Gala centerpieces don’t have to be flowers

gala centerpieces uninflated balloons

Gala centerpieces don’t have to be flowers. This is designed from uninflated balloons. (Thanks to Nate Knight who let me snap the photo.)

Floral gala centerpieces are the norm at most of our auctions, but are other ways of decorating your table.

Check out this NON-floral, balloon centerpiece I saw in St. Louis, MO last week at the Missouri Meetings & Events Expo.  The “Boot Camp” theme of the Expo wasn’t lost on the company that brought this balloon bouquet.

American Carnival Mart decked out their booth in full Boot Camp motif, so this “floral” arrangement is on the green-and-black side. 

As you can see, the balloons aren’t filled with air; they are stretched over frames to create the look of flowers.

Here’s what you might like about about this idea.

1.  Flowers die; balloons don’t.

If you plan it right, you can use your balloon centerpiece at other functions or split the cost with the school holding an auction down the road.

2.  Flowers could trigger an allergic reaction among guests.

Outside of a latex reaction (and doesn’t one need to touch latex for that to happen?), I can’t imagine a reaction with this type of centerpiece.

3. These are easily portable. 

Keep in mind that there’s no water to splash about.  It’s contained, seemed fairly sturdy and doesn’t have the liquid issue.

As an overview, remember that your gala centerpieces should be small-ish and – as evidenced by this photo – don’t need to be floral.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someone
About Sherry Truhlar

Fundraising auctioneer and sage, helping schools and nonprofits across the USA plan more profitable benefit auctions. A prolific writer for her own blog and other fundraising sites, her advice is tapped by thousands of auction planners seeking to improve their benefit auctions. Read her book, take her classes, or read what others say as she’s been covered in Town & Country Magazine, The Washington Post Magazine, Northern Virginia Magazine, AUCTIONEER, and other publications.


  1. This is a great tip, Sherry! We’ve been using balloons as decoration at our silent auction, where there isn’t a formal dinner and therefore no dining tables. We use balloon “sprays” around the room to add color and festivity and a big balloon arch in front of the building. Balloons are MUCH CHEAPER than flowers, too!

    Regarding the latex allergy, we have run into that problem: one of our donors has an allergy and has to limit her time around the balloons (I guess you don’t need to touch them.) But that doesn’t stop her from coming and spending lots of money! So I recommend them! This centerpiece is awesome!


    • Sherry Truhlar says:

      Bonnie: Thanks for this insight and sharing these ideas. Clearly you have some balloon experience and aren’t full of “hot air.” (LOL!)