Confetti Creative Awards 2013

A few months ago, a friend of mine, the lovely and fiercely talently Lucy from messaged me on Facebook about a post on Confetti Magazine’s website about a new competition for creatives in the wedding industry in Ireland in four categories: cakes, flowers, table décor and stationery. I was intrigued, but ultimately I felt there wasn’t any point in entering because I didn’t think I’d have a hope of getting through.

Over the following weeks, the deadline played on my mind a bit even though I hadn’t decided on whether I would enter or not. We had to submit a moodboard and some blurb about the design that we could potentially put together if we got through to the finals.

The day before the deadline, an idea popped into my head and I decided I would enter, what would I have to lose, but I was super busy with stationery orders and family life, and I had even arranged to meet friends for dinner the evening of the deadline, but I felt I could put together something quickly and thought, sure I probably wouldn’t get through anyway, but at least I would have tried.

So reluctantly,  after a lovely meal, I left my friends early, but later than planned, and drove home in a panic, mentally writing the description of my entry as I drove. When I got home I put everything together and sent it off at the stroke of midnight, and to be honest, just forgot about it.


A few weeks later I got an email saying that I WAS A FINALIST! I could NOT believe it! OH. MY. GOD. Complete shock and disbelief! Then excitement….. then terror…… Oh NO…… I would actually have to design and make this and it would have to be great! Feck!


This summer has been pretty crazy with orders {a fantastic complaint} and we’ve also been trying to have quality family time during the school holidays. Instead of a holiday abroad, myself and my husband, Brian, decided we would have a few days away here and there to break up the summer.  Attempting to get work done while looking after children has proven fairly difficult and I resorted to a lot of late nights instead of trying to work during the day.  The phrase “I love you chickie but Mummy really has to get this order done” has been said way to often to my daughters for my liking this summer {mummy-guilt}.

Of course when the date came through for the awards final, it was just after our trip to West Cork and I had orders booked in before and after, so the only time I had free to make up my design was the weekend before. From experience, I knew it was going to be a LOOONGGG weekend of little sleep and a house full of chaos!

Thankfully Brian looked after the children and cooking and I managed to keep my head down and get the design done. Luckily, the design of the stationery came together fairly quickly because I had written the brief and put together the moodboard. Then it was time to start putting it all together – I wanted to showcase EVERYTHING!

There were three themes to choose from: Shabby Chic, Mintastic and The Roaring Twenties. I love hessian and painted furniture so I felt that the Shabby Chic theme would work best. I had seen a beautiful piece of floral embroidery with ribbon on Pinterest and I used this as graphic and colour inspiration.

I wanted to use flowers as a decorative flourish and have everything feel like beautiful vintage French perfume packaging. As for colours, I used various shades of pink, purple and warm grey for a soft feminine touch. The tagline of the theme was “TRUE LOVE BLOOMS” from the quote below, and this appears on nearly every piece.

I recently discovered a stunning embossing plate and I used this to emboss all of the envelopes, and the bands holding the RSVP card and information card in the invitation. I have to say, I absolutely LOVE this and will definitely be using it in future designs.

Whilst in Glandore in West Cork on the aforementioned holidays, I was browsing in yet another antique shop and I fell in love with the heavy metal antique frame below. It’s super heavy and the detail is just exquisite, so I had to include this in my display.

I like to use hessian to make bunting and “Here Comes The Bride” flowergirl flags. To try to limit fraying, I use a decorative machine stitch to edge the hessian and this works quite well.


Abby, my daughter | Photograph by me

To provide even more texture and prettiness, I used a doily style punch on the table number and invitation.

As you will see below the table number is on a bottle which would make a lovely centrepiece with flowers for a table at a wedding.

As a cute little added extra, I made sweet little teabag tags which could be used as an unusual wedding favour. In the below photograph you will also see a cupcake topper on a stunning cupcake by fabulous Cat Lawlor of The Cake Cuppery. These cupcake toppers can also be used as placenames.

The next sequence of photographs is of the invitation suite, showcasing embossed envelopes, die-cut tags, doily-style punching and ornate typography.

You will see from the main purple envelope below, I used several stamps with flowers to make up the postage cost instead of a regular wedding stamp. These are easily ordered from

On the August 20th, after an hour and a half sleep, I set off from Naas at 6:50am to be up at The Morrison Hotel to start setting up at 8am. Luckily, the traffic was light enough, and I had parked and dragged my two ENORMOUS suitcases from the Jervis St car park to the Printworks event room by 7:45am.

The schedule for the day was as follows:

08:00 – 09:30 Setup display
09:30 – 12:30 Judging and photography (Each display was photographed by Fionn from Studio 33 for Confetti)
12:30 – 17:45 Afternoon free
18:00 – 20:00 Awards ceremony with 100 brides-to-be

Because I had set everything up at home before and knew how I wanted my display to look, I was able to get everything out on the table fairly quickly. I brought the inside of my writing bureau which was perfect to add some height. The candelabras, from Clery’s, are usually in my sitting room and hall, as are the books and silver trays. A lot of the props from around my house are from charity shops – silver trays, silver dish, little glass bottles, decanter, books. To be honest, my sitting room was fairly bare after setting everything up! All the flowers are silk flowers from Dunnes Stores in Newbridge, Woodies and Stripe Boutique in Naas and the candles are from The Elms Punchestown.

Once everything was set up, the judges came in and starting going around to the tables interviewing each finalist. It was so nerve-wrecking just standing around watching, so I got chatting to the other finalists and it was lovely to put faces to names. The photographer shot each display at the same time.

I couldn’t believe that I was the very LAST to be interviewed out of all 21 finalists! Feck sake! I resigned myself to the fact that the judges were probably exhausted but I just talked… and talked… and talked some more… I probably rabbited-on a tad too much with all the nervous energy that had built up but I was delighted with how it went and I got to explain my thinking behind each piece.

When that was all over, we were free for the afternoon. I rang my friend Laura who works in the city centre and we met for lunch. It was so lovely to unwind after the morning festivities. For the rest of the afternoon I hung out in the Morrison trying to stay awake {would have loved a snooze!}. So a few cups of coffee and a makeup and eyelash application later, it was time to meet Laura again who kindly came to the awards ceremony to support me.

From 6pm, 100 brides-to-be started pouring in to the Printworks sipping on Black Tower Pink Bubbly and sampling delicious canapés listening to fabulous music from Sean Boland. They got to view all of the finalists’ displays and it was lovely to meet and chat to them.

Karen Koster from TV3 was the super entertaining compere of the night and announced the greatly anticipated winners.

They were:

Cakes – Cocoa Moiselle

Flowers – A New Leaf Floral Design

Table Décor – The Sweet Treat Co. {I designed and made the stationery for this table}

Stationery – Dusty Boy Designs

As you can see I didn’t win, but to be honest I don’t think I could have tried any harder. I put my heart and soul into my design and display, and I was so proud of it on the day and I feel it truly showcased what I can do.

Congratulations to all the winners, their work shows that the talent we have in Ireland is world class and I have to say I’d love for Brian and I to renew our vows to be able to use some of these suppliers!! Ten years married next year… Brian? Maybe? 😉

I just want to say a huge massive THANK YOU SO SO MUCH to Lucy from for the beautiful photographs she took for this post and also for letting me know about the these awards because without her I wouldn’t have entered! FYI, Lucy is opening a new studio in Naas this September so keep an eye on her website for details!! 🙂

Well, that was a long post… I hope you enjoyed the photographs and I would love to hear your feedback so don’t forget to leave a comment below!!

Thanks a mill,
-Jill x

3 thoughts on “Confetti Creative Awards 2013

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