Moshulu Wedding | Philadelphia, PA | Katie & Joe

On August 7th, I photographed Katie and Joe’s Moshulu Wedding in Philadelphia, PA and it was the perfect romantic and rustic wedding. The Moshulu, a historic ship located in the Delaware River overlooking the Ben Franklin Bridge is a stunning location for a nautical celebration!

Katie and Joe first met nearly twenty years ago during the rehearsal for their high school musical, Pirates of Penzance. Sharing a love for both music and theatre, there was an immediate spark between Katie and Joe. They were paired up on stage for a scene and this is when they had their first kiss – on stage for all to witness (no pressure!). It was at that exact moment they knew it wasn’t acting, however they were not ready for that spark to ignite so both Katie and Joe went their separate ways to see the world, grow, and learn as individuals.

It wasn’t until they had a life changing experience to bring them back together. On a beautiful summer day in 2019, Joe, Katie and her son, Dean went on a hike through the woods in Katie and Dean’s newish hometown (which is coincidentally Joe’s old hometown) when Katie and Joe realized it was fate. From that point on, the trio became inseparable. Joe knew right away that what he felt all those years ago was true love. He not only found his soulmate and best friend but also a family of his own to grow old with surrounded by love, laughter, singing, and dancing.

Engaged on 10/31/2020, the proposal: Sharing the same birthday of November 1st and Halloween being Katie’s favorite holiday, Joe decided he couldn’t wait any longer and that’s when he would pop the question. In front of their closest friends and immediate family after trick-or-treating with Dean, Joe set up candy bags for the adults – which all had their favorite candy in their bags (except Katie’s). Joe purposely put all her least favorite candy in the bag with a hidden surprise… that surprise was a beautiful diamond ring which symbolizes years of never forgetting that moment on stage in front of hundreds of people where they first found true love. To Joe’s complete surprise, Katie said yes, and they together teamed up to not only help each other in every possible way but also so Dean could have a family to call his own.

Katie and Joe had a color palette of red, sunflower yellow and they thought of every detail from their adorable ceremony programs to the nautical centerpieces on each of their tables. Although my favorite part of the day was how involved and how loved they made their son Dean feel. Their day began at the Bellevue Hotel for both my bride and groom and before we arrived at the Moshulu, we stopped for portraits in front of City Hall before they had their traditional ceremony on board this unique wedding venue. Katie and Joe opted to not see one another before the ceremony and because of this, their ceremony was filled with tears and so much joy. Their nautical ceremony even ended with a traditional knot tying ceremony. Once these two were married, we captured my happy couple on land before they partied the night away with their friends and family.

Katie and Joe’s advice for future couple’s planning is to truly listen to each other’s wants, needs, and aspirations. Honesty is key.

Katie was most looking forward to marrying her best friend, the man of her dreams, and becoming their own little family. Joe is most looking forward to finally officially becoming their own family and starting their forever journey together. Now married, their main goal in life is happiness. They also want to see the world, continue raising their son, Dean and hopefully adding more little ones to their family, and lastly, growing old together while holding hands. Thank you to Katie and Joe for having me document your nautical Moshulu wedding!

Contributing Vendors:

Photography: Susan Hennessey Photography

Getting Ready Location: Bellevue Hotel

Venue: Moshulu

Wedding Dress: The Bridal ManorStella York – Essense of Australia Style 7328

Bridesmaid Dresses: JJ’s House

Menswear: Men’s Wearhouse

Invitations: Thomas & Main

Hair & Makeup: Langmore Salon

Florist: Eden Events


Officiant: Sue Barry & Tracy Matozzo

Are you looking for a photographer for your Moshulu wedding? If so, I’d love to chat! Click here to fill out my contact form to request more info.

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Susan Hennessey Photography is based in South Jersey with a studio in Moorestown, we serve all of New Jersey and the greater Philadelphia area.