The Wedding Story of James Anderson and Ishanaa Rambachan
Married on September 10th 2016.
Q. How did you two meet, where and when?
We were both home for the holidays and glimpsed each other in the campus coffee shop at St. Olaf College back in January 2010. Both of our dads work there! We went on a chance date, bowling at Apple Place Bowl and sipped Caribou Coffee and talked for hours as snow fell all around us! We haven't stopped talking since!
Q. How long were you together before you got engaged?
Six long years .
Q. Where and how did you get engaged?
We spent a long weekend hiking the red rocks and canyons of Sedona, Arizona. On one such hike, we hiked up Cathedral Rock (aptly named) and after a 6 mile summit, James popped the question at the top! (He also somehow managed to sneak the ring and a bottle of champagne in his backpack the whole way!)
Q. How did you decide what time of year you wanted to be married? Are there any special family dates/ties to your wedding day?
We knew that we wanted to get married in the fall which is our favorite season. Growing up in Minnesota, I loved when the apples would ripen in our backyard and was always excited for the school year to begin!
Q. How did you decide to have your wedding at the Arboretum? Do you have any history or familiarity with the Arboretum?
We both love the outdoors and visiting all of national and local state parks! The arboretum's mission made it even more special to us as James works on forest issues for a think tank (The World Resources Institute).It was really important to us to have our ceremony outdoors and in a place which allows us to fully celebrate our Hindu wedding traditions - including a white horse that James rode in. The Arboretum was very welcoming and gracious with all of our requests.
Q. What was your wedding day like for the two of you? Is there anything in particular that you remember as being 'the moment' for you?
It was truly the happiest day. There were so many little moments that we cherish:
- I remember waiting next to the Sensory Garden for James to walk down with the wedding party over the hill and hugging my parents and my brothers! I could see the colorful fabric umbrellas we had brought from India bobbing up and down through the trees, hearing the drumbeat, and being very excited.
- Right before the ceremony, gusts of wind came through all of the crabapple trees. I remember goosebumps and a feeling that this was meant to be!
- Right after the ceremony, we had a Minnesota picnic right across the ceremony site at the Trex deck. It was so fun to be in the presence of all of our family and friends in an informal way!
- We took our photos in the middle of a giant willow tree in the grounds. That exact spot will be one we keep coming back to!
Q. Can you describe what you felt when you saw the beautiful photos of your wedding?
Just pure joy! We may go back to them - just about every day!
Q. Did anything fun or funny happen at the wedding that you will never forget?
James entered the wedding on a white horse in a parade of family and close friends called a "baraat." This is meant to symbolize in traditional times when the groom would travel from his village to his brides. Huston, our horse, came from Wisconsin which is conveniently where James' family is from! Everyone was dancing and we had a drummer playing a traditional Indian drum called a "dholak" . At one point, the horse got spooked by the drum and started suddenly- we were lucky that he didn't carry James away!
Q. Will you include the Arboretum in celebrating your anniversary in any way like visit the spot you were married or have a picnic on the grounds that day?
Yes! We love that we got married in a place that we and our family can visit regularly. My parents visited just last weekend. Any time any one goes- they are required to send us a photo under the willow tree!
Q. Are you happy with the decision to have an outdoor wedding?
Yes, we couldn't be happier! It’s not for the faint of heart though. But, I was stubborn and did not have a plan B!