri can be reached by e-mail at