Five Ways to Use Giant Balloons in Your Wedding Decorations

Balloons! The word can bring up all sorts of memories of days gone by … birthday parties, proms and other festive events! In this blog post the wedding balloon ideas I’ll be sharing are not those that you might remember from childhood birthday parties and high school proms. Instead, I’ll be sharing ways to use giant balloons, which can add a lot of visual appeal to your wedding décor.

I will admit that balloons can at first seem like a tacky addition to add to your wedding décor but keep an open mind. The balloons that we are seeing in today’s weddings aren’t the pear-shaped common variety, but rather, are large, round “statement” balloons that are often decorated with tassels, fringe, etc. They are used at the most elegant of weddings and are really lovely!

Some of the ways you can use giant balloons at your wedding are  ….

  • Ceremony Décor
  • Reception Site Décor
  • Reception Table Décor
  • Dessert Table Décor
  • Props for Wedding Photos

I hope the photos below will help you see all that you can do with balloons!

Ceremony Décor. Adding balloons is a way to infuse the ceremony with your wedding colors. Notice that other decorations are kept to a minimum, in both photos below. The balloons make a strong statement, so other decorations are often not needed.
balloons for ceremony decor

balloons for wedding ceremony

Reception Décor. Balloons are a great addition to your reception décor. The tassels on the balloons and twinkling lights complete the fairytale look.
Balloons in wedding reception decor

Table Décor. Balloons will add a festive air to your tables. You can keep your centerpiece somewhat simple and use the balloons to add pizzazz.wedding tables with balloons

Balloons for table decor

Wedding Dessert Bar/Candy Buffet. Notice how much appeal just a few giant balloons can add.
Balloons dessert table

dessert table with balloons

Wedding Photos. Balloons are a perfect accessory for wedding photos. They can be used for a sunny, fun photo as in this first photo or in a more artistic shot as in the 2nd photo. They make interesting props for bridal party photos, as well.
Bride and groom with balloons

bride and groom with a balloon

Wedding Party with Balloons

You probably noticed that a lot of the photos above show balloons with streamers and/or tassels attached. The added elements create a lot of visual interest to the balloons. If you decide to add streamers and/or tassels to your balloons just make sure that yours aren’t too heavy or they will weigh down the balloons. Below are some photos to give you some ideas for streamers and tassels.
streamers on balloons

Balloon streamers

balloon with garland streamer

Couple with balloon decor

I want to share some links with you where you can get step-by-step instructions on how to DIY balloon streamers/fringe: The Alison Show, Green Wedding Shoes, Glitter Guide

And to see an elegant wedding’s use of balloons, here is a link:
Green Wedding Shoes Wedding

For an elegant tassle/fringe you might want to consider using ribbon.
100-Yard Rolls of Ribbon at Exclusively Weddings – 24 Color Choices for Satin and 9 for Sheer Organza:
7/8″ Satin Ribbon 
7/8″ Sheer Organza Ribbon 
5/8″ Satin Ribbon
3/8″ Satin Ribbon

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Photo Sources: work-and-process.blogspot.com, Green Wedding Shoes, Ruffled Blog, Green Wedding Shoes, Rock N Roll Bride, White Liilac Inc, Cafernia Sweet, Jordan McBride, Boho Weddings, NA, Keely Thorne, BHLDN, Bridal Musings, Tikkido, Jordan McBride

Five Fresh Ideas for Using Ribbon Streamers at Your Wedding

Decorating with ribbon is a relatively easy way to add lots of pizzazz to your wedding ceremony and reception. In this post I will share some ideas you may not have seen before. I won’t be talking about using ribbon on bouquets, aisle markers or on little boxes for your wedding favors … you probably know about that already!

I will focus on five fresh ideas for using ribbon streamers for:

  • Ceremony Backdrop
  • Ceremony and/or Reception Chairs
  • Reception Ceiling Décor
  • Reception Table Runners
  • Wedding Balloons

Ceremony Backdrop. If you are having your wedding ceremony outside, chances are you will need a backdrop for the area where you and your groom will stand for your wedding vows. This will be the spot where important wedding photos will be taken as you exchange rings, share your first kiss as husband and wife, etc. So, you want it to be beautiful! Using ribbon is less expensive than flowers and doesn’t require a professional to set up. This is something you can do by yourself … with a little assistance from a few friends and/or family.

The backdrop below is very simple and understated. Notice that the aisle markers coordinate with it.
Ceremony backdrop for beach wedding

This photos shows how the ribbons are attached. As you can see, your backdrop can be as elaborate as you want it to be!Ceremony backdrop with ribbon streamers

This backdrop  uses several types of ribbon which gives it a lot of visual interest.

Ceremony backdrop with satin ribbon

Ceremony and/or Reception Chairs. Decorating chairs can be a bit labor intensive and if you don’t have help, instead of decorating all of the chairs, you can just do the bride’s and groom’s chairs or the head table’s chairs.Chairs with ribbon streamers

Ribbons streamers on chairs - 3 views

All three of the ribbon designs below make great use of coordinating the wedding colors. Here is a link to show you how to do these techniques:
How to Decorate Chairs with RibbonThree Chairs Decorated with Ribbons

Reception Ceiling Décor. Here are some examples of how to decorate your reception site’s ceiling with ribbons. ribbon decor for ceiling

If your reception site has chandeliers you can coordinate your wedding colors by simply adding ribbons to the chandelier. Ribbon on Chandelier

Not every venue can handle the ceiling detail that is shown below but for those that can, you can add a lot of interest and color with ribbon. wedding reception ribbon decorations

Reception Table Runners. If you are on a budget and don’t want to have elaborate centerpieces, you can use ribbon streamers to add color and interest to your tables.Ribbon table decor

Ribbon for table decor at reception

Ribbon is great for substituting for a tablecloth and often it is a lot more festive!Ribbon table skirt

Wedding Balloons. When it comes to balloons there are “degrees” of “fabulousness”! Yes, you can get the pear-shaped ones and tie some “curling” ribbon on them but why not take it up a notch and use round balloons with shimmery,satin ribbon!Balloons with ribbon

Balloons are great for photos and the ribbon “pom-poms” take things from average to spectacular! The last photo shows more detail of the colorful ribbon pom-poms in this photo.
Wedding Party with Balloons

Bridal couple with balloons

Resources:

It’s best to cut your ribbons at a slant or “V” at the ends. Here are instructions for doing that: The Right Way to Cut Ribbon Ends

100-Yard Rolls of Ribbon at Exclusively Weddings – 24 Color Choices for Satin and 9 for Sheer Organza:
7/8″ Satin Ribbon 
7/8″ Sheer Organza Ribbon 
5/8″ Satin Ribbon
3/8″ Satin Ribbon

Photo Sources: Lizzie Photo, Stripling Photography, Anne Robert Photography, Alyssa Vincent, Wedding Chicks, Anushe Low, Keely Thorne Events, She-n-He.com, Style Me Pretty, A Little Polkadot, Keely Thorne Events/Craig Davis Photography [last two photos]

Top 10 Tips for the Perfect Candy Buffet for Your Wedding Reception

In my last blog post I showed you how to create a dessert bar and I thought I’d follow that one up with tips for creating a candy buffet, in case you are trying to decide which one to have at your reception. Of course, some brides have both or combine them, but this post will focus on just the candy buffet.

Top10 tips for creating the perfect candy buffet:

  • Include approximately 7-10 different types of candy.
  • Vary the candy in size and texture.
  • Vary the type of candy such as chocolate, taffy, hard candies, suckers, etc.
  • Use glass containers of different heights and shapes.
  • Go for a big impact with a color theme of 2-3 colors or shades of one color.
  • Add a sign with a saying such as “Love is Sweet”.
  • Have small bags or boxes available so guests can take candy home.
  • Decorate the containers with ribbon and/or tags that identify type of candy.
  • If your reception is outdoors in summer, stay away from candy that melts easily.
  • Be sure to have someone in charge of refilling the containers as they run low.

And a bonus tip from Candy Warehouse: “If you are providing a candy buffet/bar that allows guests to take some candy home with them in the form of a party favor, our general rule of thumb is to account for approximately eight ounces of candy per guest.”

The photos below are examples of how to create a fabulous candy buffet.

The creative sign with coordinating ribbon adds lots of pizzazz!Candy-Buffet-For-Wedding 2

The addition of ribbon dresses up the jars and gives the display a coordinated look. Notice how two of the jars are perched on upside-down vases to give them height!Candy-Buffet-For-Wedding

This table would not be difficult for you to duplicate. It gets its wow-factor from having a lots of choices and sticking with a strong color theme in shades of purple with gold and white accents. Candy-Buffet-For-Wedding 5

This is another display that uses color well. It really has it all… two colors that give drama plus beautiful jars in interesting shapes and in a variety of sizes. The matching sign helps draw the guests to the table.Candy-Buffet-For-Wedding 6

The ombré pink theme is played out in the candy choices. The intense pop of color and coordinating backdrop make for a striking buffet.Candy-Buffet-For-Wedding 10

Here’s a close-up view of some of the candy choices you  might want to consider. Using many shades of one color is one way to create instant drama.
Candy-Buffet-For-Wedding
Photo: Candy Warehouse

Our Pinterest board has more ideas for you :
Wedding Dessert Bar and Candy Buffet

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Photo Sources: Katelyn James Photography & Jasmine Star Photography, New England Fine Living, Events Beyond, Wedding Bee, The Rose Wedding Photography, Candy Warehouse

How To Create the Perfect Wedding Reception Dessert Bar

Instead of serving just one dessert to your guests, you may want to consider having a dessert buffet or dessert table, which these days most people call a Dessert Bar.

Having a dessert bar is one more way to wow your guests and in most cases this is something you and/or your family and friends can DIY. You can use all store bought desserts, all homemade or a mixture of the two.  How large and elaborate it is can vary considerably and you just need to go with what you are most comfortable with and what is within your wedding budget.

Some ideas to consider:

  • Add ribbon creatively to tie around containers or to drape across the table.
  • Make sure the bowls/platters in the display vary in height.
  • Consider using one or two colors to create a striking, cohesive color palette.
  • Instead of putting your desserts on a table, use a piece of furniture.
  • Incorporate interesting objects as risers for your containers.

Usually the wedding cake is on the same table as the dessert bar and is the “anchor” and centerpiece of the display. In many cases you can get away with a much smaller cake since there are other desserts that your guests can choose. Notice the empty picture frames in the background in the photo below. They are painted to match the color scheme and add visual interest.
Turquoise-and-Coral-Dessert-Bar

The dessert bar below uses an overall black and white palette to create a cohesive look. The black and white ribbon, which is an easy addition, adds pizzazz.
Black-and-White- Dessert-Buffet

One way to add creativity to your dessert bar is to put it on an interesting piece of furniture. With an outdoor wedding you will have nature as your backdrop but consider pom-poms or other décor to tie it all together.Wedding-Dessert-Bar-on-Painted-Cabinet

The unique and fun dessert bar “table” below would work well for a rustic wedding.
Rustic-Dessert-Bar

This dessert bar uses interesting vintage elements to help achieve the varied heights of the platters.
Brown-Wedding-Dessert Buffet

The dessert bar below has several decorator touches: The desserts are displayed on a vintage dresser, which is decorated with an on-trend fabric. The risers for the platters are simply boxes covered in the same fabric that decorates the dresser. The green, vintage dishes add a special touch, as well. Everything coordinates with the colors of the cake for overall “fabulousness”!
Dessert Bar3

This beautiful arrangement of French macarons is the centerpiece of this vibrant dessert bar. Except for the perfect tablecloth, everything else is kept rather simple, so as not to compete with it.
Macarons-on-Dessert-Bar

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Photo Sources: Red Elephant, Cake-A-Licious, Gabriel Ryan Photography, What’s Gaby Cooking, K & K Designs, Style Sweets, Anneli Marinovich Photography

Resources:

DIY Wedding Reception Supplies
If you want to make your own tissue paper pom-poms, we have a tutorial that gives step-by-step instructions: How to Make Tissue Paper Pom-Poms

Wedding Dessert Bar and Candy Buffet on Pinterest

30 Ways to Have Your Dream Wedding for Less, Part 5

In 30 Ways to Have Your Dream Wedding for Less, Part 5, I will share three more money-saving ideas: One location for both the ceremony and reception, pom-poms for inexpensive pizzazz, and choosing a day other than Saturday for your wedding.

Tip 13. One Location for Both the Ceremony and Reception. Having both the ceremony and reception in one location can be accomplished in several ways. One way is to choose a venue where you can have your wedding outdoors and reception indoors or vice versa. Or you may want to have both the wedding and reception indoors or outdoors in separate areas of the venue. There are definite cost savings to using one location. Read more . . .

30 Ways to Have Your Dream Wedding for Less

30 Ways to Have Your Dream Wedding for LessNew Blog Feature! For the next ten weeks I will share three money-saving ideas in each blog post for a total of 30 Ways to Have Your Dream Wedding for Less. In addition to listing my tips, I will give you resources and photos so you can actually use the tips! I hope you will enjoy this addition to the blog!

In this first post in the series, I’ll cover money-saving ideas for your wedding cake, bouquet and reception tables.

Tip 1.  Wedding Cake. This week’s three money-saving wedding tips starts with the wedding cake. Choose an alternative to a large, elaborate wedding cake and go with a small cake instead. A small cake will require less work in making and transporting than a large one and will therefore cost you less; however, it will still be fine for your ceremonial cake cutting. You may be wondering what to serve your guests if you have a small wedding cake. Here are a couple options: Cupcakes. Cupcakes are less expensive and require less expertise than creating a wedding cake. And by serving your guests cupcakes, you will avoid a cake cutting fee from the venue, which can be around $1.50 per person. Sheet Cake.  Another option is to supplement your small cake with a sheet cake, which is cut “behind the scenes” and then served.  A simple sheet cake is less expensive to make and easier to cut than a multi-tiered wedding cake.

Our Cupcakes Pinterest board has lots of photos to help with ideas.

The photo below is  from Taylor and Andrew’s wedding and shows how a small cake with cupcakes can work wonderfully!
Wedding Cupcakes
Photo Source

Tip 2.  Bridal Bouquet. There are several ways to save on your bridal bouquet with varying degrees of savings. I’ll start with two very obvious points: A small bouquet will cost less than a large one and flowers sourced locally will cost less than flowers flown in from far away. If your budget is very small, I suggest that you pick up “cash and carry” flowers and tie them in to a hand-tied bouquet. I searched the Internet to find you a tutorial on how to make a hand-tied bouquet. The one I found has easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions. My favorite tip from the site is “Practice beforehand. Don’t wait until the day before the wedding to give bouquet making a try”!
Hand-Tied Bouquets

If you work with a florist, be sure and let her know your budget and be willing to use flowers that are less expensive such as roses instead of orchids. Using fillers of greenery and/or baby’s breath in the bouquet is a way to stretch your budget, also. We have two Pinterest boards with lots of bouquets to help with ideas. Be sure to show your florist (if using one) photos of bouquets you like.
Colorful BouquetsWhite Bouquets

The bouquet below is a hand-tied rose bouquet with the addition of sprigs of rosemary.
Rose Bouquet with Rosemary
Photo Source – Click to Enlarge

And if you are getting married in early spring, you may want to consider a Daffodil bouquet. Daffodils are profuse in the spring in many areas of the U.S. and you might even be able to get them at no cost at all. If you have enough time, you could even plant bulbs yourself to harvest in time for the wedding. In the photo below, the addition of a decorative wrap and embellishment elevates the look.
How to Make a Daffodil Bouquet
Daffodil Wedding Bouquet
Photo Source – Click Photo to Enlarge

Tip 3.  Large Reception Tables. By using larger, and therefore fewer, tables you will need fewer centerpieces and tablecloths. Along those lines, I especially love the idea of long, rectangular tables because they create a “family-style”, friendly ambiance and therefore encourage conversation.

Sometimes when using round tables it can be difficult to get a “decorator” look with DIY centerpieces. But long tables are very forgiving! You can use plain bottles or bottles decorated with ribbon or twine and add cut flowers and your tables will look lovely. Empty wine bottles, beer bottles, and other glass bottles will work just fine. Check with local restaurants and see if they will give you their “empties”. Our DIY Centerpieces Pinterest board has lots of ideas as does our Wedding Reception Tablescapes board. Wedding Reception Tablescape
Photo Source – Click Photo to Enlarge

Additional Resources in My Other Blog Posts:
More photos from Taylor and Andrew’s wedding are in this blog post:
Taylor and Andrew’s Rustic Wedding

Wedding Bouquet Shapes
DIY Wedding Centerpieces
Wedding Cupcakes and Mini Cakes

Signature Wedding Cocktail

Signature Wedding Cocktail - Blue WaveOne of the biggest expenses for a wedding reception is an open bar. Costs can spiral out of control pretty fast, since most venues charge you for every bottle that is opened, even if it was used for just one drink. If you are handling the bar details yourself, it can be an overwhelming task and expensive to stock it, hire a bartender, and the like.

One way to save money on the alcoholic beverages is to offer just wine and beer. But if you want to crank it up a notch and “wow” your guests, you may want to serve one or two signature wedding cocktails, either with or without the beer and wine option. And with an open bar you may be tempted to buy premium brands of alcohol but if serving a pre-mixed signature cocktail, you can get way with more moderately priced brands.

Even if you are having an open bar, serving a signature cocktail can still be a fun addition.

Sometimes both the bride and groom choose a cocktail as their “signature”.  Couples even incorporate a sign to announce the choices, such as this one:

Signature Wedding Cocktail Sign

There is really no end to the possibilities available when choosing a wedding cocktail. In this post, I’ll show you some options. Recipes are included in the link underneath each photo.

If your wedding is in winter or autumn, you can serve a drink that coordinates with the season, such as the Candy Cane Martini and S’Mores Martini shown below:
Signature Wedding Cocktail - Candy Cane Martini
Recipe

Signature Wedding Cocktail - S'Mores Martini
Recipe

For a wedding that is on or near Memorial Day or Fourth of July a Fireworks Daiquiri is an impressive choice:
Fireworks Red, White and Blue Daiquiri
Recipe

For spring and summer weddings, a Blow-Pop Martini or Strawberry Lemonade Sparkler is a welcomed treat:Signature Wedding Cocktail - Blow Pop Martini
Recipe

Signature Wedding Cocktail - Strawberry Lemonade Sparkler
Recipe

You can also choose a cocktail in your wedding color(s) such as the Sparkling Shamrock below that will coordinate with your Lime Green wedding color:
Signature Wedding Cocktail - Sparkling Shamrock
Recipe

Lime Green Wedding Color

Or a Blue Wave to match your Teal and Fuchsia colors:
Signature Wedding Cocktail - Blue Wave
Recipe

Teal and Fuchsia Wedding Colors

And of course you can never go wrong with Champagne.  And there are some delicious sparkling wines available for a fraction of the cost of Champagne.

You may want to choose Pink Champagne (or sparkling pink wine)  Here’s an article to help with your choice:
The Best Sparkling Pink Wine for Under $20

Signatuare Wedding Cocktail - Pink Champagne

Whichever signature cocktail you choose, your guests will surely be impressed and will toast to your creativity!
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For more signature wedding cocktail ideas from EW, see our Pinterest board:
Wedding Cocktails on Pinterest

Photo Sources:
Signature Cocktails Sign: Cathy’s Concepts; Candy Cane Martini: Q’s Tasty Concoctions; The S’mores Martini: Cheeky Chic; Fireworks Red, White and Blue Daiquiris: Food Network; Blow Pop Martini Cocktails: tablespoon; Strawberry Lemonade Sparkler: Rippee Photography; Sparkling Shamrock Champagne Cocktail: Formal Fringe;  Lime Green Collage: Wirken Photography, The Culinary Chronicles, Jose Villa Wedding Photography, Formal Fringe, Sweet and Saucy Shop, Martha Stewart Weddings; Le Blue Wave: LILA Photo; Teal & Fuchsia Collage: Cindy & Saylor, Photography by Vanessa, Bradley James Photography, Abby Jiu Photography, Olofson Design, Ivy Studios Photo; Gold-Rimmed Glasses of Champagne: Kristyn Hogan Photography