Welp. I'm old. If the husband, the mortgage, the job, and the baby weren't indicative enough--2014 marked 10 years since I graduated high school. Ouch. I never really thought about my 10 year reunion until it came along, but if I had, looking hot would have been super near the top of my list of goals. Instead, I had six months of pregnancy piled on top of my already "thick" frame. Luckily, I worked with our class president to decorate the space for the reunion. If I couldn't show up looking as good as I wanted to personally, at least I could have fun doing a bit of decor in the space.
I had no idea until the reunion but it turns out our class actually did a pretty phenomenal job raising and saving money. We were able to have a relatively expensive five year reunion and still had cash left over to rent out two floors of Phillips in Downtown Annapolis right by the water, hire a DJ and a photographer (all photos in the post, save for the balloon column supplies, are from our photographer--Ren of Random Eye Candy), supply hors d'oeuvres for nearly 200 people, and even a small bit leftover for decor and small prizes for a reunion game. Guests were only charged $10 a person.
Because the space was already pretty attractive, we didn't want to spend much on decor (even if we'd had a larger budget set aside to do so) so I pulled together a few DIY touches for the event.
DIY Balloon Columns
My husband built the structure beneath these balloon columns and three of us blew up balloons to assemble on-site. The trick to the balloon columns is to blow up all of the balloons to as close to the same size as possible. It's difficult to tell in this image, but we used four colors of balloons--blue, sky blue, white, and silver. The 36" diameter balloons used as toppers were purchased from Amazon. I cannot recommend the brand we purchased (linked above), however, as I expected the balloons to inflate to a more circular shape instead of an oval and they were very thin. It is relatively expensive to inflate these balloons with helium so to have a few of them pop en route was definitely disappointing.
Here's what we used for the column bases:
-two one-foot square plywood squares (we cut these from one large square piece of wood)
-two thin PVC pipes
-two 3/8" x 6" steel pipe nipples
-two 3/8" galvanized floor flanges
-liquid nails adhesive
-eight #12 3/4" wood screws
The assembly here was pretty simple. The flanges were screwed to the center of the wood squares and then the pipe nipples were screwed into the flanges. The PVC pipes were a bit narrow on the inside so they were opened up with a large drill bit.
The liquid nails was applied to the tips of the pipe nipples before they were inserted into the PVC pipes.
To assemble the columns on-site, 80 balloons were inflated--20 of each of the four colors. One of each color balloon was tied together into a quad, leaving one end open. Here is a video explaining how to stack the balloons on the column:
The large 36" helium balloons were placed atop the columns and tied through the center of the balloon column to the base.
DIY Light-Up Marquee Class Year Numbers
I used my own DIY Marquee Letter Tutorial to create a large light-up "04." Because I already had the lights from previous projects, this was a very inexpensive project. To save additional time and money, instead of spray painting white poster board, I purchased blue poster board.
DIY Tablecloth Tassels
I used this tutorial to create tassels in our class colors to adorn our photo area backdrop and to attach to the large balloons.
DIY Photo Backdrop and Signs
For the photo area I used a vinyl backdrop and stand I already owned and adorned it with tablecloth tassels, a handmade 2004 banner, and balloons.
The photo prop signs were made using glitter card stock, popsicle sticks, chalkboard paper, and chalk markers.
Overall a good time was had by all. We also played a variation of this reunion game (complete with quirky prizes) by sending out access to a Goggle Doc prior to the event. If you're considering a similar game for your own reunion I'd suggest saving it for an older crowd or for a smaller, perhaps seated, event. At our large, loud event it was lost on a good deal of the guests, even with the use of the DJ's mic.