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Eco-Friendly Alternatives to Balloons for Your Wedding

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Looking for eco-friendly alternatives to balloons for your wedding decorations? Style your big day in a sustainable way with these ideas!


Parties and celebrations attract all things festive– including balloons! Birthdays, gender reveals, engagement parties, bachelorette trips, and of course, weddings are just a few times when balloons make an appearance at an event. For weddings especially, balloons signify a celebration is happening, creating joyful memories. But unfortunately, although balloons are a fun way to celebrate, they’re not great for the environment. Savvy couples should seek out eco-friendly wedding decor alternatives.

A large amount of plastic is littered by balloons, which often end up in the ocean, hurting wildlife. It has become a widespread problem, impacting animals and the environment across the globe. And if helping the environment isn’t enough of a reason to consider alternatives to balloons, there’s a supply chain issue as well. This is due to a helium shortage because of issues in Texas at the helium enrichment plant in January of 2022. So if you needed another reason to find other wedding decor, this post is for you.

How to Decorate a Wedding Without Balloons

For weddings, decorations are crucial! There are endless alternatives to balloons to make your wedding one the guests will never forget. Ceremony backdrops, reception table centerpieces, walkways, and send-offs are examples of where balloons are used.

And we know that savvy folks love balloons because they are fun, festive, and also very affordable. So if you’re looking for cheap wedding decorations, you’ll need to find a suitable alternative to balloons that won’t break the bank. Luckily, we’ve got your back, per usual.

Below we have rounded up alternatives to the helium-filled, non-earth-friendly decorations. With many opportunities to use balloons, we hope the ideas help with future planning!

wedding arch

Chiffon Fabric Drapery for Wedding Archway


Wooden arches are a timeless piece for ceremony backdrops. The posts can be personalized with florals and drapes to create an affordable decoration at the front of the altar.

hanging lights

Hanging Wedding Lights, Tealight Holders

Etsy • $71

Balloons take place during the reception in multiple areas. One is the dining tables. Hanging lights are classy for a day or nighttime wedding. Tea lights and terrariums fit into the glass holders.

wedding backdrop

Wedding Backdrop for Photos

Etsy • $50

Guests will adore taking pictures in front of a reception backdrop. Etsy gives the option of customizing each poster, making it how you want. Instead of balloons, this decoration can be kept for years after the special day!

eucalyptus vase centerpiece

Eucalyptus & Vase Centerpiece Kit

Oriental Trading • $35

Centerpieces go in the middle of every reception table. Some are more elaborate than others, and simple eucalyptus will keep the tables classy and not overwhelming.

wedding flower stand centerpieces

Wedding Flower Stand Centerpieces

Amazon • $124

Beautifully set around the ceremony or reception tables, these stands are elegant. The gold or silver rectangular stands have no decorations on them, giving the couple free rein to add their choice of arrangement on top. Each purchase comes with four stands.

Hanging Burlap Lantern Decoration Set

Wayfair • $20

For chic rustic weddings, hanging lanterns keep the aesthetics pretty and on-theme. These paper lanterns come in a set of two and can be hung above tables during the reception!

chair signs

Wedding Chair Sign Bride And Groom

Etsy • $20+

The bride and the groom deserve the best chairs, with Etsy customizing is so easy to make dreams turn into reality. Labeled chairs are great photo ops of the couple.

reserved signs

Reserved for Wedding Signs

Oriental Trading

The ceremony or reception can benefit from reserved signs. A clear way to steer guests away, giving the family less stress on their children’s big day.

Dried Lavender Bundle

Afloral • $32

Simple decorations to lay throughout the ceremony or reception. Pretty centerpieces without going over the top! All flowers are naturally grown and dried.

Paper Flowers

Etsy • $6

Italian crepe paper flowers for bridal bouquets and centerpieces. An inexpensive option that can be kept forever as a keepsake. Each is handmade for the best quality.

sky lanterns

Sky Lanterns

Etsy • $4

Perfect for guests to spend lighting together to set off for the future marriage of the couple. Standing three feet tall with the option to be written on for a sweet memory!

Streamers or Ribbons


Backdrops, bridal bouquets, and centerpieces can be added with ribbon as decoration. Elegant for rustic or boho weddings.

ribbon wands

Ribbon Wands

Oriental Trading • $20

Perfectly unique and simple send-off for the newlyweds. A budget-friendly option for beautiful pictures each guest can take home at the end of the night.




Another send-off opportunity or post-ceremony to congratulate the couple. Bubbles are elegant and affordable to hand out to each guest. And everyone loves to blow bubbles!



Etsy • $59

Kites are an enjoyable activity or decoration. Adding a different spin to the ceremony or reception, guests will appreciate the creativity put into the decor.



Etsy • $18+

Flags are great for decorating and directing. Labeling the ceremony place and time, the food and drinks area, or welcoming the guests to the wedding. A keepsake for the couple as a reminder of this day.




An inexpensive way to fill the room with an alternative to balloons. Placed at the ceremony or reception, endless opportunities are given for bunting of multiple colors and styles.

Other Eco-friendly Balloon Alternatives

One of the least environmentally-friendly aspects of balloons when it comes to events is when party throwers do balloon releases. Releasing balloons of any material into the air is dangerous and irresponsible. Consider an eco-friendly option like any of the ones listed above, or seek out biodegradable balloons for your next party or celebration!

We hope these ideas can help keep your wedding as eco-friendly as possible!

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