My best friend is a professional catering manager, and we all know how much I love to decorate, so we make a pretty good party planning team. Once we picked the "Ready to Pop!" theme, we immediately starting planning ways we could utilize balloons in a way that was grown up and feminine. We were inspired by this gorgeous bridal shower collaboration between Anthropologie and Brittany at The House That Lars Built, but we put our own spin on it because we didn't have the exact same materials and setup.
I wanted to find a lot of balloons in various shades of pink, but I was on a budget. After shopping around, I bought hundreds of balloons from BargainBalloons.com, a wholesaler with a great selection and range of colors. I bought 11" Qualatex coral latex balloons (100), 9" pearl peach latex balloons (100), 12" standard rose latex balloons (100) and 5" gold latex balloons (100) to build the arch. Then I bought the 4 gold mylar letter balloons and a pack of six 36" powder pink latex balloons. My very best purchasing decision was buying two of the Qualatex balloon hand pumps so that we wouldn't have to blow all these balloons up with our own hot air. (Can you imagine?!)
I feel like I got an excellent deal on the balloons: I bought 400 regular balloons, 10 "specialty" balloons and 2 pumps for $57.43. When you consider that a 10-pack of balloons sells for $1.29 each at Walmart, we paid almost a 10th of the price by ordering online from BargainBalloons.com. It's so important to do your research if you want to contain your budget!
We wanted the balloon arch to really catch your attention right when you walk in the door. It was actually fairly simple to create, which surprised us. We used an oversized needle to thread the fishing line through the bottom of each balloon, just like this pin. Once they stacked on top of one another, they really rounded out into the thick, draping arch that you see in the photos. If we had any awkward gaps, we just taped on some extra balloons. Then we foraged in my yard for some greenery, which we taped in some of the gaps between the balloons. That really elevated the balloons from being juvenile to working perfectly in a grown-up party environment, which is exactly what we wanted. I seriously LOVE this balloon arch so much! It was worth all of the effort, for sure.
Once it was time to open presents, we asked the mommy-to-be to sit under the arch for photos. We left the chair open beside her so that each person could sit next to her while she was opening their gift. Then we took a picture of each person with the guest of honor. It worked out so perfectly, and we gave all the photos to our friend as a keepsake. I'll try to do this with my showers from now on because it's such a nice way to get a photo with each guest.
Here I am posing with the beautiful mommy of honor under the glorious balloon arch!
Kelsey, my party-planning partner in crime, did a fantastic job creating a delicious menu around the theme that included pie pops, cheese pops, popcorn and pop-themed candy like Pop Rocks, Blow Pops and Ring Pops. We also added fruit pops and very cute soda "pop" from World Market. She created different levels on the table so that each food item would be displayed beautifully.
We made the pie pops ourselves, and it was pretty simple. Using premade pie crust, we did three different types of filling: Cookie Butter (Trader Joes), lemon and strawberry. Then she drizzled white chocolate on the lemon pie pops and milk chocolate on the Cookie Butter pops. So delicious! I can tell you those chocolate ones did not last long at all.
A word to the wise, though: Remember to soak the sticks for each pop in water first to avoid the smoke we had pouring out of our oven. Oops!
We bought charming vintage-y lollipops from Cracker Barrel as party favors, and they became part of the decor on the dresser. I added that adorable canvas art from Lindsay Letters (on sale now at Hobby Lobby), which I gave to the mommy-to-be as part of her gift. It's always nice to be able to use your gift as decor. I love items that have dual purpose!
I created these shower games in Illustrator to match our theme. If you click on the images below, you should be able to right click and save them to your own desktop. I didn't personalize them so you could use them for your own shower if you want. Hooray for free downloads!
Overall, we had so much fun hosting this party for our dear friend. Everyone had a great time celebrating the momma-to-be, and we felt happy to give her that special gift.
I'll be back tomorrow to chat about how we made these awesome tassels for our huge balloons, which made them about a million times cuter. Thanks to the fabulous Geronimo Balloons for inspiring us on this little "customization" for our balloons. It's all about the details, am I right?