In „Decorating Your Party: How to avoid common mistakes: Part I“ we talked about some of the selections you can consider in order to enhance the look of your party (such as, colors, size of the room, height of the ceiling). This time, let’s talk about some of the technical details party decorations and what you can do about them.
1. Production time.
You should be aware of when your room becomes available for your party. Many times, it is only two hours in advance. Make sure to let your decorator know about this at the beginning of your conversation. It does not mean that you can not use extensive balloon decorations! But it should be taken into account. There are several ways to go about it:
a) Sometimes the place where you are renting the room (whether it is a hotel or a community hall) can provide a back room for production of party decorations and then only the installation needs to be accomplished in the two hours.
b) With the help of your decorator you can choose party decorations that are fast to produce and still look astounding.
c) The decorator can get extra help, but may also charge you extra because of the time constraint.
d) The decorator can rent a truck and brings bits and peaces to be assembled on the spot quickly. This also might cost extra, as it is due to the time constraint at your location.
2. Ceiling Sensors.
Some venues have sensors on the ceiling so if a balloon goes up, an alarm sounds and fire truck shows up 20 seconds later. Costly for the owner and may be for you.
Don’t panic! You can still use balloons. Almost any party decorations that can be done with helium filled balloons (the type that flies) can be done with air filled balloons on a frame and has no need to be anywhere near the ceiling.
3. Doing it the day before.
If, for some reason, you have to do balloon decorations the day before, keep in mind that regular (11″ round) helium filled balloons will be half-dead by the morning and on the floor by the middle of the day.
If all you need are simple balloon bouquets, you can ask the decorator to use high float. This substance keeps balloons from deflating much longer. If you have more elaborate party decorations – use air filled balloons on a frame instead, as I mentioned in the previous point.
4. Transparent balloons.
Just keep in mind that they look great at the first moment, especially if you have bright balloons inside, but in a few hours they will be less transparent, kind of dim and will become more and more opaque as party goes on.
5. Balloon lights.
This is a very effective technique for low-light parties!!! For the regular light or daylight parties they are hardly noticeable. If this is the case, one has to use much stronger lights with larger balloons, cluster the lights together and so on.
6. Centerpiece bases.
Bases for the centerpieces, as well as floral long-and-low centerpieces sometimes are creations of art, as well as a noticeable part of your party decoration budget.
One thing though: they sit on the tabletop together with food. In some cases, the caterer puts so many plates on the table; the food is so colorful and plentiful, that the bases are lost. Actually, the smaller the base, the easier it is for the caterer and the less it gets in the way of your guests and food.
So, when you plan to spend money on the bases of balloon bouquets or other centerpieces – talk to your caterer first.
7. Balloon ceiling (balloons with ribbons on the ceiling)
Things to keep in mind:
a) If the ceiling is a rough surface, many will pop during production, many more during the party.
c) One balloon takes less than a square foot. So, if you are in a large room, you will need a substantial budget to cover the ceiling completely. If you do, it will work, though I would check the alternatives for the money. If you only cover the ceiling partially, the air conditioner or fan will blow the balloons around and will rub them against the ceiling. In most cases this will kill a large portion of them.
8. Balloon Drops
The perfect party decorations for the theatre – type room. That is, a room with a very high ceiling and a, relatively, small floor area. Then balloons on their way down „have time“ to fly in all directions and cover everybody in the room.
In a regular-sized room we’ll be lucky if we can cover the dance floor. In addition (and this is a matter of a personal opinion) the hanging net full of balloons does very little for decorations, as well as letting everybody know what is coming. On the other hand, if someone is not looking in the right direction at the moment when the balloons are released, they can miss the whole thing.
One solution to these problems is the so-called „explosive balloon“, also known as „popping balloons“.
Relax! There are no real explosive used! All it is a large (3-foot or larger) balloon, stuffed with smaller balloons and sometimes with confetti (check your contract with the venue!!! It might be a big „NO-NO“!) or even lottery wins. One or several of these balloons are placed on the ceiling and when the time comes, they all pop with the push of button.
You can distribute these balloons all over the room if you want to cover everybody, or use a few in a strategic spot if you choose. No more heavy hanging nets and not a single person can guess at what is coming!
Here, it is worth mentioning that one can put these balloons together to make a wall and then explode the entire wall… Let us talk about it next time.