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Balloon Release In A Wedding Ceremony
Balloon Release
Katie and David chose balloons for their recessional walk at Old Orchard C.C. in Mount Prospect, Illinois.

A Ceremony Option That Fills the Sky with Color

Balloons require a bit of planning especially in terms of their distribution to, and release by, your guests. If you do your planning correctly, you and your guests will be rewarded by a fun and photogenic conclusion to your wedding ceremony. If you do this wrong you're in for some serious frustration. Don't get me wrong, I love balloon releases but they absolutely require thoughtful planning.

Recessional walk with balloonsFirst, determine how many balloons will be given to each guest. Wedding day is not the time to discover this! Next, probably on the day before your wedding ceremony, affix the balloons to an appropriate object(s). If there is no object to secure the balloons to, do the following: run two lengths of cord (such as clothes line) the length of the aisle but on the outside of the seats on both sides and stake down each end. In other words one cord running just outside the right side seats and one just outside the left side seats. Both cords are running parallel to the main aisle. Do not affix the balloons to the backs of your guests seats as no one will see your ceremony.

At the ceremony's conclusion, just after your first kiss, the guests are invited, row by row, to exit their seats, step over to the awaiting balloons and be handed a stand of balloons by an usher. Several of these ushers are on both sides working the distribution of your balloons. Groomsmen and bridesmaids from your bridal party can assist this. All have been given scissors to quickly snip each stand of balloons and hand them to a guest as he or she walks by. The balloons are distributed quickly and efficiently. A slow distribution will hurt the tempo of your ceremony.

The guests now line the center aisle, side by side, holding their balloons. Photographers and videographers move to the end of the aisle so as to record the bride and groom moving toward them. The music begins playing, and as the couple walks by each guest, that guest releases his or her balloons and begins applauding. The applause grows as the balloons fill the sky above the advancing bride and groom. Half way down the aisle, the bride and groom kiss, as guests applaud and the video camera pans slowly skyward to capture the ascending balloons now dotting the sky with color.

Sound impressive? It is, but it's criminal to release balloons without video cameras present. Still photography does not do this justice. So rent, borrow or steal a video camera for your ceremony. You'll be glad you did!

Balloons affixed to benches


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