Wedding Reception Forum

Balloon Send-Off Questions

k&n62517k&n62517 member
10 Comments 25 Love Its First Anniversary Name Dropper
edited August 2016 in Wedding Reception Forum
Hi Everyone! 

I am currently brainstorming ideas for our send-off. I do NOT intend to have guests do a balloon release, just to hold the balloons as we exit. It's at night so the balloons are the LED kind. I was wondering about a couple of things though.

1. Should I get enough balloons for every guest? What is the rule for something like that?
2. Where should I store the balloons until it it's time to go? They obviously should be filled ahead of time right? But where would I store them?
3. Any recommendations for where to get them? 

I understand you guys don't know much about my venue and I do plan to see if they have any ideas, but just going based off of this or personal experience, what do you think?

Also, if you don't think the balloons are a good idea, please offer other suggestions for evening send-offs. I am also thinking sparklers, but my concern with that is the time it would take to get them all lit. 

Looking forward to your responses! 
Thanks! 

P.S. I have had trouble trying to change my avatar and username or I would have. It hasn't been working for me. Sorry.

Re: Balloon Send-Off Questions

  • banana468banana468 member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited August 2016
    Ate you sure you want a sendoff??  Claps and cheers are free.   
    InLoveInQueensgeebee908poodledoodleooo
  • I live in western Colorado.  Balloon releases are discouraged here for environmental reasons.  They can land anywhere - in the canyons, in the mountains, in the national parks.  Somebody has to clean up the mess.
    Please re-think this.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • How many guests are you having? The logistics of this sound difficult, even if you didn't have one for every guest that is still a lot of balloons to corral into one place so they are ready for your guests. Are you having any children there? I imagine older guests would give them to the children, which would probably lead to a few being let go. I also agree with PPs, what are guests going to do with them afterwards?
    image
  • I personally find that send offs aren't worth the time or effort. I've been to a few that haven't really worked because guests left early or it took too long to get things organized.
    InLoveInQueenscharlotte989875
  • I don't get it.  The guests are going to have helium filled balloons, but they are supposed to just hang on to them?  I don't think you have thought this through.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    ernursej said:
    I personally find that send offs aren't worth the time or effort. I've been to a few that haven't really worked because guests left early or it took too long to get things organized.
    I agree.  I have never actually attended a wedding where the bridal couple made a choreographed exit.  At the weddings of my son and daughter, by the end of the reception only a handful of close friends and immediate family members remained.

    At DD's wedding, they did slip out of the reception briefly and had a few staged photo's taken with the photographer to enact their departure, by it only involved the two of them.
    CMGragaincharlotte989875SP29InLoveInQueens
  • MobKaz said:
    ernursej said:
    I personally find that send offs aren't worth the time or effort. I've been to a few that haven't really worked because guests left early or it took too long to get things organized.
    I agree.  I have never actually attended a wedding where the bridal couple made a choreographed exit.  At the weddings of my son and daughter, by the end of the reception only a handful of close friends and immediate family members remained.

    At DD's wedding, they did slip out of the reception briefly and had a few staged photo's taken with the photographer to enact their departure, by it only involved the two of them.
    I've never seen a "send off" either.  I think that if you want pictures with LED balloons as you leave, you'd be better off tying a few bunches of balloons to things outside your venue so the photographer can take pics with you and the balloons (tie to trees, fencing, etc).  That way, the balloons stay in place and it won't matter how many guests are left at the end of the night (probably won't be many if you stay till the end of your reception).  When you leave, you'll have to pop them--you can offer them to remaining guests, but I think driving home with glowing balloons could be a hazard at night--lights on in the car, distracting the driver, etc.  
    SP29ahoywedding
  • climbingsingleclimbingsingle NYC 'burbs member
    Ninth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    OP, I've been to dozens and dozens of wedding. I have never seen a send off. Not once. 

    Where will these balloons all be held before you use them? What do the guests do afterwards? It seems like a lot of effort and waste for just a picture. 
    geebee908ei34
  • thisismynickname2thisismynickname2 City By The Lake member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    missfrodo said:

    I've never seen a "send off" either.  I think that if you want pictures with LED balloons as you leave, you'd be better off tying a few bunches of balloons to things outside your venue so the photographer can take pics with you and the balloons (tie to trees, fencing, etc).  That way, the balloons stay in place and it won't matter how many guests are left at the end of the night (probably won't be many if you stay till the end of your reception).  When you leave, you'll have to pop them--you can offer them to remaining guests, but I think driving home with glowing balloons could be a hazard at night--lights on in the car, distracting the driver, etc.  
    I think this is a great idea. You'll achieve the look you're going for (which sounds really pretty to me, by the way) without the hazards of them being released, wasted, whatever. 

    I've only witnessed one official send off, with sparklers, and it was pretty awkward due to sparklers not lasting long enough for the timing to be right. 
    ________________________________


  • SP29SP29 member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I have also never seen a send off "in real life" (I have all over Pinterest, of course ;) ). Guests leave at all different times during the reception, and the weddings I have attended, the B&G stay until the end.

    I also agree that trying to store balloons, then hand them out, get everyone to stand where you want them to, and then what do you do with the balloons after is an issue.

    I think that a staged exit with just you and your groom with your photographer would work best.
    ei34
  • Did Pinterest destroy the idea of photographing the day's events as they happen of their own accord? Why stage something that would be complex to coordinate for the sake of having a picture of you doing something staged? I think photos of you hugging loved ones on your way out would be a sweeter way to remember leaving your reception.
    ernursejInLoveInQueens
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana member
    Eighth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I, also, haven't seen a grand exit in any recent weddings. They were definitely expected back when I was married. DD and SIL exited the church with the WP and family lined up along the steps. We clapped. No prop was used (against church rules). The pictures turned out very well.
  • photokittyphotokitty where I want to be mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    I'll gladly stand outside the ceremony location as a photo prop, but I'm not a fan of reception send offs. I don't want to go outside in the middle of the reception to pretend to send you off. And I don't want to hang around at the end to do it either. 

    Send offs were a thing back in the 50s when the coupl left too consummate the marriage and the parents continues to host guests and party without the happy couple. Much different from the forced photo op people turn their near and dear into props over. Its skip it.
    :kiss: ~xoxo~ :kiss:

    SP29
  • Thanks for your responses! Again, I'm definitely not thinking of releasing them. 

    I appreciate all of your feedback and personal experience sharing. I especially like the idea of tying the balloons outdoor somewhere. 
  • A special photo-worthy sendoff is certainly not necessary, but if you want to do this there is an easy answer that solves the logistical concerns of making this happen:  Just affix one inflated balloon to each guest chair.  When it's time for the sendoff, make an announcement for everyone to grab their balloon and follow you out.  Just make sure the announcer is very clear that the guests should not release the balloons--that's terrible for the environment. 
  • My sister "asked" (forced) all guests to line up outside the venue at around 10:30 pm in the cold for a sparkler send off. EVERYONE was vocal about how pissed they were. Especially after they were all invited back inside to continue dancing with the bride and groom until 12 pm.

    They just needed the send off photo opt done before the photographer left and refused to pay for extra time.
    charlotte989875
  • I also don't love the big "send off" photo op. The ones I've been at feel forced, the photographer or coordinator are trying to tell a large group of people what to do, where to stand; people don't listen because they are talking or they are drunk and it's all just for a picture. The last one I was at the groom was drunk and he and the bride were taking forever to come out, most people's sparklers had gone out by the time everything was ready. And they didn't get right in a car and stood around and talked to everyone. It just felt weird and unnecessary. 
  • What time is your reception schedule to last until & what time do you plan to leave? I was having so much fun that I stayed until the end which was 11:00 PM. Granted we had probably still about 20-30 guests still there at the end. But my photographer had left for the night at 8:00 PM. That's all she was contracted for. To get photos of a send off we would have had to do a fake send off earlier in the evening or pay the photographer for an extra 3 hours.
  • My reception ends at 9:45. This actually didn't have anything to do with wanting to get a picture. I thought most people had a send-off when they left the reception. However, after hearing that that is not the case, I'm happy to save my money and pass on the send-off. Thanks again for all of the responses!
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