A Very Badass Birthday: A look into Badass Balloon Co. founder Desiree Ontiveros' birthday party

by Grace Wilson

Wide open spaces....

Open concepts are all the rage, but similar to finding a perfect house, it takes vision when searching for the perfect party venues.

“A bride planning a 50 person wedding might fall in love with the exposed brick and industrial nature of a repurposed warehouse that can fit up to 200, and she shouldn't have to pare down her ideas just because she's worried about a space feeling too big,” writes Elizabeth Mitchell of Brides.com

Desiree's guests arrive for cocktail hour before being seated for dinner. 

Large scale balloon sculptures are a perfect way to make a space cozier. They can bring down the height of a ceiling or to create distinct areas, ensuring guests move easily through a space, making magic moments happen organically.

And they are Instagram gold. 

"Our balloons are ice-breakers," Badass Balloon Co founder Desiree Ontiveros said. "They are an easy connection point for people - they remember them from childhood. You can see the smiles and memories come flowing back and the cameras coming flying out.” 

For her recent birthday party, the Ponchartrain Hotel offered Ontiveros their private room called The Parlor, which is billed as "an unassuming garage with a dazzling interior," She and the Badass Balloon Co. team transformed 3000 square feet into an evening her 30 guests would never forget.

Guests entered on The Parlor’s red carpet, were greeted with a glass of Veuve Cliqout and offered tarot card readings under a canopy of balloons. Even though the foyer was open to the dining room, guests mix and mingled under the colorful cloud until a birthday toast signaled it was time to dine and move further into the room.

Florist Kim Starr Wise created towering centerpieces, which also made the ceilings seem lower creating an even more intimate vibe. Nuage Designs brought in luxe linens that also elevated the elegance and warmed up the stark space. A custom glitter filled menu created for the birthday girl by Chef Brian Landry's at Jack Rose Restaurant in The Ponchatrain Hotel was served family style like a medieval feast. 

Glitter crusted fish by Chef Brian Landry at Jack Rose Restaurant over Nuage Design Linens

“The key for me is paying attention to these details, said Ontiveros. “The late Karl Lagerfeld stressed the importance of standing out while blending in. Good quality linens are an easy way to make a subtle statement that signals the detailed effort that any host puts into any party.”

Chasing Wang Cake Studio surprised the birthday boss with a hand-painted two-tiered cake with different flavors to appease every palate and the large backdrop of balloons indicated to guests in the low-lit locale that this station was worth photographing.

Deanna Brooks enjoys Chef Brian Landry's Glitter crusted Fried Chicken dipped in caviar ranch. 

Directly on the opposite side of the room also surrounded by a large 12-foot balloon backdrop was a hand-carved vodka ice luge by Ice Dragon Designs, where guests were invited to take shots of vodka or champagne after their bellies were filled with glitter-dusted chicken tenders and caviar ranch.

A five-piece brass band that signaled that dinner was over and led everyone in a post-feast second-line parade around the room. From DJ stands to the dessert tables, each space styled with Ontiveros' signature balloon creations ensured the fun would flow and guests attention was drawn to the thoughtful entertainment that was provided for their revelry. 

Any great host or event planner makes sure guests have cues for what's coming next. For the fashion forward bride or host, the most unique way to do this is through the use of well designed, large scale balloon sculpture which highlight different stations so people are not left guessing what to do or where to go. These artistic creations bring alive the spaces guests gravitate to.

"No matter what the scale, with the right color combination and the right placement, balloons can not only be creative but also add this important element of creativity and uniqueness," said Ontiveros. 

The Birthday Girl poses for a photo with her best friends Model Deanna Brooks, Photographer Rich Royal

Ontiveros travels worldwide for brand activations, weddings and TV and Film creating these balloon installations. To inquire about an installation for your event, please visit www.badassballoonco.com.

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