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Strictly Come Dancing for BBC

Strictly Come Dancing for BBC

Back in October 2014, while painting our daughter’s bedroom, we had a phonecall from the BBC!  It turns out that they wanted some balloons for Saturday’s show and we had been recommended to them from one of the technicians who worked on ITV’s Keep It In The Family which had recently filmed.  The brief was explained to us, they had very specific requirements and knew exactly what it was they wanted for the show.  Now, Sara is a HUGE Strictly fan so there was no doubt who was going to travel to do this job!!  The only downside was she would be travelling on the Thursday, doing the build and returning on the same day so sadly, no dancers would be there.

Thursday arrived, Sara was up at the crack of dawn with no problem!  She caught the train to London Kings Cross, travelled across London to Elstree Studios.

At this point, Sara takes over the story.  At the security gate, I gave my details and was directed towards the studio.

Elstree Studios
Elstree Studios

Now, the George Lucas sound stage is a fair walk away from the security gate but I thought I had missed it.  I hadn’t.  I asked for directions and was taken to the studio.  It was a massive building which I can only describe as a  ‘big tin shed’ like building!!  I was greeted by security and shown into the building.  It was immediately sparkly and as I walked through another door, I was straight onto the Strictly Dance Floor.  It was very surreal.  Inside I was screaming with excitement, but had to remain professional at all times.  I was to inflate and build the clouds on the stage where the band are located!!  I just had to get on with the job.  The crew were playing around with lighting ideas for Saturday’s show while I was inflating and I found myself talking to myself about how pretty the lighting was and telling the crew what I thought too!.  The crew were fab!!  After an hour I had finished building.  I showed the crew how to replace a balloon if one should pop and also put rigging points in ready for them to rig the balloons later that day.  The creative director came to chat with me about the possibility of providing balloons for the Strictly Special in Blackpool and whether it would be possible to do something like the picture she showed me.  Of course we can (again screaming with excitement inside!).  That it was, I was done.  However I couldn’t help myself from asking if I could take some pictures sat at the Judges desk.  Now I said before that the crew were fab and they really were!!  I said at Darcey’s place.

Strictly Come Dancing
Sara in Darcey’s space
Strictly Come Dancing
The finished clouds for Kevin and Frankie’s dance

I left with a very big smile on my face after a fab but very tiring day – headed home to celebrate my parents Diamond Wedding Anniversary.

On the Saturday night we watched nervously but the balloons looked fab!

A couple of weeks went by and that we got a phone call from them to say that they wanted us to do the special in Blackpool.  Again they had very specific ideas of what they wanted and it involved very big balloons!  This time we would both be going and it would be on the Friday of rehearsals!!

Set off early on the Friday to arrive at Blackpool Tower for just after 9.00a.m.  Parked on the front of the Tower (with the help of some very friendly Traffic Wardens!)  We set up and set about inflating.  The first job was balloons for Anton and Judy’s dance.  Very simple for very effective balloons.   This time we actually got to go on set and help rig the balloons.  It was quite nice because we knew some of the crew as they had worked on Keep It In The Family, so hugs all round!!

That job done so it was time for lunch.  We were told we could help ourselves from the catering facilities.  So we sat down for lunch in amongst all the stars.  Now Sara’s favourite dancer is Brendan Cole who we hadn’t seen all day.  Lunch finished, we were clearing away our plates, Sara put down her plate, turned around, and ran straight into him!  She couldn’t say anything, just made a stupid noise and walked off!!   Anton and Judy were doing interviews and they were doing them next to where we were working.  They were both so lovely and friendly, as was everyone else.

Strictly Come Dancing
Sara with Anton

So on to the next job, inflating the big bouquets of balloons.  This took a while to do.  They were massive bouquets.

Strictly Come Dancing
Mike against some of the bouquets

They wanted to place a single bouquet on set to get an idea of how they would look and whether or not they would actually need more bouquets than they had anticipated.  Now to carry a bouquet down to the studio, we had two flights of stairs to go do and in through a narrow doorway (just about made it through the door)!  We showed the crew how to move them when it was time for the show.  Job done we left very happy.

So Anton and Judy’s dance looked fab and the picture of them with our balloons was used in most of the national newspapers!  This was the picture!

 

Strictly Come Dancing Blackpool
Anton du Beke and Judy Murray

The big balloon bouquets were used for the group dance on the Sunday.  Sadly some of the balloons did not make it in one piece to the studio but they still looked fab!

Strictly Come Dancing
Group Dance Blackpool
Strictly Come Dancing
Group Dance Blackpool

We loved doing these balloons, especially Sara, it was like a dream come true for her!

Brand New Personalised Photo Balloons!

We are delighted to introduce this fantastic NEW service – create your very own personalised photo balloons!

It’s extremely easy to do and you are in total control of the design from start to finish.  To create your own photo balloon just click HERE and follow the instructions – it’s as easy as can be!

There are hundreds of designs to choose from or you can literally create your own by uploading your own photograph, writing your own text and adding overlays from those available.  Here’s just a couple of examples but there are literally hundreds of designs to choose from and there is something For Every Occasion!

pic7 pic5 pic4 pic3 pic2 pic1

Prices start from just £9.99 (this is for one sided print).  The price includes, the balloon, the postage and us inflating the balloon for you.  The option is then available in store to add additional balloons to create some beautiful custom made bouquets at an additional cost.

You can choose from a star, heart or round shaped balloon and you have the option for two sided print for an additional cost.  Here’s one we did for our nephew’s 18th Birthday – he was suitably embarrassed!

18th Birthday
18th Birthday

Need that balloon tomorrow? No problem as long as you order before 5.00p.m. and pay additional postage, you can have your balloon tomorrow!

Don’t worry about your order going astray – you get text/email messages all throughout the process advising when your balloon has been dispatched and when it has arrived with us and then we contact you to discuss collection dates and times.

These are the most beautiful quality and there are some on display in store should you wish to see the quality of the product for yourself.  It has taken us 10 years of searching to find the right product to share with our customers.
We can’t recommend these balloons enough – they are just stunning and we are thrilled  that we are the only suppliers currently in Denbighshire for this product.

We think you’ll love them as much as we do!

Sara & Mike Harris CBA

Keep It In The Family

Ok so the back end of 2014 went a bit mental for us here at For Every Occasion.  We apologise for not blogging for a while but we hope you will find the next few posts interesting.

Back in September we were asked by ITV Studios to appear in a brand new Sunday night Prime Time Game Show hosted by Bradley Walsh.  The show would see 2 families going head to head in a series of games to win prizes.  This would also include dropping celebrities through trap doors.  When we found out one of the celebrities was none other than Joe Pasquale – how could we refuse?

Keep It In The Family
Keep It In The Family

The first game in each program was called Family Business and it would involve a task set by a family who work together in business for the teams to complete.  Anyone who knows us knows that For Every Occasion is truly a family business and the kids are often to be found helping out in the shop (or hindering!).

ITV wanted spectacular balloon decor that could be set and struck quickly for the program as it is filmed in order with a live audience.  We had the brief, all we needed to do was create the wow factor.

We travelled down to BBC Elstree Studios on the Thursday night to prepare for filming on Sunday.  Also filming in the same building as us was Holby City and of course, Eastenders. Being a huge Holby City fan, Sara was beside herself when she saw some of the cast but  not as exited as she was when she met Danny Dyer in the Bar though!

We had a room to work in at the back of the studio and we started to inflate.

Keep it in the Family Ballons
Keep it in the Family Balloons
Ellie working on Keep it in the Family
Ellie working on Keep it in the Family

Hidden away in the Studio, behind the blacks, is the actual balcony used for Statler and Waldorf in the original Muppet Show Series.

Muppets Balcony
Muppets Balcony

Although a grainy picture we loved the personalised pillars on the stage.

The Set
The Set

We re-created one of our award winning Red Arrow sculptures for the show.

Red Arrow
Red Arrow

Our 15ft High Hot Air Balloon was one of the highlights.

Hot Air Balloon
Hot Air Balloon

This is the balloon drop for the end of the game.

Balloon Drop
Balloon Drop

The biggest audience reaction though was when they saw Ellie and Amelia in their Balloon Dresses. The gasps literally took our breath away and is one of those moments that you will never forget.

Balloon Dresses
Balloon Dresses

The game consisted of Mike teaching 2 family members (the grandparents) how to make a Balloon Flower Head dress  The finished results were very interesting to say the least!

We also got to meet the celebrities on the show  here are a couple of pictures of us with Joe Pasquale and Helen Flanagan.

Joe Pasquale with www.foreveryoccasion.co.uk
Joe Pasquale with www.foreveryoccasion.co.uk
Helen Flanagan with www.foreveryoccasion.co.uk
Helen Flanagan with www.foreveryoccasion.co.uk

It took us all day Friday and most of Saturday to create all of the decor, the balloon dresses and car.  By the end of filming on Sunday we were exhausted.

Us on set with Joeys Car
Us on set with Joeys Car after filming

It was a fantastic experience and one that we had as a family.  I don’t think we will ever forget it.  We were treated like royalty and the kids thought it was Christmas with free ice cream, crisps and pop on tap!

Us with Bradley Walsh
Us with Bradley Walsh

 

 

BACI 2014

Once again this year Mike went out to Italy to provide decor and pass on his knowledge to delegates from many nationalities at the Balloon Arts Convention Italy, BACI 2014.  This year he again worked with Matt Lewis CBA of Matthew Lewis Displays, Coventry and Dominic Casidy CBA of All Things Fun, Horden.

This year the event was moved from its normal venue of Florence to the Town of Patti on the beautiful Island of Sicily.

The venue for the week was the Simenzaru Wild Village Holiday complex.  The venue was directly on the beach, very open to the Mediterranean strong winds and of course extreme heat.

Our brief was to create fun Jungle and Tropical decor.

Day one saw us working in a Marquee in Patti Marina creating the entrance decor for the Large Sculpture competition.  We used a mixture of Palm Trees printed balloons and Monkeys to create a fun entrance.

Marquee Entrance BACI 2014
Marquee Entrance BACI 2014
Marquee Entrance BACI 2014
Marquee Entrance BACI 2014

We now had 2 days to fight the wind and create decor that would move in the wind but still look good.  We used lots of Aeropoles for arches.

Opening Decor BACI 2014
Opening Decor BACI 2014
Opening Decor BACI 2014
Opening Decor BACI 2014
Opening Decor BACI 2014
Opening Decor BACI 2014

Cactus’s made from Quick Link Balloons are great fun.

Cactus
Cactus

Next we needed to include the jungle animal element but it mud withstand the wind.  I think our solution proved it worked great.  Our moving Animal Pillars known as windy’s worked a treat.  These are available to order from For Every Occasion now.

Tiger Windy
Tiger Windy
Giraffe Windy
Giraffe Windy
Windy's on the Beach
Windy’s on the Beach

Our next task was to decorate the street in Patti Marina for an evening festival.  We wanted to create colour that would move and have impact.  Our Balloon Fireworks were perfect for the job, how ever putting a ladder in the middle of a road with cars travelling down either side was a challenge.

Balloon Fireworks
Balloon Fireworks
Balloon Fireworks
Balloon Fireworks

We now turned our attention to the final night party.  Once again our biggest challenge was the wind.  Table centres had to be pinned to the tables decor had to move and it needed to be fun.  We once again used the Aeropole arch system this time with balloon fireworks.  2 balloon walls using Zebra print and personalised balloons where created for the stage and a sunny Jungle entrance was created.

Giraffe Centre Piece BACI 2014
Giraffe Centre Piece BACI 2014
Monkey Centre Piece BACI 2014
Monkey Centre Piece BACI 2014
Tiger Centre Piece BACI 2014
Tiger Centre Piece BACI 2014
Aeropole Fireworks
Aeropole Fireworks
Stage Balloon Walls BACI 2014
Stage Balloon Walls BACI 2014
Stage Balloon Walls BACI 2014
Stage Balloon Walls BACI 2014
Stage Balloon Walls BACI 2014
Stage Balloon Walls BACI 2014
Sunny Entrance
Sunny Entrance

Another fantastic event in Italy.  Outdoor decor can be provided in high winds and extreme heat.  It’s a challenge but we can do it.

 

Silverstone 2014 Lewis Hamilton

Once again this year we were asked by Matt Lewis of Matthew Lewis Displays in Coventry to assist with the decor for the Silverstone Racing Club Marquee at the British Grand Prix.

Now being huge F1 fans Sara and I made ourselves available for the event.  After seeing the pictures of our large sculpture of the red arrows at the World Balloon Convention, the client asked if we could do something special to celebrate 50 years of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.  They asked if we could create Lewis Hamilton’s AMG Petronas Mercedes W05 car.

We created a 2/3 scale replica completely from balloons.

 

Brooklands and Luffield from the Silverstone Racing Club
Brooklands and Luffield from the Silverstone Racing Club

 

W05 on the ground
W05 on the ground
AMG Mercedes WO5
Lewis Hamiltons Car 2014 AMG Mercedes WO5
Lewis Hamiltons Car 2014 AMG Mercedes WO5
Lewis Hamiltons Car 2014 AMG Mercedes WO5
#keepfightingmichael
#keepfightingmichael
GP3 Driver Nelson Mason
GP3 Driver Nelson Mason
TV pundit and racing driver Karun Chandhok
TV pundit and racing driver Karun Chandhok
Son of James Hunt, Freddie Hunt
Son of James Hunt, Freddie Hunt
F1 Racing Legend Derek Warwick
F1 Racing Legend Derek Warwick

A fantastic weekend and even better with Lewis winning.

 

Big Rooms Need Big Decor

Our brief was to create table decor for an awards ceremony.  The location was Bangor University and the decor had to compliment a Blue & Yellow Star theme creative that was used on the programs and the stage.  As it is a big room it needed big decor.  We chose to use 3ft mylar foil stars complimented with 5″ latex balloons and tulle.  The balloons where secured using monofilament line to weights on the table.  This gave the illusion when the guests arrived that the balloons were just sitting in mid air with no method of attachment.

Before
Before
Before
Before
Bangor University 8
Bangor University 8
Bangor University 6
Bangor University 6
Bangor University 4
Bangor University 4
Bangor University 3
Bangor University 3

More Arch Work

This weekend once again we took out our Aeropole system.  The Arches look great as an entrance to a shop or any event.

We are doing More Arch Work since we bought our Aeropole system.  The fact it stands up to our strange weather here makes such a difference.

Here are a few pictures of it from the weekend.

 

Click & Collect is Here

It’s what you have all been asking for and we have delivered.

Our customers have asked to be able to order balloons out of hours and be able to collect in store.  Our NEW Click & Collect service is simple to use.   Select the bouquets you want, select the date you want to collect them pay conveniently with PAYPAL and your order will be waiting for you to collect when you are ready.

Give it a try now Click Here or select Click & Collect from the Menu Above.

It couldn’t be easier.

Birthday Classic
Birthday Classic

 

Funky Swirl Balloon Arch

The Task

So we had a booking recently for a basic swirl balloon arch.  Nothing too technical.  It had to go outside for a Pub refurbishment.  It was to look something like this.

Swirl Arch
Simple Swirl Arch

The stock was ordered.  Ready for the job, it was a last minute job and thats where the problem started.  Due to problems beyond our control the stock which was ordered in time never arrived leaving us with only half the balloons for the project.

The Re-design

So what do you do when your stock has not arrived and you have to set up for the customer at 7:30am on a Saturday morning and it is 5:00pm on Friday night and you only have half the required stock?

You put your thinking caps on and get creative.  We looked at what stock we had and decided to incorporate some Quick-links and 160q’s.

The Funky Swirl Balloon Arch was born

We put the following design together.

Funky Swirl Balloon Arch
Add a touch of Funky to any party

The customer loved the finished design.  This just goes to show how versatile we at For Every Occasion Balloon Artists Ltd can be.

 

Wedding Fun in a Marquee

This Sunday we had the pleasure of decorating a wedding for a lovely couple Louise & Chris.

The venue was the Faenol Fawr Hotel in Bodelwyddan.  We had been asked to highlight 4 key areas at the wedding, the entrance, the cake table, the top table and the dance floor.

By the door. we went for a simple champagne bottle pillar, personalised with a message chosen by the Bride & Groom.

Personalised Champagne Bottle Pillar
Personalised Champagne Bottle Pillar

 

For the Cake Table, we created a very simple string of pearl arch and accented it with our very popular Lootle Bride and Groom characters.

 

String of Pearl Arch
9 Balloon String of Pearl Cake Arch
Bride & Groom Caricature
Lootle Bride and Groom Caricatures

The top table, being one of the main focal points of the wedding day, was decorated using our stunning heart frame.  The use of an ivory heart surrounding a purple heart in the centre and a clear heart around the outside works as a perfect backdrop for the bride and groom whilst sat at the top table.

 

Elegant Heart Frame
Beautiful Backdrop Heart Frame

For the dance floor, the couple wanted a wow factor that was also elegantly stunning and classy.  We surrounded the dance floor with 4 of our elegant pillars.  These were then linked to the centre point of the dance floor to create a beautiful canopy.  In the centre of the canopy we suspended a 3ft exploding balloon that, when remotely detonated by the DJ, showered the happy couple with 100 balloons, perfect for any wedding day.

The Bride & Groom were absolutely delighted with what we had created and couldn’t believe how our balloons transformed the marquee and gave that ‘WOW’ factor which we all seek to create. Great result for us.

 

Dance Floor Canopy
4 Pillar dance floor canopy with 3ft Exploding Balloon

All of the above items are available to order now in our brand new portfolio.  If you would like any more information or prices call us today on 01745 334299