Tuesday Top 5

Tuesday Top 5: Balloon Installations that “Elevate” Every Event

Photographers: Roey Yohai Photography & Simoudis Photography

For this week’s Tuesday Top 5 — where we pause to marvel and share a specific element, image, or detail from events we love — we’re focused on gorgeous and creative balloon installations.

We filled them with water or sucked the helium out of them to create silly voices as kids, but balloons — like us — have grown up. Now they can be found providing a chic and unexpected décor element to adult-centered events like milestone birthday parties, anniversary soirées, corporate celebrations, and more. We’re seeing intricate, large-scale balloon installations flank entrances, fill ceilings, and create focal points for dancing, dining, and photo spots. Rather than the uniform, primary-colored playthings of your past, these balloons vary in size, hue, and shape and have stylish additions like marbling or floral accents. We love the modern, festive vibe that balloons provide.

1. Comic-Inspired Corporate Bash

This playful company party from Kehoe Designs utilized comic book theming to celebrate the heroic efforts of its team. The Chicago event’s entrance at the industrial, clubby-cool venue, Joy District, set a cheeky tone with a unicorn statue sporting a flowing cape. Stairs leading up to the event were outfitted with layers of balloons in the classic comic colors of blue, yellow, and red. Another stairwell flanked with square silver balloons reflected the primary-hued floor lighting to dreamy effect. Other fun décor included candles and pillows emblazoned with graphic messages like “ker-sploosh!” alongside hilarious corporate dispatches like “ideate!” and “SEO!” Kehoe Designs made use of several levels of Joy District for a traveling good time — opening to the bright sky on its view-filled roofdeck for a memorable soirée.

2. ABC’s 90’s Drive-In Social

This Orange County throwback social event used balloon installations in not one, or two, but three inventive ways at Fête the Venue. First, planners Leilani Weddings and K.Sage Events worked with Balloonzilla to create a wall festooned in a grid of foil balloons, which made for a futuristic spot for pictures. Then — moving the other direction in history — was a vintage clawfoot tub emblazoned with the word “Champagne” with lit black and white balloon “bubbles” rising from its surface. Lastly, blush, gray, silver, and black balloons floated over the custom dance floor — which was kept hoppin’ by DJ Jack Farmer spinning tunes and band, That’s My Jam. This party proves that balloons aren’t just for kids anymore.

3. Neon Farm Dinner

This dinner party at Big Delicious Planet’s (BDP) working city farm in the heart of Chicago, featured colorful design paired with delectable bites. Luft Balloons conjured a floating installation above the rustic table, providing a neon-hued focal point with a mix of solid and marbled balloons in varied sizes amid illuminated string lighting. The floral artisans at Fleur mirrored the color scheme with tabletop blooms in vibrant reds, yellows, and purple-blues. Napkin ties in glowing green offset white menus with courses listed in a rainbow of neon shades. BDP offered diners homegrown delicious fare starting with vegetable nigiri and ending with Lamers dairy malted milk ice cream.

4. Black & Metallic Birthday Celebration

This milestone birthday in the city that never sleeps featured chic metallic theming from Jerry Rose Floral & Event Design. The team curated a look that was both 1920’s vintage and utterly modern at the same time, with a ceiling installation of black, gold, and transparent balloons. We love how the attached ribbons offer a décor element as well — with touches of glitter and gold and straight lines that hover close to partygoers, making the towering ceilings of Joe’s Pub at the Public feel more intimate.

5. Street Festival 40th Birthday Party

North Shore Weddings and Events coordinated a beautiful boho paradise for this milestone birthday celebration in Chicago. Partygoers entered the street festival-themed event through an intricate arch composed of turquoise, daffodil-, sunshine- and watermelon-hued balloons from Luft Balloons. A photo booth from Kebomatic smartly made use of the colorful installation, using it as a fun backdrop for instant images. Designer Erin McDonald created the perfect gathering spot in a large white tent sporting hippie-chic lounge areas and, of course, live music — from bands Final Say and This Must B the Band. As evening fell and the tunes cranked, the tent was lit from within by Frost Chicago with mandala-like patterns on its ceiling.


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