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LOVE has no boundaries

Local celebratory Indian has no boundaries!

Article by Beau-Coup

Photography by Jack Hartzman

Originally published in Potomac Lifestyle

She sought a job, but this Washington recruiter gave her a ring.

In a town at a time marked by intensifying polarity, one Potomac wedding on one August day dissolved the divide, bridging worlds, traditions, political views and people. 

In the Fall of 2015, Dipka Bhambhani, now senior advisor to ExxonMobil’s public and government affairs team and senior Forbes contributor, summoned the most fateful meeting of her life. 

She traveled three hours on the Amtrak Acela from New York to Washington to finally meet one of Washington’s most sought-after executive recruiters, John Hesse, about some of the most sought-after public and government affairs jobs in town.

Mr. Hesse, now a partner at Ivan Adler & Associates, summoned her back to Washington for a job interview some months later. 

For Ms. Bhambhani, the job didn’t feel quite right. But the connection between them was a different story. She liked that Mr. Hesse was calm, knowledgeable and put her at ease. He liked her energy. He still calls her a light and a breath of fresh air.

Shortly after they met, Ms. Bhambhani moved to Washington to pursue a dream job--building the first communications and external affairs practice at the U.S. Energy Association.

The two stayed in touch professionally but met rarely. Ms. Bhambhani was traveling globally working in energy policy. Mr. Hesse was, well, being sought after by other job seekers and members of Congress, his primary candidates.

In the Fall of 2020, five years after they met, Mr. Hesse asked Ms. Bhambhani to dinner, and she finally said yes; he had asked her in 2017, but at the time she said no. 

In the Fall of 2021, he proposed.

On August 27, 2022, the couple wed in a rustic slash traditional Hindu ceremony at the ISKON temple in Potomac, Maryland. It was a Hindu wedding performed by a Nepali priest sprinkled with Indo-Celtic elements.

White House dhol player, Ram Viswanathan, joined the groom’s baraat--the journey to meet his bride--along with a decorated white mare that had carried the Obama’s Christmas tree to the White House during his administration.

The bride’s mini British-style bridesmaids walked down the aisle to Indo-Celtic music assembled by composer Kanniks Kannikeswaran

The bride marched in alongside her bridesmaids to Santih, a piece sung by English Sanskrit singer, Gaiea Sanskrit.

After the ceremony, the newly married couple sauntered away from their mandap--Hindu marriage alter--to Mendelssohn’s Wedding March. Afterward, the bride’s parents hosted a pure vegetarian lunch for all the guests and Krishna devotees visiting the temple.

The couple hosted an elegant reception that evening at The Intercontinental on the Wharf in Northwest D.C. 

Though Hesse, a lawyer and lobbyist, is often seen wearing several hats around town, he wore only one on his wedding day--a pagri.

The bride, originally from Houston and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, is still shocked she married a Yankee, while the groom, a New Jersey native, just feels lucky she did.