Historic Garden Wedding at The Powel House and Moshulu by Nicole Cordisco Photography

written by Dolly Marshall

Lillian and Chad had a unique approach surrounding the planning of their wedding day: flexibility! Instead of looking for inspiration outside of themselves, the duo decided to celebrate all the things that are special to them as a couple. Then strategically executed each task utilizing a realistic budget. Read further to learn exactly what they did!

From the photographer, Nicole Cordisco: “Lillian and Chad are one of those couples who beam their love for one another. When we met they explained how much they love the city and wanted an old city wedding. They had their engagement session in the 18th century garden and around the surrounding colonial streets. The same areas they were hoping to have their wedding portraits captured. On the morning of the wedding, Lillian, her bridesmaids, and family rented a local AirBnb off of American Street. We decided to capture the moment when the bridesmaids and her family saw her in her dress for the first time. Her flower girl, Chad’s niece had the best reaction out of everyone. I love that we caught her spraying her perfume that Chad had gifted her to wear.”

nicole cordisco photography
bride and bridesmaids, nicole cordisco photography
bride and perfume, nicole cordisco photography
bouquet, nicole cordisco photography

How They Met

“We met at school at University of Delaware. We immediately hit it off and connected over our love of food, family, nature and being with our friends. We had our first date at a pizza place on campus and totally neglected all of our other life responsibilities while we fell in love.”


bride and groom, nicole cordisco photography
groom on wedding day
bride and bridesmaids getting ready for wedding
wedding dress, nicole cordisco photography
bride and bridesmaids, nicole cordisco photography
bride's wedding shoes on window sill, nicole cordisco photography
bride and flower girls, nicole cordisco photography

The Proposal

“Chad proposed to me at the music studio where I teach children’s music classes. He coordinated with my boss to have the room filled with flowers, champagne and music and completely surprised me. Then we had a two-person dance party, went to dinner at Butcher & Singer, and floated our way home.”

wedding bands on invitation
bride and groom on wedding day
bride twirling in wedding dress

Wedding Planning

“We had a little over a year between our engagement and our wedding. It went by so quickly! Overall the experience was fun, thrilling and totally one-of-a-kind. Of course, there were moments of stress but we tried to prioritize what was ACTUALLY important to each of us early on, so we could focus on spending time and effort on those aspects. We each chose 2-3 things we cared about the most and made sure our money went to those things first. I think the key is to recognize “perfection” is an illusion – the happiest parts of the day will be mostly unplanned.” 

bride walking down aisle
bride and groom at wedding ceremony
bride, groom and officiant at wedding ceremony
bride gazes into groom's eyes
bride and groom kiss at wedding, nicole cordisco photography

Powel House and Moshulu

“We had separate venues for the ceremony and reception, mostly because we were trying to satisfy our desire for a garden wedding, within our budget. Garden venues surrounding the city can get pricey depending on how you’re planning, so we chose the Powel House (3rd and Locust) as our ceremony venue and the Moshulu (Columbus Ave) as our reception venue. They are about a 10min walk from each other, and we loved this idea because many of our guests live outside the city. We wanted to show them where we live and make our wedding feel intimate and personalized. At first I thought the travel between venues would be complicated for guests, but we ordered a few nice Ubers for our older relatives, and everyone else appreciated the quaint walk down Spruce St.”

bride and groom in garden, nicole cordisco photography
wedding reception aboard ship
gold charger place setting
bride and groom dance outside

Wedding Inspiration

“This is going to sounds silly – but our inspiration for our wedding, was us. We thought about things we really love and how we can incorporate them in a way that’s accessible for our friends and family. Chad came up with the idea of offering small stems of baby’s breath to our guests (to clip to their collars) as they entered our ceremony to help them feel honored and included. I have a passion for music, so I added songs I love to our set list (our recessional song was “Friday I’m in Love” by the Cure, since we were married on a Friday. I actually shied away from Pinterest and wedding magazines because they seemed to impose this impossible idea of the “perfect wedding” with an unlimited budget. It actually caused more stress for us, and so we just went with our own ideas. Besides, a “kettle corn bar” might be awesome for one couple, but seems fairly messy to me.

3 tiered wedding cake
bride, groom and wedding party

Best Moment

“I’m going to say the thing you aren’t supposed to say but…it’s impossible to pick one favorite moment of the day. So, I’ll settle for two: 1. The first look. Nothing, nothing, nothing will prepare you for this moment. You think, “Hey, I’ve seen this person virtually everyday for the past some odd years. How crazy could it be?” Answer: Crazy. Aside from the seeing the outfits you have chosen to wear as you celebrate your love, the emotions you feel come rushing all at once. For us, it was joy, relief, nerves, and uninhibited happiness. And, 2: The walk from our ceremony to the reception venue. Chad had secretly arranged for a dog walker to wait for us with our pup as we turned the corner down Spruce St. I was completely shocked, reduced to sobs (as if I hadn’t already done that enough…ha!) and so touched by the gesture. We also happened to stop at Wawa for coffee because, on your wedding day, you need the coffee.”

bride and groom first look
emotional groom looks at bride
surprised bride, groom and their dog
bride and groom getting coffee in wawa
bride and groom in wawa

Wedding Planning Advice

“My advice is super simple – do you. Your mom may have done it this way, or your friend did it that way, but this is YOUR wedding with YOUR partner. You might feel a tug between what you want and what is best for your guests, but this is where support from your friends/family and partner come in. Early on, Chad and I sat down a wrote an entire list of things we would need to plan or do. Then, we went through with different colored pens and marked who would be responsible for what. Much of wedding culture is geared towards women, which felt very overwhelming for me. So, I asked for help. You don’t have to do it alone because you’re not just marrying yourself (unless you’re Lizzo).” 

bride and groom first dance
bride and groom dance at wedding reception
groomsmen at wedding reception
bride and groom sit in garden courtyard

Wedding Vendors

“I feel like we were very lucky to have such incredible vendors – from flowers to band to hair stylists – everyone was a complete professional who helped make our day absolutely amazing. I cannot say enough about our reception venue, the Moshulu. The entire staff was so accommodating, helpful and gentle – this can be a very stressful, high-emotion time so to have folks around you that remain calm and reassuring is totally vital. My makeup artist, Lauren Munley was an absolute dream. She was so efficient and really listened to what everyone wanted from bridesmaids, to moms, to flower girls. She made me feel like a queen! And I’m confident our day wouldn’t have gone so smoothly without our photographer, Nicole Cordisco. From the moment we met her, she totally put us at ease with her funny, easy-going personality and her her attention to detail. Let’s face it – her photos are flawless.” 

Vendors | Ceremony: Samuel Powel House | Reception: Moshulu | Photographer: Nicole Cordisco Photography | Officiant: Katie Carver | Band: Bachelor Boys Band | Jewelers: Harzin Jewelers and Diamante Jewelers