By far the most frequent questions I get is: “how much do you charge for this (arch, wall, bouquet, garland, tunnel, centerpiece, etc.)?”
My most common response, right after I ask what, when, and where is the event, is: “what budget did you have in mind?” It’s not a popular question, and some people prefer not to share this information with me.
I ask for a budget range because many decor requests are sent to me with beautiful pictures found on social media. Nearly everyone contacts me after spending at least some time looking at pictures of incredibly stunning balloon decor.
I love it when you share pictures with me because it shows me exactly what you have in mind! Your general budget range helps me come up with a design that will come close to your dream while still making the decor affordable for you – I love to decorate and I try to work within most everyone’s budget, whether that’s $100 or $1000.
Well, but “how much will it cost?”
Let’s dive right into the numbers, in this case let’s use a baby shower or first birthday as an example. Something that’s often requested and very popular these days on social media for many events, including weddings, anniversaries, or product launches. Something like this:
(image by “K N”, Wedding ideas board, Pinterest. If you know who owns the copyrights please let me know so I can give proper credit)
Most people look at this picture and see “a bunch of balloons” and they are very surprised when I quote them over $1000 for a design like this.
Here’s what I see when I look at this picture:
- 100s of balloons (many invisible to you) to achieve the nice, full look.
- 4 different sizes of balloons (many of them 2 and 3 foot diameter).
- Each size must be ordered in at least 4 colors.
- Not all of these colors are actually available from balloon manufacturers, which means I create these manually by putting a darker balloon inside a lighter balloon and then inflating them to get “just the right shade”. This is done, for example, in the lilac balloons in this photo. So now we’re at 6 balloon colors, each in 4 sizes.
- Making the gold confetti balloons by hand.
- Plus the gold stars.
- All the material required to make everything stay in place, plus custom-made frame.
- As a professional, I buy double the amount of nearly EVERYTHING because even decorator quality balloons can pop and I will not leave you hanging on your big day with pieces missing from the decor.
- Several hours of inflating balloons and very, very many hours of decorating to recreate this picture “just right”.
Then consider the time it takes to source all of that, order it, then load everything into the van, transport it to your venue, install it, and remove it again after your event (because I come back and clean up! My service doesn’t end with delivery).
All of this is reflected in the price.
Can I do it cheaper? Yes of course I can, that is NO PROBLEM at all. I’ll be more than happy to do that for you!
However, I won’t be able to make that exact design at a fraction of the price, for all of the reasons I listed above. What I can do is simplify the design to make something like this:
(C) Mikaspartyshop, (C) Partysaurusland, (C) Bonnie Sims CBA
These are much skinnier designs, they require 3 or 4 standard colors in 2 to 3 sizes. They will make your party just as Pinterest- and Instagram-worthy, especially once you add your beautiful, smiling guests to the photos. It will make your event stand out and still keep you on budget, if your budget is around $350-$550.
We can slim that down even more with some very reasonably priced options, like these designs in the $150-$350 range:
(C) Taylor Made Events & Costumes, (C) Balloontastic, (C) T and M Balloon Designs
So if you want balloons for your event, then by all means please do send me those beautiful Pinterest and Instagram pictures. I love them just as much as you do! Please do keep asking “how much for this?”, but please also let me know what you hope to spend, because that will allow me to come up with a design that will come close to your dream while still making the decor affordable for you.
PS: The first photo in this post, with the silver and white balloons with lights and bows in them, was a project that I worked on jointly with The Smoky Mountain Balloon Company. It was for a large event and the balloon decorations took 4 people working together for 4 whole days to inflate, create, and install the decorations. That doesn’t include the time required to measure the installation site, draw up the designs, and order all the materials, which took another full day.