For those of you who may have seen this post; you know that my little sister, Jess is getting married! Woohoo! As the 'Matron' (ugh) of Honor, I'm trying to take on a lot of the work and make everything really special for her. Through Pinterest and Facebook Chat she decided on the theme 'Two Less Fish in the Sea' and from there we took off with a beach themed couple's wedding shower.
KC and I designed the invitations together and sent them out. We had fun coming up with a simple invitation, that reflected the beach theme, but wasn't over the top. I've blurred out confidential information.. :)
Maybe I should have been a designer? ;) I now DO design invitations! Would you like this invitation customized for your event?! Get into contact with me via personal message, here!
Both my mother and I worked really hard to put together many of the things my sister liked the most decor wise, and then together with Jess and Olivia (flower girl to be!) we put it all together! Much credit should go to both Kalor & KC for all of their lifting/hanging/carrying help among other things. And my dad too who helped us so much during clean up! :) Of course I am also so grateful to the amazing friends and family who contributed their time, energy, love, recipes, money, gifts and advice to this couple!
I'm excited to share the details with you guys! & hopefully inspire you to turn 'less than beautiful spaces' into something special! Below you will find decor, food, game, activity and wardrobe ideas for a beach themed wedding shower. Read on. :)
At our opening table we used a cream table cloth that we had (from my wedding) as a base. Then we topped it with a strip of burlap down the center, and a fish net (from the dollar store). We scattered shells across the top and then added the important stuff.
For their 'guest book' we purchased a calendar (at Michael's) that the guests could fill out with their birthdays and anniversaries. This way, Jess never has to ask about a birthday! :)
"Pearls of Wisdom" / Marriage Advice
I had the idea that it would be nice for people to leave 'Pearls of Wisdom' or marriage advice for the two of them at their shower. This gets the guests involved and lets pass on their ideas and tried-and-true marriage tips! I had been given these awesome frames for our wedding, and we decided to paint them this shade of blue to use for the party. (we also used them here.) To make them, simply take a large frame, cut chicken wire to size, and then staple to the back of the frame with a staple gun. You can hang in a variety of ways. The small clothespins can be found at a craft store (we bought more at Michael's). My mom used her neighbor's Cricut to cut out the ovals and letters for the sign. We then just glued the letters to the ovals, laced ribbons through them & clipped to the boards. This can obviously be done many different ways! :) For the 'pearls' we just used Cricut cut circles. You can also buy a circle craft punch and do them that way etc. We chose card stock for thickness & durability. Then we just placed the 'pearls' in a basket on the table under the clip boards. (see picture below).
Photo 'Messages in Bottles"
Also on the table: Bamboo whales (from my house, of course!), photo 'messages in bottles' and a wedding day countdown chalkboard (pictured below). To make the 'messages in bottles' we poured a bit of sand in the bottom, rolled up sepia tone 4 X 6 photos of the couple and dropped them in. (tip: the larger the opening of the bottle, the less rolled the photos will need to be, and less rolled they will look in the jars!). If the opening is large enough you could also add shells or starfish. We also tied chalkboard tags on the necks of the bottles to write out August, 30th 2014. So people would know when the wedding is. We found these tags in the bargain bins at Michael's.
Re-purposing Items You Own:
We re-purposed this old chalkboard by painting it blue (with the leftover framed clip board paint). Lastly we added a cup of pens so that multiple people could write out their marriage advice at the same time.
On another table we had a recipe binder set out for guests to put recipes for the couple in. We also had some beachy themed art and then this picture frame, for their future honeymoon photo.
Fish Bowl Candle Centerpieces:
One of my favorite projects was this fish bowl candle. We ended up making three and I think that they turned out really well. We bought (half price) fish bowl shaped glass jars in the floral section at Hobby Lobby and then added these cute beach colored candles (from Michael's). We then poured sand in the base of the jar and added a handful of shells and some tiny blue starfish. We just painted some of the tiny starfish that were in the package we bought with the leftover blue paint from the frames & chalkboard above. This was so easy, cheap and turned out really nicely!
My mom purchased these three chalkboard tags and hung them on the walls to make the place look more decorated. I think that they looked really nice and helped the theme!
We decorated the food table the same way as the others, but added these two wooden signs (half price from Hobby Lobby) that say 'Life's a Beach' & 'Beach House', which filled out the table and can be used in Jess & Kalor's house after the party.
Two Types of Cupcakes:
Since this party was in the afternoon, we just had cupcakes, chocolates, fruit kebabs and a veggie tray. We used some cupcake stands that I already own (from Target) to display the cupcakes that mom, Jess and Olivia made together. The chocolate ones were decorated with blue frosting and candy pearls and the vanilla ones were decorated with white frosting and custom made tooth pick decorations that say 'I Do' and 'J&K'. You can make these by cutting out paper hearts (with the Cricut or otherwise), writing on or stamping them with your phrases and using scrapbooking gluedots to secure two hearts together with a toothpick inbetween. Then just stick the toothpick into the cupcake.
We also purchased a shell and starfish candy mold at Hobby Lobby ($2) and some white melting chocolate. We followed the instructions and created some cute little white chocolate shells for people to eat. You could also use these to top cupcakes with colored frosting! We sat ours on a tray that had been lined with brown sugar to make it look like sand.
On our healthier table we had both fruit kebabs and veggie trays.
Mini Starfish Burlap Canvases - Giveaway Prize for Game Winners:
There was also a very large wooden whale on this table and two small burlap canvases (painted blue, that same paint... :) ) with a starfish on them. The little canvases were easy to create and made good giveaway items for guests who participated in activities etc.
This venue has a kitchen (which is great!) but it is a little dated and open to the room. To distract from that we added a few more dollar store nets and a starfish garland (from Michael's). BEWARE: opening packages of starfish is an extremely smelly task. Air them out! This was also a nice way to decorate this wall above the beverages.
Because the walls in this building are so beat up, we tried to cover them as much as possible. My mom made yet another banner with Cricut shapes and letters that was strung in the middle of the room behind where the couple sat and opened their gifts. We put another dollar store net behind it, to fill it out more.
Bunting & Twine Initial Hanging:
Below the banner my mom also made (she's a rockstar right!?!) these really sweet bunting out of antique white fabric and ribbon. She also took a 'M' from Hobby Lobby and wrapped it in twine to hang behind them. They are going to be able to hang this in their home as well. :) I think these items really helped frame them and also to make the room look so much nicer. GO MOM!
As for games we played a very traditional bridal shower game that I am calling 'The Laundry Game'. But since it was a couple's shower and the world has changed a bit... we had Jess & Kalor both participate! After that we had a few more groups of people go. Including my parents (which was funny!). The volunteers got little gifts for participating (nail polish for the women and inexpensive pocket knives for the men).
'The Laundry Game'
-Two lengths of Rope (clotheslines)
-Two laundry baskets
-Selection of clothing for each basket (ours EACH had; 1 women's shirt, 1 pair of men's socks, 1 kitchen towel and 1 onesie).
-Enough Clothespins for all of these items
-Two baby blankets (or towels)
-Two 5lb bags of potatoes
-Volunteers to hold the clotheslines
How to Play:
Divide up supplies evenly in the two baskets. Ask for four volunteers from the audience to hold the clotheslines up. Start with the bride and groom to be as the first competitors. Put the bride in front of one filled basket and clothesline and put the groom in front of the other (preferably facing the audience). When you say start, the participants have to grab their baby (5 lb bag of potatoes) and wrap it in a blanket, and then proceed to hang all of their laundry on the line (while holding the 'baby'!) as quickly as possible. This is more fun the more enthusiastic the audience is, and the more willing to participate the guests are.
We also played 'Name That Love Tune (through the decades)'. To play this simply prepare clips of popular love songs through the decades and play for the audience. Supply paper and pens and then reveal the answers. We had a diverse group, so we picked three songs from each decade 1950's - 2010's. But you can do less, or tailor to your audience etc. Overall it was really fun, and we again, gave gifts to winners.
A finishing touch:
Starfish & Seashell Hair Clips:
I was making some shell clips already, when Jess found some cute starfish clips on Pinterest. So I made a few of those as well. It looks so pretty in her hair (which I still can't believe I did!).
To make the clip: purchase starfish and claw clips at your craft store. Secure the starfish to the clip with hot glue and let dry. Because starfish are so brittle I did not secure it to the part of the clip you press down on. I didn't want to to break! Since Jess and I each have curly hair I tucked it into her curls to hide the little metal spot you press on. I also made some out of coral shells and glued the small blue starfish (that we used with the candles) to the shell. Easy Peasy.
At the end of the shower the couple had not only a full car load of thoughtful and generous gifts, but fun memories of the day and many 'pearls of wisdom' from their guests! I was so pleased with how many people contributed! It will be so fun for them to look back on the advice throughout their marriage.
Awwww... look at these two! :)
I hope that both Jess & Kalor had a wonderful time at the shower. We had so much fun throwing it for you & celebrating with you! :)
And sister, once you are married I hope we can still be silly like this. ;)
I hope you enjoyed these ideas and photos. Maybe you can use them to make your own beach-themed soiree someday! :)
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What is the best themed party you've ever pulled off? I would love to hear about it!
Thank you for reading!