Elopements, Portraits, Weddings

jean + anamika | BOLINAS BACKYARD WEDDING

Coming soon to every major newsstand 💫 Sneak peek from a recent microwedding along the coast of Marin. I’m so thrilled to see this feature in print very soon (you bet I’m buying an extra copy to mail to my mom). Chasing publication credits has never been the ultimate goal of my work, but I can’t help but feel some deep gratification, knowing these images might inspire and encourage other couples, whatever stage of their wedding planning they find themselves in. These two created such a memorable and honest gathering for their closest friends, a kind of golden afternoon that will live on in my memory forever. Plus, Jean and Anamika’s absolute cute-meet story is just one of those that’s too good not to share. Photographed on @fujifilm_profilm with my Contax 645 at the very end of golden hour during Jean and Anamika’s backyard Bolinas wedding. Henna by @ritualbydesign, florals by @acmefloralco. Special thanks to @capturedbydiane for the film rolling + gear lugging assistance and good company. I’ve included the copy from The Knot below, you can also check out the full online feature on their website here!

The coastal home where Jean Mason (31 and a textile designer and artist) and Anamika Goyal (30 and an architect) tied the knot wasn’t their first or even second plan. Their vow exchange was actually the third iteration of their celebration the couple came up with. “Our plan A was a large wedding on a blueberry farm in Maine, which didn’t pan out, so plan B was Yosemite,” Jean says. “After the pandemic began, it didn’t make sense to carry on planning a large, uncertain event, so it was back to the drawing board.” Thankfully, Jean and Anamika “are both designers, so creating our vision and putting together our perfect event was a great creative experience to share. Not having a planner meant we had to handle all the little details, but it ensured every element was thoughtful and intentional.”

“We call the event our ‘gold lining’ wedding,” Jean shares. “We had to make so many changes and compromises, but in exchange, we received the most unique and personal jewel of a wedding that wouldn’t have been able to exist without the strange circumstances.” The day’s theme was “California nature meets Indian tradition meets handmade.” It included coastal influences, crane and hummingbird motifs, and nods to the couple’s Indian and Quaker heritage. Marigolds dominated the floral design. “They added a perfect high-impact pop of color,” Anamika recalls.

“The planning experience was a testament to the power of our community—many things provided were thanks to the generosity, talent and creativity of our friends,” says Jean. Notably, Jean’s dad, an amateur calligrapher, made the place cards. Also, Jean’s parents customized the menus “by adding some quirky illustrations.” And then, “after dinner, a guest surprised us with some voice recordings from our family and friends,” Jean says. Additionally, since the duo opted for a nine-person vow exchange, “the one part of Indian weddings I did really miss was the sangeet night,” Anamika recalls. “But my little sister surprised us by organizing a virtual sangeet.”

Though neither set of parents was able to attend the wedding, they were still an integral part of the event. “We spent many hours with Anamika’s mom on Zoom learning how to tie a sari correctly,” Jean says. “The most special part was the dark red chunni that I had draped around my shoulders, which my mother wore during her own wedding 35 years ago,” Anamika adds. Instead of waiting until a first look to see each other, the couple spent their wedding morning getting ready together. “My sari takes a few sets of hands to get on,” Anamika says. “Typically my mother would have helped me get ready, but in this case, Jean stepped in and helped me tie that thing on like a pro! I remember feeling totally victorious in having tied a sari without my mom for the first time.” I had just barely put the last safety pin in my sari when a huge beam of sunlight came in through the window, shining right on me as if to say ‘good job Anamika, you didn’t mess it up.’” As for Jean’s attire, in keeping with the motif, the hummingbird embroidery on Jean’s dress “added to the fun and whimsy of the day.”

Photography: Cassie Valente | Film Lab: Photovision | Floral Design: Acme Floral Co | Table Runner: Homebody Textiles | Bridal Mehndi: Ritual By Design |

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