Sunshine Coast couple Donna and Jason tied 113,500 knots to say ‘I do’
Newlyweds Donna Egan and Jason Cochrane are the first to admit their recent wedding preparations were blown out of proportion – literally.
The popular Sunshine Coast children’s entertainers and a crew of 100 volunteers, including internationally renowned balloon artists, spent 31 hours before the big day blowing up, twisting and turning a whopping 113,500 balloons to create the biggest inflatable wedding the world has ever seen.
Professional balloon twister Donna, who’s won two Guinness World Records for her colourful creations, tells Woman’s Day she’d dreamed of walking down the aisle in a blown-up gown since she was a child.
“I started twisting balloons when I was working with a magician at 13,” the 38-year-old explains. “I always said if I ever married it would be in a dress made from balloons. Then I decided the bridesmaids should wear them, too. Then I wanted a balloon cake and garden – it just kept on blowing up.”
Around 150 guests flew in from across the globe to attend the pumped-up event held over two basketball courts at the Noosa Leisure Centre.
The magical air-filled wonderland included caves, tunnels, waterfalls, animals, trees and flowers.
A balloon artist flew in from Phoenix in the US to spend the 48 hours prior to the ceremony creating Donna’s corset-style gown and veil from around 500 white balloons.
Professional artists also chipped in to create the four royal-blue bridesmaid dresses, while the eight-year-old flower girl designed her own.
“I’ve made plenty of balloon dresses in my time but I didn’t want the pressure of making my own wedding dress, as it has to be made 48 hours beforehand or it can deflate,” Donna says. “It all turned out absolutely amazing – like a fairytale wedding.”
And in a show of their unity, before exchanging vows, the two created a balloon dog together, using one hand each.
Although they couldn’t cut their six-metre inflatable cake, Jason’s mother surprised them with a homemade creation featuring ladybirds, which they both love and have tattooed on their right arms.
While the couple never intended to hold a recordbreaking wedding, 42-year-old Jason says they wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.
“We blew up 72 balloons a minute in the two days beforehand,” he laughs. “I’d rather not know what our budget blew out to be!”