A bridal shower is the one wedding detail the bride typically doesn't have to plan or worry about. Themed bridal showers are fun, creating a specific environment in which the guests, host and bride can relax and enjoy themselves. Beach-themed bridal showers are perfect to shower the couple who loves the beach, sun and water or the couple honeymooning in an exotic beach location.
Choose fun, casual invitations depicting your favorite aspect of the beach theme. Use this one element as the key to tie in all of the other details. For example, you can use an invitation depicting two starfish, seashells in a heart shape, beach chairs with silhouettes of a man and woman or a veil blowing in the wind off of one of the chairs, two umbrellas with a man and woman holding hands in between them, two palm trees creating a heart, white rhinestone flip-flops or sandcastles. A picture of sand with a heart drawn in it, especially if it contains the bride's and groom's initials would be a nice touch.
Include any special theme information, such as requesting guests come in beach attire. Think shorts, T-shirts and flip-flops or sundresses and sandals. If you do this, you can also suggest they somehow tie in the wedding theme, such as including something "old, new, borrowed and blue." If you'd like the gifts to be beach themed, which is especially good if the couple is honeymooning at a beach or owns a beach house, note that on the invitations. It is OK to mention where the bride is registered and any other gift information you feel should be passed on.
For inside, decorations can be simple white beach chairs with a veil on the bride's chair and his-and-hers beach towels with blow-up palm trees. Outside, add small stringed lights and real or fake palm trees. Display photos of the couple together on the beach or as kids on the beach.
Use fishnets suspended with seashells or kiddie pools filled with sand. Add a plastic pail and rake and draw a heart with the bride's and groom's names or initials. Surfboards work well, even if you use cardboard cutouts. If you make your own surfboards, draw a wedding gown and tuxedo on them, wedding bells or the couples' names or initials in hearts.
For an elegant look, fill small glass containers with sand, seashells and a pretty candle. Add little gold wedding bands, like the inexpensive ones you can get in bulk. You could also use floating candles.
Hang large pictures or posters of serene beach scenes on the walls if you have to host your shower indoors. Find romantic pictures depicting scenes of two footprints in the sand, hearts drawn in the sand, a couple's silhouette at sunset or a couple holding hands in the distance.
Favors can range from cute flip-flop photo frames or luggage tags to elegant crystal seashell coasters. Silver sailboat or beach chair picture frames work as well. Votive candles with sculpted sand castles, seashells or palm trees make elegant favors. Gel candles featuring seashells are another option. There are little message-in-a-bottle favors you can personalize with the bride's name and shower date on the scrolled message. Add sand and tiny seashells to complete the look.
Think beach or tropical food when planning the menu. Fruits, particularly coconuts work well. Serve pulled pork, shrimp cocktails, crab cakes or shish kebabs with meat and pineapples for the main course. Serve fruity drinks with umbrellas. It would be a nice touch to serve the drinks out of coconut or coconut-inspired glasses.
A sandcastle cake or cupcakes make a fitting dessert. Coconut pie or cookies decorated with shaved coconut work as well. Jello or cookies can be shaped like fish, shells, sandcastles or hearts.
If you can get outdoors, try a friendly game of volleyball in the sand. Of course classic bridal shower games, such as "who knows the bride best" or "bride and groom trivia" should still be included.
Have guests write a personal message or piece of advice for the bride on a seashell or seashell stationery using permanent glittery pens. If you use paper, you can insert the messages into a bottle complete with sand and shells. Add a cork, and the bride has advice and memories she can turn to through the years.