Elen & Shaun

Elen and Shaun celebrated their I Do’s with a simple botanic gardens wedding. Picking iconic Melbourne locations – the gorgeous Picnic Point, a favourite Fitzroy restaurant so they could celebrate simply and beautifully without much fuss. Their day was captured by Brent Lukey.

Elen tells their story. “We met playing touch rugby when Elena was recruited to the team by Shaun’s friend Nick, who started the team. Shaun was already playing. Shaun broke his finger that day, and has since retired from touch rugby!”

Elen and Shaun got ready for the wedding together, Elen changing into her dress just one hour before the ceremony. Elen remembers, “Having both our families, plus the bridesmaids at our house beforehand (with their respective families including a newborn and a toddler!) for drinks and nibbles beforehand was slightly hectic but very enjoyable! It was a great way to relax and catch up with everyone and to have everyone involved for the last minute preparations.”

Dressmaker Anne Stowers made Elen’s wedding gown.

Elen’s bridesmaids wore their own black dresses and carried bouquets of coral, pink and red blooms created by Casa Verde, North Melbourne.

Elen waked down the aisle to Pachalbel’s Canon in D played a friend (Claire Patti) on a harp.

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Elen and Shaun held their ceremony at Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne. Elen remarking, “We always wanted to have the ceremony in beautiful outdoor space. The Royal Botanic Gardens was our first choice we looked at and we were instantly sold – we have both spent many enjoyable times there before and hopefully in the future. The gardens, and Picnic Point, provide such a beautiful backdrop that no extra decorations are required.”

Margo Anderson performed the ceremony. Elen remembers, “We wrote out own vows, with the assistance of Margo.”

Of their photographer, Elen says, “We’re thrilled with the photos, and many people have remarked on the quality of the shots. Brent was amazing, he made everyone feel very comfortable and charmed many of the guests! We really wanted candid, natural shots and were very impressed with Brent’s work, and he was very easy to deal with. We wanted plenty of natural shots, and during many of the proceedings we hardly noticed he was there!

With the formal shots he had amazing attention to detail and the results show. The photos afterwards were easy and a fun part of the day. In addition, Brent was very accommodating, fitting in a last minute engagement shoot which had to be rescheduled due to appalling weather (a gift from Shaun’s sisters). It almost seemed as though the engagement shoot was not meant to be but we were able to fit it in three weeks out from the wedding and the shots were used to decorate Matteo’s with great effect.”


The newlyweds celebrated with guests at restaurant Matteo’s, North Fitzroy. Elen remarking, “We had eaten there and loved the food. We really liked being able to design our own mini a la carte menu for our wedding dinner. We cannot speak highly enough of the food, the event coordinator and the waiting staff on the night who were incredibly professional and attentive. The attention to detail and flexibility with various dietary requirements was impressive. The dining room itself is a beautiful space and with some simple decorations looked amazing!”

The dining room was decorated with photographs and simple floral arrangements, Elen remembering, “Shaun’s sisters, Lisa, Michelle and Bel (aided by other family members and a French house guest) arranged all the decorations at Matteo’s, including framed photos from the engagement shoot with Brent (a present from the sisters), a beautiful jigsaw puzzle guestbook and the time capsule. They strung up photos on string from the engagement shoot to decorate the venue to great effect. They also took responsibility for making the gorgeous place cards incorporating the stamps used on the invites. They did a stellar job and apparently worked late into the night preparing! Vases for the flowers at the reception found on eBay, actually drinking glasses which have now been reincarnated for their original purpose!”

Of their first dance choice, Elen remarks, “We chose “Love Me Do” by The Beatles, we both love the song. Given that we were unable to get any dance lessons, it has the added bonus of being very short!”

Congratulations on your marriage Elen and Shaun! Thank you for sharing your day with us! Thank you also to Brent Lukey for sharing today’s images with us!