Balloons in the Sky – An Unsustainable Wedding Tradition

We all know the picture of a blue summer sky and colourful balloons and yes, somehow it’s a cheerful picture at first sight…but the picture doesn’t stay that cheerful when you think about it.

Countless times I shared these moments with many bridal couples and took beautiful, colorful pictures of them. But in the course of the last years I have started to change my life more and more, to question things and above all I started to live way more responsible and considerate than before. And with the questioning of things, often also an uncomfortable truth comes along…
Unfortunately there is a lot to question with the balloons in the sky, too.

Balloons in the sky are often a present for the bridal couple by the bridal party  or friends…loving wishes are written on the cards on the balloons and the whole wedding party sends the balloons up to the sky with all the well wishes an for the  couple in a cheerful mood.
One looks 5-10 minutes after the balloons and afterwards they are out of sight and also out of the mind…and most of the postcards on the balloons are lost and only sporadic copies make their back to the bridal couple, if at all any…
But what should not go out of our minds are our plastic-contaminated seas and animals that perish or die from the plastic parts in their stomachs because they are tangled up in the garbage.
And unfortunately the balloons don’t go up to infinity and fizzle out, no, they come back to earth as garbage. The balloons explode at height, because the air pressure becomes lower and lower, the balloons expand and finally give in to the pressure…and then they sail back to earth as sad plastic garbage.
Many of the balloons don’t even make it to the explosion because they get stuck in trees or get caught elsewhere…

In Germany every year about 1.000.000 balloons are sent into the air for weddings alone…and on other occasions more than 2.000.000 balloons are added…quite scary numbers, right? 

In a study in Tasmania, sea birds who died because of plastic were examined and in 40% of the cases remains of balloons were found in the stomachs of the animals. Isn’t this a frightening figure? The studies even prove that soft plastic is more dangerous for animals than hard plastic, because the soft plastic clog their stomach and the birds starve to death when their stomach is full of plastic…
And not only the balloons themselves are dangerous…no, also the cords are a danger for animals, because they get caught in them.

And for all those who argue now with biodegradable balloons…unfortunately these balloons and cords also need decades until they are decomposed and still injure many animals and remain much too long in our environment…
Natural latex balloons are advertised as ecological, sustainable and fair, but they are not…first and foremost their advantage is that they do not contain any toxins that are dangerous for children, but are just as dangerous for our environment as normal balloons.


I don’t want to say with all this that it will solve all the problems of our world if we don’t let balloons rise any more, but at least you can easily avoid the consequences that arise from the garbage of balloons: by not letting balloons rise any more.

There are some great, different, more environmentally friendly actions that you can do with the whole wedding party instead:

  • A completely new and beautiful idea are Schaumwolken, which you can let rise together into the sky..have a look at  and their amazing idea!
  • You can write all the well wishes for the newlyweds on paper and burn them in a ceremony.
  • You can write well wishes on stones and collect them all in a glass, which is gifted to the couple, so they even have a great keepsake.
  • Each guest could actually send the couple a postcard (which would otherwise hang unread on a balloon…).
  • Blow soap bubbles, throw fresh blossoms or leaf confetti into the air together and dance together…this makes for great moments, beautiful photos and laughing faces!
  • And last but not least a long lasting and sustainable version: Buy the couple a fruit tree or another plant and hang the well wishes on it…then newlyweds will get something out of it for a long time!

So let’s create new, beautiful and sustainable traditions so that there are less and less balloons in the sky and we do something good for our environment!

And believe me, whether your wedding is an unforgettable day, will depend on balloons in the sky…maybe it is even more beautiful because you’ve done something good for our world by saying NO to balloons =)

Love, Maria


My sources were:

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