Real Wedding: Eleisha & Joshua

I love these words of wisdom from today’s bride, about her sweetly simple wedding: “Expectations are the death of serenity. And since I didn’t overplan or expect perfection, I was on top of the world the whole day.” Eleisha and Joshua were joined by their parents and sisters at an intimate ceremony and dinner on the coast of Northern California. They hired Noa Azoulay from Feather Love Photography to capture the day, and I just love the shots she sent over (there are also lots more photos over on Noa’s blog – it was so tough to choose just a few!).

Eleisha wore a cameo ring that matches ones her sister and mother both wear. She carried a bouquet of family heirloom brooches, vintage pins, and sprigs of baby’s breath.

The couple had a traditional Catholic ceremony, and hired violinist Marcia Lotter to play arrangements of “My Darling, My Darling” and “Le Feuilles Mortes.”

Framed photos are a simple and thoughtful way to honor family and decorate an intimate dinner celebration.

Eleisha was sweet enough to send over some of the details about this special day…

What did you want for your wedding? We wanted an event that was beautiful, simple, and centered around the real reason we were there – to exchange vows of our love and dedication to each other. The guest list was limited to immediate family in order to keep the ceremony intimate and free from the stresses of playing hostess at a large party. I remember every moment of my wedding day. The same cannot be said of our Fais Do Do in Louisiana, where hundreds of people joined in celebrating our recent marriage. It was wonderful seeing everyone and an honor to have their support, but I can’t imagine running around and speaking with crowds of people immediately after becoming Mrs. Josh Cooke. Instead, my husband and I had a couple of hours after the wedding to talk, take pictures, and soak in the beauty of our surroundings.

What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? Both of us love bygone eras, so we were inspired by classic images and traditions from the 1930s and 1940s.

Do you have any budget tips for other brides? My biggest budget tip is to decide what is the most important to you.  Don’t skimp on those elements. Our reception dinner, cake, venue, and decorations were less than $1,000 total; we wanted to spend the majority of our money on things that would last, such as our attire and our photos. By doing that, we now have a perfectly-captured memory with a classic look that our children might someday love thumbing through.

What advice do you have for other brides? The more details you plan, the greater the chance that something will not go your way. I’m a very detail-oriented person. If I had planned this wedding the way I plan a big trip, there would have been a myriad of things that could have “gone wrong.” Because the wedding was so small, we didn’t feel any pressure to impress our guests, and were able to concentrate on the emotions of the day, rather than worrying about how the cake tasted, or how the flowers weren’t the color I thought they would be. Expectations are the death of serenity; and since I didn’t overplan or expect perfection, I was on top of the world the whole day – and the day truly was perfect.



Photography: Feather Love Photography / Ceremony venue: Blessed Sacrament Church in Elk, California / Reception venue: MacCallum House in Mendocino, California / Bride’s dress: Monique Lhuillier / Bride’s shoes: Stuart Weitzman / Groom’s suit: Ermenegildo Zegna / Groom’s custom shirt: Anto / Cake: Sharon Robinson


See more from Eleisha and Joshua’s wedding on the Feather Love blog.


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