Wedding Bells Ring Around Chantilly


Rachel Dadoo, Assistant Opinions Editor

It’s wedding season, and brides and grooms-to-be all over Chantilly are planning their trip to the altar and the reception of their dream. As the school year winds down for staff and students alike, some teachers are busier than ever due to their recent engagements and wedding planning.

Brides and grooms all over the world have had a special moment in which they realized that they had found the person to commit to for life.

“ I think it’s important to admire your partner, to relish their strengths and qualities that make them so wonderful, and to express your gratitude for them,” English teacher Molli Atallah said .

Atallah first met her fiance, math teacher Bradley Smith, right here at school when they both signed up for the same professional development session the week before school started. Before she knew it, Atallah found herself sitting right beside Smith, and the rest was history.

Every person has certain characteristics or personality traits that they admire in a significant other, and can find themselves building a relationship with, especially if they share similar interests and core values.

“We are better together, we admire each other and we help each other realize those goals and stand firm in those values,” Atallah said.

As important as the bride is, it’s equally as important to understand the groom’s perspective.

“[Atallah] has great energy and she really cares about everything that she does such as her students and her yoga, which is something she is really passionate about, [and] we balance each other,” Smith said. “She has a really nice smile, [is] very positive and [has] nice eyes.”

Atallah and Smith plan to get married on March 24, 2018, exactly a year after their engagement. Both are extremely excited to start the next chapter of their life together.

“I am supremely grateful for Brad [Smith as he] is the best man I have ever known, and I am so happy to be engaged to him,” Atallah said.

Math teacher Sarah DeCenzo also met her fiance at Chantilly, but back when they were both high school students themselves. The pair kept in touch throughout college and their friendship turned into love. On Dec. 10, 2016, DeCenzo’s fiance proposed to her in front of the Christmas tree at Reston Town Center.

“[My fiance] is really outgoing, like me, and is very sincere and does little things for me,” DeCenzo said.

To many of the recently engaged teachers, marriage is not just about planning a wedding; it is about spending the rest of their lives together.

Social studies and leadership teacher Samantha Reynolds plans to get married on Nov.18 at Bull Run Winery. She met her fiance back when they were just kids.

“We met when we were younger [because] my uncle was [my fiance’s] brother’s Little League football coach and our paths have been crossing [since then],” Reynolds said.

A spouse not only takes on the role of a companion, but also motivates, trusts and challenges his or her partner.

“[My fiance] compliments my inadequacies, is patient with me, and I find myself with joy being around him everyday and I think that’s really important,” Reynolds said. “He challenges me to be not only a better person professionally, but also a better person overall.”

Finding love has no set time or age; it could happen at any point in one’s life.

For English teacher Kelsey Waddell, she found her best friend and true love in college, and they plan on getting married on Aug. 18.

“We are smart in opposite ways,” Waddell said. “He is very mathematical, and I feel that we complement each other [because] I admire intelligence and I like that [my fiance] is very smart.”

After working hard during the school day, these Chantilly brides and grooms-to-be have a busy path ahead of them as they plan their weddings and embark on this exciting time of their lives.