How to make a Hula Hoop for your wedding

When the DJ starts the music, how will you get your guests dancing? Will it be the Limbo, the Electric Slide, or that old standby, the Conga Line? Do you want to treat your party to something a little more special? Hula hoops cast a kind of magic; add one to any room and see what happens. All it takes is one person trying their skills, and soon there’s a line of people waiting to try. Even adults who haven’t seen a hoop in ages are jumping in to see if they’ve still got the moves.

If you want to get your party on the dance floor, it’s time to invest in a few hoops. Don’t just go to the dollar store and grab the first ones you see, though. Those lightweight, small, plastic hoops are made for little kids. If adults are going to join the fun, they’ll need larger, heavier hoops. (Shopping tip: the larger and heavier a hoop, the slower and easier it is to spin.) Hula hoops work with any body type, so they’re a great choice for a mixed audience.

DIY Hula Hoop Making

Here’s the fantastic news: making adult hula hoops is very inexpensive! In fact, if you make enough of them, they can become unique and colorful wedding favors. While store-bought adult hula hoops can cost anywhere from $15 to $20 for a basic model, DIY hoops work just the same and only cost a few dollars to make.

You can get everything in one trip at a hardware store. For the hoop itself, look for irrigation tubing (hardware stores usually have this on a spool and will cut the amount you need). The standard is 100-160 PSI, with anywhere from a ¾ inch to a 1 inch diameter pipe. Don’t get too hung up on numbers, though; if the tube looks like you can hoop with it, it will work.

A good hoop size is a circle of tubing that touches the floor and comes up to your chest. There’s a lot of wiggle room here (no pun intended), so you can decide how big you want your hoops to be. Slightly larger hoops will be slightly easier to hoop, but if your venue’s small, you may want smaller hoops so people don’t run into each other.

After you’ve cut the amount of tubing for the number of hoops you want to make, it’s time to grab some ribbed insert-connectors. These are usually stored right next to the tubing. They will be labeled by diameter size, so just match the same diameter you chose for your tubes. Ask a store employee if you’re not sure which connectors will fit your tubing. Get one connector for each hoop you plan to make.

How will you cut the tubing? If you’re comfortable using a sharp knife or pair of shears, go for it. But if you want a specialized (and safer) instrument, get a ratcheting PVC cutter (cheap ones work well for around $10).

The last item to buy is decorative tape. This part is optional, but it really gives your hoops some dazzle. Use sturdy tape, like colorful electrical tape, because the hoop will get a fair amount of wear and tear. Alternate two or three colors of tape (how about your wedding colors?) to give the hoop some texture as it whirls around. You can find tape in sparkling, metallic colors as well.

To form the hoop, simply cut the amount of tubing you want, place the connector in one end, and loop the hoop until the other end of the tube fits into the connector as well. Press the two ends of the tube together until they completely hide the connector inside.

If it’s too tight of a fit for you to squeeze by hand, dip the tube ends in boiling water or hold them under a hair dryer for a few minutes to soften them. Then all you have left is decorating your finished hoop!

Hire a Professional Hooper

If you’re looking for unusual wedding entertainment, hire a professional hoop-dancer to give a performance at your reception. Although most people are familiar with basic, around-the-waist moves, professional hoopers can dazzle your guests with tricks and moves right out of Cirque du Soleil.

Don’t stop with just one. Hire a hoop-dancing troupe to put on a choreographed show for your wedding. While hoop troupes are easier to find in urban areas, advanced hula hooping is sweeping the nation and you may be able to find local dancers who will be more than happy to perform for your guests no matter where you live.

When choosing which dancers to hire, look for artists with a strong professional record as well as a dazzling dance video reel. If you’ve seen excellent hoop dancers at other events (such as friends’ weddings or company parties), ask the host for their contact information. When you talk to the dancers, try to get a feel for how accommodating they will be to your event’s needs. Ideally, you want to work with vendors who are flexible and willing to help you create the perfect experience.

If you think your guests will need some encouragement to get out on the dance floor, you can hire a professional hooper to give some basic hula hooping lessons. Hire someone who’s charismatic and great at working a crowd, and even the people who don’t quite get the hang of it will be laughing as they try.

Flaming and Glowing Hula Hoops

Hula hoops aren’t just about twirling plastic anymore. Dancers with flaming hula hoops can light up your reception with a one-of-a-kind act. Does your venue not allow open flame? No problem. You can also find glowing hula hoops with embedded LED lighting that display changing patterns as they spin.

Enliven Your Party

Whether they remember hula hoops fondly from their childhood, or they’re just encountering the new breed of adult hoops for the first time, your guests will adore the novelty of hula hooping at your wedding. Not every guest has to engage with the hoops for your reception to be a success.

Even the spectacle of a small group of people trying their hooping skills will immediately lighten the mood and give your party a lively, festive air. Don’t forget to take lots of pictures–you’re going to want to remember this for a long time.