Couple Real Weddings

Real Life Wedding : Giselle + James


This beautiful couple’s romantic theme was fitting for their bespoke, grand-scale affair in Brisbane. Giselle Kilvert and James Lyons styled their perfect day themselves, taking inspiration from a gorgeous floral centrepiece. A palette of neutral hues, blush florals and vibrant greenery was used to reflect the couple’s love for living decor and elegant style.

Date: 9th May 2015

Ceremony: St Brigid’s Church, Red Hill

Reception: Moda Events Portside

No. of Guests: 140

Theme: Elegant Romance

First Dance Song: Al Green – Let’s Stay Together

Photography: Florido Weddings


QB: How did you meet?

Through friends. I went to university with James’ brother, Michael. We used to see each other around the neighbourhood and would chat at the bus stop sometimes. I secretly liked him, however he has always been shy, so it was difficult to get to know him better. One night I was out with friends, and I ran into him at the bar, after a hard day’s work. He’d already had a few drinks under his belt, so was more talkative than usual. We chatted and laughed, and I hoped he would make a move. At the end of the night, he asked if I’d like to escort him home. I declined, but said that if he liked, he could call me when he was sober to ask me out on a real date. He called me three days later.


QB: Tell us about the proposal…

We’d been together for 3.5 years. I wanted to get married but didn’t think he was near ready. I remember getting upset with him six months earlier on a holiday, because all the hospitality staff kept referring to me as his wife, and I was embarrassed about having to correct them. He complained at the time of being rushed. Funnily enough, I learnt later that he had already purchased a diamond and had already left instructions with a jeweller to have it made into a ring.

Several months later, the ring was finally ready. James hadn’t yet decided when to propose, but collected the ring and paid for it on his credit card. Unfortunately, I was a secondary card holder for his credit card account and the bank contacted me to inquire about a suspicious transaction at a local jewellery store. I knew I hadn’t bought anything, so asked the bank to check whether the transaction was processed on my card or James’. When they confirmed the transaction was processed on James’ account, I told them they may have spoiled an important surprise. I told James that I might know what I was getting for Christmas. He proposed on one knee the next day, Christmas Eve, by the beach. The spot he chose is ominously named ‘Point Danger’. I decided to ignore the risks and take the plunge!


QB: What was your key styling inspiration?

A photo of a floral centre-piece that appeared in a venue catalogue. It was large, soft, frothy and pastel. Just beautiful. It set the tone.

QB: What did you splurge on and what did you save on for your wedding?

– Food and wine, it had to be great quality and lots of it
– Flowers, I wanted a large, beautiful arrangement on each table, as well as bouquets and floral decorations for the wedding cake
– Dress, for me, this was the most important detail

– Cake, one of my colleagues has a cake making business. She made us a beautiful cake for a great price. It was the most delicious wedding cake I’ve ever had!
– Makeup, again, I took advantage of the discounted services offered by another colleague with professional training
– Car, I was lucky to have a vintage car in the family, which we borrowed for the day
– Stationery, designed and ordered online from

wedding cake

QB: What did you do for your hens and bucks?

I had a party weekend with some of my closest girlfriends, complete with brunch, cocktails, dinners, dancing, a make-up tutorial and a beach trip.
James had a fun night out on the town with his groomsman.

QB: Why did you choose St Brigid’s Church and Moda Events Portside for your wedding?

The St Brigid’s Church is beautiful – high vaulted ceilings and rich red brick interious. It was significant because James’ grandfather used to attend the church when he was younger, and I liked it because it reminded me of the Greek Orthodox Church of St George, where I was christened.

We chose Moda Events for our reception venue because its lovely light, modern interior, beautiful river views and reputation for delivering fine quality cuisine to large parties. The function coordination team there were also extremely helpful and professional throughout our whole wedding planning journey.


QB: What gifts did you give your guests?

The traditional sugared almond bombonniere.

QB: What was the funniest moment of the day?

Having my bridal waltz described as a ‘maypole’ dance. My poor husband seriously injured his back a few weeks before the wedding, so his movement was seriously restricted. After experiencing severe pain during rehearsals, I eventually instructed him to just stand still while I danced around him. I was hoping no one would notice, but…


QB: What was the most special memory from the day?

My husband telling me that it was the happiest day of his life.

QB: What did you do for your honeymoon?

Six week tour of the USA. We started in NYC, then flew to New Orleans, road tripped up to Memphis and Nashville, flew to Austin, then Sedona (where we saw the Grand Canyon), continued to Yosemite National Park and finished in San Francisco.

QB: A special thanks too …

My parents, for their generosity and support. My bridesmaids, for their kindness and patience. My husband, for making me so happy.


QB: What advice would you give other brides-to-be?

Download a to-do list as soon as you get engaged and start planning as soon as possible! Also, don’t try to organise everything yourself. Divide tasks between yourself and your husband and any family/friends who are willing to assist at the beginning, remembering to always show appreciation for others’ efforts. Stress is normal, but remember that your guests won’t know what options you considered for each little decision, so don’t fret too much which one is best. Just decide and move on!

Ceremony: St Brigid's Church, Red Hill (Jubilee Parish)
Reception: Moda Events Portside
Gown: Karen Willis Holmes
Bridesmaid Attire: Coast
Groom's Suit: Canali
Groomsmen Attire: Canali
Flowers: Lillipollen
Hair: Dimitri Fronis, Fronis Hair
Makeup: Leah Burtenshaw
Cake: Creative Cakes by Gillian
Caterer: Moda Events Portside
Transport: Limoso
Music: Kieron See
Photographer: Florido Weddings
Videographer: Florido Weddings
Celebrant: Fr Frank Brennan SJ AO
Engagement Ring: Penfold Jewellers
Bride's Wedding Ring: Penfold Jewellers
Groom's Wedding Ring: Penfold Jewellers

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