Why Not Balloons for the Wedding???

When we were kids, balloons were a sign of a party. Balloons were a big part of a multitude of occasions:  birthday celebrations, pep rallies, school dances, fund raisers and more! Now that we’re all grown up, why aren’t they a thing for weddings (aka, the single greatest party of our life?) Well, they are to all those “Cool” now-adult kids! It’s time for more people to embrace wedding balloons.

The option of balloons for weddings makes a huge statement without breaking the bank. If you chose a floral piece the same size, you would look at a much higher price tag. Balloons are more unique than flowers and few weddings use them for décor. You can get elaborate with balloons or keep it simple. Either way, there is no limit to creative ways to use these latex lovelies. Here are a few examples.

1) WEDDING PORTRAITS

Take your portraits to the next level by posing with a celebratory cluster of balloons. The bride can carry a train of air-filled balloons or the couple can pose with helium-filled balloons. Extra-large balloons can make a tremendous impact. You can customize the colors to your wedding theme or use standard white balloons. Foil balloons in shapes will add another dimension to the display. Hearts, doves, or the word LOVE will give you some memorable photo opportunities.

2) WEDDING PARTY

Get the flower girls into the action. Instead of carrying baskets of petals, send your flower girls down the aisle holding a couple of big, tasseled balloons in your wedding colors. You can also forgo the traditional ring bearer pillow with an enormous balloon too. This whimsical gesture will definitely tug at your guests’ heartstrings and make for exceptional photos.

Include balloons for the wedding party too. If they are as big a kid as you are, they will welcome the chance to clown around with balloons!

3) WEDDING DÉCOR

Using balloons in the chapel or outdoor area where the nuptials will take place can be a pleasant surprise for your guests. Consider using oversized balloons down the aisles or create archways for the wedding couple to walk under. You can use basic white or add some of your wedding colors into the pallet. If the reception is at a different location, have your wedding party or the balloon company you hired repurpose the balloons in the hall.

4) RECEPTION DÉCOR

There are many ways you can decorate at the reception. Use balloon garlands for the table runners or centerpieces. Creating them with an assortment of balloon sizes and adding greenery makes for a conversation-starting accent that won’t go unnoticed. If it is a summer wedding and a pool is part of the landscape, levitate balloons in the pool. You can add floating candles or lights in the balloons for an interesting effect.

,Consider varied types of balloon arches over important wedding tables. Use them for dessert tables, wedding couple photo tables, gift tables, cocktail tables and/or a DJ table. Make them in your wedding colors and add foliage for an ethereal touch. You can also incorporate lighted balloons at sign-in or other important tables so they can be seen easily.

Adorn the reception table or sweetheart table with oversized white balloons. You can hide the ribbons by using fishing line (monofilament line) wrapped in floral or leaf garland.

5) GRAND EXIT AND BEYOND

They have banned so many exit treatments in most locations. Balloons can be a welcome alternative. We are not talking about a release here, for that is not so good for the environment either. It is easy to instruct your guests to take the balloons home with them. The kids will be thrilled, and the look of a large group of people holding and waving balloons around is exciting. Now, what about the honeymoon suite? Decorate the room with a sea of helium balloons to finish your balloon dream journey. If you have the balloons treated with hi-float, they will last for days. You will even be able to gift the hotel staff with a bundle on your way home.

Balloons are a festive and affordable way to decorate a wedding. Whether it’s with a grand archway or fabulous table centerpieces, we can use balloons in a multitude of ways to create sophisticated, stunning décor for your big day. Call me for free quotes and ideas. Thanks for reading!

Communal Dinner Party

Communal Dinner Party

Communes were plentiful in the 1960’s & 1970’s. Communities of people sharing everything and living off the land were pipe dreams of peace, brotherly love, harmony, blah, blah, blah. Today there are a few left but the disillusionment of communal living started when the “Laid back attitude” translated to “they have absolutely no ambition”! However, the idea of sharing a meal with friends and/or family is still an attractive and heartwarming experience. So, this dinner party is taking the best of the communes of old and spinning them into a fun and relaxed night with people you love!

It’s a peaceful, easy feeling at your table. We can even imagine someone’s legs thrown over the corner of the table. The menu here is very simple. Just like it was in communes. Soups, Salad and lots of home baked bread. If you don’t have all day to simmer a variety of soups, pick them up at a deli or look for some hearty frozen soups. Soups like Navy Bean & Ham Soup, Potato or Broccoli Cheddar, Cream of Chicken, Barley Vegetable and Clam Chowder are perfect. Toss a salad with plenty of greens and place out a homemade vinaigrette dressing. Have baskets of fresh bread, breadsticks and croutons to accompany the yummy delights. For dessert bake up some Oatmeal Raisin and Chocolate Chip Cookies. For communal type libations have pitchers of Sangria, Ice Water with Lemons and an assortment of teas. Serve in big mugs or mason jars.

The Décor will be down to earth too! Bring in greens and flowers from the garden or purchase at your local grocers’ floral shop. Set out votive candles with an assortment of different sized candles along the tables. Hang string lights around the party area. As hostess, put on a peasant dress if you have one or look for a similar type of loose-fitting garment from the thrift shop.

For background music you have to choose a mellow blend of tunes. Look up some New Age artist like Kitaro, Enya, Yanni, Secret Garden, David Lanz, Jim Brickman, Shadowfax or Suzanne Ciani; which are among my favorites. If you prefer to tap into the 60’s vibe choose anything by Peter, Paul & Mary, Donovan, The Association or Crosby, Stills & Nash. If one of your friends plays and instrument invite them to serenade the group.

This party is mainly to have friends share a meal. But if you want to add an activity or two that will incorporate a bit of “how well do you know each other?” here is a couple of suggestions.

  • At each place setting, include a pen and pad of paper. Have each guest write two statements about him or herself that are true and one that is false. The statements should be things the other guests would likely not know. An example would be 1) I once hitchhiked across Europe; 2) I had my picture taken with President Reagan; 3) I played the Tuba in the high-school marching band. Other guests then determine which is the false statement. Play for points or for fun, and play at least two or three rounds.
  • Purchase an inexpensive white tablecloth and colored permanent markers, one or two for each guest. During dinner, invite guests to doodle, draw caricatures of themselves or of one another, or sum up their life philosophies in one sentence each.

Enjoy the night breaking bread together and be at “Peace”!

Jungle/Safari Parties for Young & Old!

Jungle-Safari Party

A jungle themed party is fun for a wide range of age groups. Safari/Jungle themes can be used for Juvenile Birthdays, Older Children, Adult Parties, Baby Showers and even a Wedding Shower theme (Tropical Destination Weddings). You can find a wide range of decorations for any of these age groups. Crossover to a tropical theme can make this party idea more grown up.

Decorating your house, garden, or rented space for a jungle party is great fun. You can always buy jungle party decorations but a little imagination and some clever use of materials, balloons and decorations will really set the jungle scene. The good news is that jungle colors can be any colors really, as long as you include lots of green. An archway of green, red, orange, yellow, blue and brown balloons would be a great way for guests to enter the ‘jungle’, and how about attaching some strips of soft green and brown material that will hang down like vines, making them feel like they really are headed into the undergrowth. I love the Balloon Columns & Centerpieces (pictured) placed around the party area and on tables.

You could present each guest with a map and a passport so that they feel like real explorers. Or alternatively, you could give them animal masks, which you can pick up pretty cheaply from most party shops, so you can get them all monkeying around in the jungle.

Cover your chairs and walls in green material, and hang green streamers from the ceiling like crawling vines to make your party space look really wild and untamed. And if you don’t mind a bit of extra mess, you could even scatter some leaves about that you’ve collected from your garden. Stick some google eyes to the green cloth to make it seem as if there are lots of animals peeping out through the trees. There are lots of jungle backdrops available today so you can use those along with green plastic tablecovers, leaves and house plants to create your jungle. Using stuffed animals or cardboard cutouts of safari animals go a long way to make people feel like they are in the wild.

You can convert most common party games into a Jungle theme. Things like Charades, Pin the Tail, Backyard Tag and Scavenger Hunts take on a Safari theme easily. Crafts can range from decorating your own Safari/Pith hat to Making your own Animal Masks. Face painting is always a favorite for kids, you can paint on the animals faces. For older party goers consider pasting an animal name on each guest back as they enter. The game is for them to guess what animal they are by asking only “yes” or “no” questions to others to gain clues.

Food for a juvenile party may consist of Animal Crackers, Unshelled Peanuts, Gummy Worms, Bugs on a Log (Celery with peanut butter and raisins) or Animal-striped Pizzas (you can be very creative with this one by making your own pizzas using alternates of white, yellow and orange cheese strips to look like animal print. You can also add toppings in alternates, like a row of olives in a diagonal, then a row of cheese, another row of olives, etc. for tasty animal stripes). Feeding older crowds can include a specific cuisine. You can decide what jungle you may be re-creating and choose the cuisine to match. The ten most amazing jungles are in Borneo (Indonesian), the Brazilian Amazon, India the Jungles of Kipling, Sri Lanka (Indian Ocean), West Africa, New Guinea, Australian Christmas Island, New Zealand, Peru and Costa Rica. As you can see you have a wide range of foods you can choose from.

Whatever direction you decide to go just make sure your get your “ROAR” on and enjoy!

Fun Camp Out Party

Camp Out Party

Any scout can tell you what makes the great outdoors so great – the cool accommodations! At this party the action is centered around a large tent set up in the yard. It can be organized as a sleepover or just an afternoon/evening event. Now that fall is upon us, evening temperatures are not sweltering and more pleasant for this type of celebration.

Of course, the main décor item for this theme is the TENT, but you can spiff up the inside with crepe streamers and tie helium filled balloons on the fence surrounding your back yard. If there is a tree near the tent site, consider colorful pennant banners tied from the tree to the tent. A large Happy Birthday banner can be hung across the face of the tent. Tissue balls and party lights can be hung in all the trees surrounding the area. Make a fun “Camp *******” sign to stake in the grass. Make up animal tracks and place on the ground to guide guests to certain areas of the party. Set out tin cups with each camper’s name written in permanent marker at each place setting along with compasses, flashlights and/or binoculars. Use red gingham table covers or lumberjack designs.

Party activities can be classic camp games like one legged race game, nature scavenger hunt or flashlight tag. Having a real campfire is a plus. If you don’t have the capacity for a pit in your back yard use a hibachi or rent/buy an inexpensive fire pit. You can sit around the fire and tell spooky stories, sing songs or play an interesting I spy game. What could be better for kids than classic camp out crafts. Decorate t-shirts, make keychains and make popsicle stick picture frames. Designate an area for taking pictures. Purchase a Camp Out theme photo prop set along with fun hats, jackets, backpacks, lanterns and other camping props.

The highlight of the evening can be an outdoor Movie. Reclaim the spirit of old Drive-in theaters, it will be a unique experience for little ones. Borrow or buy an inexpensive projector (maybe on Craig’s List) and use a bed sheet for the screen. Have fun snacks like popcorn, smores and trail mix. The main meal can consist of Hot Dogs and Hamburgers, cook over the fire or on a barbeque. Bake up a Camp theme cake or cupcakes. Have fun and enjoy the outdoors!

Family, Friends or School Reunions

Summertime is a perfect opportunity to plan a reunion since the kids are out of school and many people plan vacation time during this season. Whether it be a Family Reunion, Friends Reunion, School Reunion or Old Neighborhood Reunion an event like this calls for special planning. It is wise to ask for help from someone who lives near you. If the reunion is going to be large, more assistance will be needed, setup in committees. One group to arrange lodging for out-of-towners, one to organize and shop for food and beverages and one to organize activities and decorate.

After making the “List” of people to invite, send out e-vites or letters well in advance so guests can make their plans around the date. Now the committees come into play. Together decide on what type of party you are going to have. Picnic, at a Venue, Potluck, Catered, On a Riverboat, at a Park, at someone’s home etc. Figure out a budget and let each family know how much they will need to donate to get this done, don’t take on all the financial burden yourself!

Decorations will definitely need to include photos of everyone. You can invite guests to bring photo albums to place about for others to view. You can create a photo wall/table or a family tree using each member’s photo. String photos on a twine line or banner and hang over drink tables and buffet tables. If it’s a sit-down affair put the photos at each person’s place setting. If you have photos from past events make sure you place those prominently with notes describing the memory. If you have had losses since the last get-together create a memorial table honoring them. Balloons are always a welcome décor idea, better indoors than outdoors; but if the event is held outdoors Balloon Garlands (as pictured) or Clusters do well. You can tie them to fences, awnings, poles, trees and the like. Avoid helium filled decor because, more then likely, they will just blow around into peoples faces, not a pleasant experience. Ask a professional to help.

Most adults usually spend much of their time catching up on news while the kids run off and play but a few structured activities can bring everyone together. Have an awards ceremony after the meal, with prizes or small trophies for the reunion member who; traveled the farthest, is the oldest, is the youngest, arrived the latest, drove the biggest car, has the largest family or any other milestones you can think of. Ask the oldest member to share a story of their life, this is always special for the little ones. Set up a photo booth for everyone to capture memories and share the next time! Make up Trivia cards with information from guests. Send a questionnaire ahead of time to collect facts for the cards. During the gathering, split the group into several teams—the size of the teams will depend on how large the group is. You can do this Jeopardy-style or take turns asking each team questions like in traditional trivial pursuit. Enjoy your time together and cherish every moment!

Moving Away Party

Going Away Party

In this highly mobile society, we all see a lot of friends come and go. The best thing to do when old friends, colleagues or family leave our lives is to throw them a party they’re not likely to forget.

A “moveable feast” or “progressive dinner” is a great theme for a moving away party. Ask three other guests to help host the party by having part of the progressive dinner in their homes, and then divide the evening into quarters. Begin with drinks and hors d’oeuvres at one house, and move on to the next house for soup and salad. Allow plenty of time for everyone to eat their fill, but warn people not to eat too much because there will be two more stops. Go to the third house for the main course, and wrap up the evening at a fourth home with dessert, after-dinner drinks, and coffee. Be sure to plan your feast with three hosts who live near one another so there isn’t too much travel time. Car pool if possible, to keep the party full of energy and to allow friends to continue their conversations. If alcohol is going to be served at any of the stops. Ask your guests to select designated drivers before the party begins – or hire a limousine to transport your guests from house to house. If you know a particular cuisine that will be at the guests of honor new location use this for the theme of the courses. Or mix some of his/her favorite local food with some of the new food at the new location. For the dessert see if you can have a cake made in the shape of the new state/country!

Ask your guests to send or bring some memorable photo from past events-the ski weekend, the camping trip, or the yearly Halloween party-then put the photos in an album, write some funny captions, and present it to the relocating guest during the party. Ask each guest to bring the name, address, and phone number (and a photo, if possible) of someone they know in the guest of honor’s new city. The lucky “mover” will than have several new contacts!

Decorate by making a centerpiece containing items that symbolize the area the guest of honor is moving to. Use a ten-gallon hat for Texas, a variety of cheeses for Wisconsin, or a bowlful of pasta for Italy. Joke gifts are fun too-a rubber worm in an apple for New York City, for example. Make place settings from flags representing the new state or country your guest of honor is moving to, and use the state or country colors for balloons, tables covers and tableware. Look up the Flower that represents the state or country and use it in arrangements for the tables. If your guest of honor’s destination suggests any particular type or piece of music, play it in the background during the party. For example-Zydeco for Louisiana, Western Music for Texas, Show Tunes for New York, Hollywood Movie Themes for California- do some research online for artist and music genre popular in the area. Pick up travel brochures and guide books for the new home area and scatter on the tables for everyone to read.

Give the guest of honor a “survival kit” full of stationery, Cookies, Crossword Books, Coloring Books and Crayons, a mug with a saying about Friendship, Water Bottles, Wet Wipes, Tissues, Tums, Aspirin, Bandages, Gum and notes from their friends and family about how much they will be missed. Add an address book with all the guests addresses, phone numbers and email addresses. Give them a one-year subscription to his/her old newspaper to help ease the transition from one place to another.

Patriotic 4th Picnic Party

The Independence Day holiday is a great time to get outdoors and enjoy the warm weather. Planning a Fourth of July Picnic is a perfect excuse to get everybody together. A cute invitation idea is to mail paper lunch bags with the party details written on them. Ask each guest to decorate the bag with a “patriotic” theme and fill it with some favorite munchies to share at the party.

Decorating in customary Red, White and Blue you can make an inexpensive garland out of plastic table covers; simply cut into strips, and tie them to a string of lights, ribbon or rope. Another great fence decoration is Organic Balloon Garlands, you can hire someone to create these or try it on your own (search You-tube for some DIY videos). Create a classy canopy and mood lighting by tying Red, White and Blue streamers onto big-bulb outdoor lights; hang this above a picnic area or a grassy dance space. Make sure you buy plenty of assorted sized American flags to decorate with and to pass out to guests.

Use Red, White and Blue Bandanas for Place Mats or Napkins. You can wrap the cutlery in Bandanas, ready for guests. Use two colors and sizes of paper plates (Red and Blue). Nest the smaller inside the larger like a charger. The 4th screams BBQ! Make up a Hot Dog and/or Hamburger Bar with a wide array of toppings so guests can customize their own “Bodacious Burgers” or “Humungous Hot Dogs”. Sprinkle Red and Blue Tootsie Pops on the buffet table for a Patriotic Treat! And this is the most patriotic drink I have ever seen! A mix of Cranberry Juice, Blue Gatorade and 7-up over ice cubes – see the recipe here https://www.bigbearswife.com/independence-punch

Play a John Philip Sousa marching CD for background music. Have your guests share what they like about living in America. Have each person talk about some unusual or out-of-the-way place in America he or she has visited. Place Picture books around for guests to browse through, one’s that show scenic areas of the country. Book’s like “The Most Scenic Drives in America”, “Off the Beaten Path” or “Roadside Americana”; If you don’t own any, check them out from your local library. You might consider buying a couple books to use for Door Prizes.Whatever your plans this Holiday, remember to say a quiet thankful prayer for our “Freedom”!

Send your Graduate off with “Aloha”

GradAlohaCollage

Graduation season is upon us. A cool way to send off your graduate to college is with a Luau party to say “Aloha”! With the warmer temps take your party outdoors! Have your local Balloon Décor company decorate with some awesome creations like the Palm Tree above and the cute Flower Centerpieces. If you have a pool or the venue you are using has a pool party area hang large letters “ALOHA” along the fence banked by lots of air-filled colorful balloons flowers. You can do this to a backyard fence too! If you have a tent or rent a tent hang colorful paper lanterns around and use luau colored tablecovers. Make sure you decorate the cake or gift table in the new college colors! If you are looking for some games the classic limbo will always make for some laughter. Enjoy the celebration and send off your graduate with an event to remember!

Cinco De Mayo/Fiesta Party

It’s always our goal to celebrate life to the fullest, but sometimes life gets so crazy we let the little opportunities for celebrations pass right by.  Cinco de Mayo is one of those holidays we always talk about celebrating but our busy lives get in the way–well…no more!  This is the year to slap on our sombreros, grab the chips and salsa and get ready for a fiesta to remember.  With so many fun Mexican themed party ideas, it will be a cinch to plan a Cinco de Mayo party to remember.

Make your own Papel Picado a traditional Mexican craft that features colorful paper sheets with intricate cut-out details. You can easily make your own Papel Picado by layering sheets of tissue paper and using scissors. Fold a piece of tissue paper (lengthwise) in half and then in half again. Make sure one side consist only of folds. Fold the long-folded sheet in half. Mark a dot in the corner that is made up of folds. This reminds you where not to cut. Just like cutting a snowflake, cut shapes along all four sides avoiding the area with the dot. To cut a shape from the middle of the rectangle, fold the paper in half again, and cut a shape into the fold. Unfold carefully and tape tissue paper to a long string of yarn. You can also easily make Mexican Flowers from colored tissue paper. These can go a long way in decorating all areas of the party. You will need to take three different color sheets of tissue paper and lay them on top of each other. Fold over about two-inch pieces one in front then fold behind and repeat until the entire sheet is folded. Then cut a small triangle on each side of the middle. Tie a piece of ribbon around the middle, I just used curling ribbon. Pull each sheet up gently starting with the top sheet. When they are spread out flip it over and twist the bottom piece together. Tie a ribbon around the bottom. This gives them a tighter look. If you want them bigger you can use two sheets of tissue paper in each color then just skip the tie underneath. That’s all there is to it! Balloons are also an amazing way to fill space with color. Call your local Balloon Decorating Company to make up some of these great Air-filled centerpieces. Have them make up colorful Air-filled Balloon Garlands to bank your food table, doorways and/or windows.

Setting a Taco Bar is so easy, just put together your favorite ingredients, that simple! Your guests and family will love the taco building experience because they will fill their tacos and make them whatever they like! Another thing I really like about the idea of a Taco Bar is that you can accommodate a variety of diets, from meat lovers to vegans, and let’s not forget those picky eaters! This also frees you up, so you can spend more time with your guests and family, and of course, enjoy a few tacos yourself! Include Beef, Chicken and fish for fillings along with an assortment of salsas and chips. Rent a Margarita Machine for the day. You can get standard or special flavored margaritas. Whatever you do, make sure you OLE and ENJOY!

Spring/Easter Get Together

Easter-SpringParty

Now that the weather has finally settled into warmer Spring temperatures it is a great time to invite friends and family over for a “It’s a Spring Thing Party”! Or basically an excuse to play outside, put together gorgeous flower arrangements, and eat yummy spring treats. The beauty of the generic spring party theme is that you can have one at the beginning of the season to welcome spring, have one in the middle of May when all of the blossoms are in full bloom, or even in June as a goodbye, we’ll miss you spring party!

Decorate with bunches of bright latex balloons around the party area to chase away the drab colors of winter. If you have an entertainment area in your yard consider air-filled balloon garland with linking balloons and 5” balloon collars to wrap around poles. This can be purchased from a local balloon decorating company. Make a bright, seasonal vase using only paper straws, a container and hot glue. Glue the straws on a metal can or other container until completely covered. Fill with spring flowers to create a budget-friendly Spring centerpiece. You can make your own Spring theme Pennant Banner with scrap fabric, which you can find plenty of at the sewing store. Hang the banner around the party area. You can find directions at https://thehappyhousie.porch.com/how-to-sew-a-simple-double-sided-diy-pennant-banner/.

For a great take-away for guests make seasonal pots filled with gardening goodies. Apply chalkboard paint to a terra cotta pot. Once dry, rub with chalk, lightly coating entire pot to cure the paint. Wipe off excess and write or draw Spring messages with chalk or a chalkboard pen.

If your Spring party is to celebrate the Easter holiday let the kids wear Bunny Hats. You can find instructions on how to make them here http://thehousethatlarsbuilt.com/2015/03/diy-bunny-party-hats.html/

Plan your get-together early in the afternoon and take advantage of a brunch menu; I love a Waffle Bar. There are so many options you can put out to adorn your waffles and kids love them too! Serve the adults Mimosas and the children Sparkling Fruit Punch.