Real Wedding – Shaun & Abbey, Woodend VIC
Chic monochromatic tones, carefully curated decor details and a relaxed, romance-filled vibe underpin Shaun and Abbey’s dreamy wedding day. It is the perfect blend of laid-back and luxe against a stunning winery backdrop, captured to artful perfection by photographer Lou Lou Memphis and videographer Love and Other.
A beautiful venue like Mount Macedon Winery needs minimal styling additions, so Abbey and Shaun merely elevated the existing canvas, adding sleek black and white linens, textural decor accents and minimalist candle detailing. It was the perfect setting to party the night away, with a pumping dance floor by our friend’s Ministry of DJs.
After epic social media scrolling, Abbey knew the exact style of dress she wanted but couldn’t find her dream day match. Enter designer extraordinaire Elissa Marie Design. Through Elissa’s bespoke process, Abbey’s gorgeous gown was created, and her wedding day look set to stun. Softly romantic with a contemporary edge and gossamer-wrapped detailing, she looks every bit the glowing bride.
And Shaun quite obviously agrees. The electric energy between the two radiates from the frame as they stroll through the golden grassed fields for their sunset portrait session. Bathed in warm twilight, this is a treat for the eyes – scroll on to see it all unfold.
We met on a night out with friends one Saturday night in October 2014, where we immediately hit it off and exchanged phone numbers. The following Monday, Shaun texted Abbey (to her joy), and she responded straight away; however – she never heard back.
Fast forward a few months to Falls Festival, where we bumped into each other again and picked up where we left off. After a few drinks, the lack of messages was raised, and it turned out that Shaun’s phone couldn’t receive any texts/calls from Vodafone, which Abbey was sceptical about; however, tested the theory, and it was true. A small bump in the road didn’t deter us; Abbey changed to Optus, and the rest is history.
The night we met, we both felt a pretty strong connection to one another, and both knew we had met someone who would be very special in our lives. As we spent more and more time together, shared our first home together and experienced life together, we both knew we were each other’s person.
On a trip to South Australia, we spent two days in Glenelg and then went to McLaren Vale (one of our favourite places to visit). We spent the day visiting a few wineries and then checked into our accommodation, which was also a winery; we did a wine tasting and then headed down to the room. Shaun suggested a drink on the deck overlooking the vineyards. Shaun had set up a playlist. The first song was I Am Woman by Emmy Meli, so I was dancing around until the next song, which was First Times by Ed Sheeran when I sat down. Shaun said, ‘This is romantic – a good spot for a proposal.’ I then burst into tears. He asked me to marry him, and I, of course, said yes! The final song was This Will Be (Everlasting Love) by Natalie Cole, which we danced to very happily.
We mostly used Ivory Tribe when searching for vendors, as we were able to trust the recommendations based on the advice from other brides and grooms. We read reviews to get a feel for the vendors and would organise a catch-up with them to see if we felt they were right for us. All of our vendors were absolutely wonderful; we feel very lucky to have had such a great team on the day. Outside of Ivory Tribe, we browsed Instagram through viewing other couples’ weddings, mainly through our photographer’s page and the winery’s page, to get inspiration.
There was no specific inspiration as such; we envisaged a classic, clean, fresh and relaxed look that matched the venue we chose. We both love wine and visiting wineries, so a winery setting seemed perfect for us. As soon as we walked into Mount Macedon Winery, we knew it was the perfect spot for our wedding and couldn’t picture it anywhere else. It turned out to be a bonus that the food was absolutely incredible – we may be biased, but it is the best wedding meal we have ever had.
The ceremony was held in front of the picturesque vineyards at Mount Macedon Winery and run by Berit Kavanagh, our celebrant. We asked Berit to prepare a relaxed, honest and love-filled ceremony that reflected us as a couple and told our story to our guests. Berit also included an introduction to each member of our bridal party and why they are so special to each of us, which was very well received by our guests, who loved hearing these details. The sun shone through the clouds as Berit mentioned those we loved and have sadly lost, which was incredible and a very special moment in our ceremony. We had our grandmothers sign our wedding certificate, which was another special part of our ceremony, and we feel blessed to have had them both at our wedding and be able to officially sign the certificate. Of course, the best part for us was when we were officially declared Mr and Mrs!
Abbey: I spent some time on social media looking at different styles of dresses and found myself wanting to merge a few together. When I came across Elissa Marie on Instagram, I was instantly drawn to the service she provides in designing a dress together, so I reached out. As soon as I met with Elissa, I knew it was going to be an amazing experience, resulting in the dress of my dreams. I described what I was looking for, and Elissa worked her magic, bringing the dress to life. I really couldn’t recommend Elissa more; it was so lovely having multiple fittings across the creation of the dress, and being able to bring my bridesmaids along made it a super fun experience. In terms of accessories, I wanted to keep it very simple and borrowed pearl earrings and a bracelet from my mum and then found the Harlo Alexandra heel, which tied in beautifully with the jewellery.
Shaun: I researched the different suit shapes on offer after deciding on InStitchu as my tailor. I landed on a classical look with a touch of black tie by having a silk lapel. Having never tied a bow tie, I was determined to learn for the day and, following quite a few hours of practice, was finally able to learn the skill, and even helped some of my groomsmen on the day. For accessories, I wore a watch that was gifted to me by my parents, as well as cufflinks that my father wore on his wedding day.
There are so many special moments from our wedding day it is hard to choose just one. A very special moment for us both was when Berit officially declared us husband and wife, a moment we had both been waiting for, and it felt amazing it was finally official. Another very special moment was the beautiful sunset we experienced; the sky was filled with smoke from nearby burn-off’s, which created a breathtaking sunset.
Meaning of marriage.
A commitment to each other that we are commencing a very exciting journey to build a life together, including everything that comes with that. We hope that includes children, achieving each other’s goals, and having some bloody fun times along the way.
Aisle (bridesmaids): Make You Feel My Love by Adele
Aisle (bride): Feels Like Home by Chantal Kreviazuk
Signing: Days Like This & Have I Told You Lately by Van Morrison
Recessional: LOVE by Nat King Kole
Reception entry (wedding party): September by Earth, Wind & Fire
Reception entry (bride & groom): This Will Be (Everlasting Love) by Natalie Cole
Cake: First Times by Ed Sheeran
First dance: Someone Like You by Van Morrison
Funny stories or near disasters.
The day before, with no warning from the council, we were heading to Woodend for the wedding weekend to discover our entire street was closed off, and we had no power. So all of the running around and organising that we had to do was made a little more difficult! Of course, we persisted and got everything we needed done; however, it was a random little unplanned hiccup.
How hard a seating chart is! Honestly, we would have spent five+ hours on the chart.
How fun dancing classes were; we went to Exclusive Beats in Canterbury and were taught by Sriani. Initially, we were both a little nervous but knew we wanted to do it and ended up really enjoying it.
Words of wisdom.
Take it one step at a time, enjoy your engagement bubble, take your time in looking at venues and finding the right one and then once you have a date and venue, everything else will start to fall into place.
Make the planning fun by doing it together over a glass of wine with a cheese platter and listening to your wedding playlist – we did this a lot throughout the planning!
Research options and stay true to what you want for your special day. Don’t be shy about asking for what you are dreaming of for your day.
Choose vendors that you feel match your vibe and who you feel you can trust so that on the day, you are able to enjoy the day to the fullest and not be worried about anything.
Want to build your dream day team to give you incredible results, make you feel super supported, and basically be your trusted wedding day besties by the end of the night? Get browsing through our directory, to book in the best in the business.
SHAUN & ABBEY’S VENDORS
Ceremony & reception venue: Mount Macedon Winery
Celebrant: Be Mine Celebrations, Berit Kavanagh. We couldn’t speak more highly of Berit; she was absolutely wonderful and prepared the most beautiful, relaxed and intimate ceremony, which suited us perfectly. She is incredibly well-spoken, lovely and professional.
Photography: Lou Lou Memphis, Mandy Wood. Amazing photographers who captured our day so well and made us feel very comfortable. The photos exceeded all of our expectations, and we will treasure them forever.
Videography: Love & Other
Florist: Fleuration, Nurun Abdul. We were blown away by how beautiful our flowers were; we had a vision that Nurun brought to life and made 100 times more beautiful than we could’ve imagined. Worth a special mention was her idea of Abbey’s bridesmaids each having a bouquet of one flower type that was included in Abbey’s bouquet.
Hair: Karlee Maree. My hairdresser, since I was about 15, came to Woodend to style our hair; she is such a beautiful, happy, calming presence and did a great job on everyone’s hair.
Make-up: Eleanna Hingston – a friend and a very fabulous makeup artist, so it was a no-brainer to choose Eleanna to do our makeup; we were just lucky she was available. Eleanna is super talented and was able to cater to everyone’s individual preferences, so they felt beautiful and comfortable on the day.
The dress & veil: Elissa Marie Design – best experience ever, I couldn’t recommend it more. Elissa’s process is so enjoyable, and you walk away with the dress of your dreams, which fits you perfectly. I received multiple requests from guests about where I had gotten my dress from, and I already have another friend going with Elissa for her wedding next year! Elissa is also such a lovely person, in addition to being super skilled in the field.
Rings: Browns Jewellers, Camberwell
Bridesmaid’s dresses: Chancery
Suits: In Stitchu
Bow ties / ties: OTAA
Catering & bar: Mount Macedon Winery
Favours: DIY – Cleanskin wine from Sanguine Estate Heathcote labelled using Stickeroo labels designed by Shaun, including a drawing done by Abbey’s sister. This gift was in memory of Shaun’s late father, Mark, as he was a red wine enthusiast, and we wanted to include this special tribute to him.
Cake: Splendid Servings
Stationery / Signage: Atelier Creative
Entertainment: Ministry of DJs
Transport: O-Reilleys Bus for guests, no transport required for bride and groom.
Honeymoon: Bali, Canggu – Como Uma Canggu.
Dancing classes: Exclusive Beats Boutique – Sriani
Other: Recovery at Holgate Brewery – Taproom.