We Traded Our 160-Person Guest List for an Intimate, Floral-Filled Backyard Wedding

The bride was thrilled to say “I do” at the home where she grew up.

Orefield backyard wedding

Jacqueline Hollawell and Joseph Muoio’s Orefield backyard wedding was an ode to late summer. Photography by MLE Pictures

Ah, something blue. It could be a shoe, a pair of earrings, a gift. But what if that something blue is the Big Day decor itself? That might’ve been the case for this Orefield backyard wedding, which took place during the pandemic. It was an elegant ode to the waning days of summer, with brilliant sapphire florals and decor at almost every turn. MLE Pictures captured all the pretty details. Check them out below.

invitations getting ready bridesmaids

For bride Jacqueline Hollawell, marrying groom Joseph Muoio at her family home in Orefield was the unforeseen silver lining of getting hitched amid the pandemic. The Hoboken couple first met at a fundraising event in NYC and were prepping for their May 16th wedding at Welkinweir Estate, an expansive arboretum, garden and mansion in Pottstown. As the story goes, COVID changed their plans and forced them to postpone till August 29th.

They initially figured they’d be able to move forward with the original approach — and their full guest list of 160 — but they soon realized that a large wedding wasn’t a viable option. Rather than wait an entire year, Jackie and Joe shifted. “The most important thing is getting married,” says the bride, who works in client services at The Trade Desk. “No matter how you decide to celebrate, it’s going to be wonderful.”

ceremony ceremonyceremony ceremony wedding party couple couple couple

So, with about a month to go, the couple moved everything from Welkinweir to the home where she grew up. They also whittled the guest list to 40. They communicated with attendees via their wedding website and sent e-vites via Paperless Post. They also used almost all of their original vendors to pull it off.

Jackie and Joe, a trading director, said “I do” in a small church ceremony. Only their parents and siblings were present at the church — but the couple was able to stream their nuptials via the institution’s website. (The church had already been streaming mass weekly and was equipped for the task.) Afterward, the newlyweds and their families headed to the backyard, which had been turned into a sophisticated setting perfect for a late-summer soiree.

reception reception reception reception reception reception reception reception reception reception

Champagne and rosé was set out for guests to enjoy upon arrival. Blue colors were everywhere — in a lush floral arch leading into the reception tent, in the feather-inspired arrangements set up around the lounges, in the flower-printed table runner. Pretty coral and pink-filled centerpieces — which were accented by fresh stone fruits — adorned the tables and complemented the sapphire hues. A separate bar tent connected to the main space via a trellis filled with hanging lanterns that were reminiscent of beehives. It all provided a whimsical photo op for guests.

For the couple, there was much to love: the cookies from Levain Bakery for dessert (according to the bride) and having their dog, Jefferson, at the reception (says the groom). And Joe’s toast to their parents, during which he thanked them for “the most amazing day,” was particularly sweet, says Jackie.


The biggest surprise? It was supposed to downpour — but the weather turned out to be glorious, adding to the overall fresh, festive feel. “We wouldn’t change a thing,” says Jackie. “Having a small group allowed us to intimately celebrate with our favorite people and enjoy every second. It was still the best day ever.”

Photographer: MLE Pictures | Venue: Private home | Floral & Event Design & Planning: Fête Urbane | Branding & Signage: House of Catherine | Catering: Blue Grillhouse Event Center | Bride’s Gown: Stone Cold Fox | Hair: Alyssa Gallen | Makeup: Brittany Valteau of Brittany Nicole Beauty | Groom’s Attire: Brooks Brothers | Entertainment: Sonic Entertainment | Desserts: Piece ’a Cake (individual treats) and Levain Bakery (cookies) | Invitations: Paperless Post | Officiant: Father Brian Miller | Lighting: Lumos Co. | Rentals: White Glove Rentals

Get more great content from Philadelphia Wedding:

Getting married? Start and end your wedding planning journey with Philadelphia Weddings' guide to the best wedding vendors in the city.