Balloon Burst


What a rainy day we’ve been having!

This weather reminded me of a long-overdue story from Amanda and Jason’s wedding in November 2017, my first wedding with rain in the forecast. Amanda was a daring DIY bride with a vision of marble, mixed metals, candles, and grandeur. Nearly a year later, I have yet to match the impressiveness of this DIY decor. Amanda could design event spaces for a living if she wanted!

A shot of Amanda’s reception decor—She built those gold rectangle towers, added a marble topper, and supplied the candles!

A shot of Amanda’s reception decor—She built those gold rectangle towers, added a marble topper, and supplied the candles!


I knew after meeting Amanda that she’d challenge me in the best way, I couldn’t wait to get started with setup that morning!

In addition to designing a glam reception space with towering floral arrangements, Amanda had something very specific in mind to elevate the romantic and cozy aesthetic of Crossroads Church in East Liberty, where she and Jason would become husband and wife: Balloons.

Cloud-like and chic, these were not your average party decorations. As we finalized planning, Amanda shared inspiration photos, and had the idea of wrapping greenery garland down the base of the six white balloons. We’d also scatter dozens of candles at the foot of the altar. I knew immediately that this was something I would need to get right. It was a priority for her, therefore it was a priority for me.

Luckily, Amanda had hired the amazing Jillian Campbell of Blossoms by Jillian (seriously, she’s amazing!), and we would tag team the balloon setup at the church: She’d supply the garland, and I’d get the balloons up in the air.

I arrived ready to rock this setup. Jillian was already placing the flowers and candles, and I found the white balloons and mini helium tank waiting for me.

The red flag: The tiny helium tank we had was not working on these upgraded balloons. After trying multiple times, it just wasn’t inflating them. We needed a legit helium tank. I grabbed the bag of deflated balloons and high tailed it to Rite Aid, mildly panicked.

The super nice cashiers at Rite Aid did me a solid. They patiently filled up each balloon for me (FOR FREE!) and I was headed back to the church within the hour. My assistant was managing setup at the reception venue, and Jillian was finishing up the ceremony decor: All that was left was to wrap the garland! I was a balloon HERO, y’all.

Then…the rain started. As I walked the 15 feet from my car intoto the church, you can guess what happened next. A gust of wind pulled the balloons up, and one flew away. I actually screamed.

With five balloons left, I sulked inside, unsure of what to do next. My plan was to use one balloon in the center, and two others on either side, and then…POP. Another one bites the dust. I was now a balloon ZERO, y’all. Four left.

During all of this, I had vendors calling and texting with questions, the officiant had arrived and needed to be paid, and oh yeah, the groom’s custom-made tuxedo jacket ripped at the seam. Here’s the icing on the cake: The floral garland was too heavy to keep the balloons up. At that point, I almost gave up. Jillian left the garland strands in a neat row, she had to get started decorating the reception venue. Time was running out, and all I could picture was Amanda’s disappointment when she saw her vision didn’t get executed…Literally my one job! As the groom got sewn up by his tailor, I got to work.

Step 1: Google ‘balloon designer Pittsburgh’

Step 2: Call Balloonatics and plead your case for the fastest balloon order in the world.

Step 3: Wait for 6 of the best balloons ever to be delivered to the church.

Step 4: Rally 2 groomsmen to help place and wrap garland in less than 10 seconds as guests begin to arrive. (The real MVP’s of the story right here!)

Step 5: Help the bride out of the limo, get her down the aisle, and exhale.

Balloon. Hero.

Success! The rest of the night was a true November wedding: Candle-lit elegance with a chill in the air swaying you to dance extra close.

Those smiles!

Those smiles!

Congratulations Amanda and Jason!

Bonus pic: Balloon flower girl!

Bonus pic: Balloon flower girl!