One of the best ways to welcome summer, or to simply celebrate its wonderful existence, is with a Summer Shellabration themed party! Saying Shell-o to Summer has never been more fun! I had a great time creating and styling with this theme and using a different mix of colors…I wanted to use coral and blue and add in pastel pink. I think it turned out fresh and fun!
I hosted a Supper Club for my daughter and friends using this theme at the end of school and adapted it to “Shell-o Summer” as we were celebrating the end of the school year and the beginning of summer! My friend, Susan, at the shop “When I Was Your Age” (on Etsy) designed party paper products for us, and they were the perfect way to tie it all together. I love the combination of the blue placemats with a coral design and the coral-colored nautical rope design on the plates. The shell in the middle with the writing was just what it needed to play off the party theme. The plates are clear with the design in the center and so it also showed off the placemats even more. I really loved this all together on top of the pink and white striped cabana tablecloths.
“When I Was Your Age” also designed cups and stir sticks to use for the party. The stir sticks double as cupcake decorations, too- you can simply ask for a shorter stick! See farther below in this post for how I used them in the wine carafes. They are versatile and always add a little extra touch of design to a party!
I really wanted to mostly use shells for the table decorations and let the ocean treasures speak for themselves…I purchased shells and poured them into white bowls with ruffled edges. I like the shape of the edges of the bowls and how they add to the texture and movement of the table since I was using shells instead of lots of flowers. I love to use big groupings of small items so that they don’t look lost on the table.
For a small touch of greenery or florals, I used air plants inside pink sea urchin shells. I really loved how pretty these turned out and how they added just a small amount of green to the mix- kind of like seaweed in the ocean but in a good way! The urchin shells with air plants also doubled as party favors for the girls to take home with them. Caring for the plants is simple (just water every once in a while) and it was a unique way to add a little summer to their homes.
I purposely ordered shells in shades of pink, coral, and white so that they would blend and complement the stronger shades of blue and darker coral. You can choose the darker tans and browns if you want to add an earthier tone to your party. I truly love the crisp, white tones and the serene feel that the softer colors give when paired with the strong ocean blues.
For this Supper Club and beginning of summer party, my daughter and I hosted the girls and their moms. I enjoy having a chance to connect with the moms before we all head our separate ways for summer. I wanted to have a shell-themed party favor/gift for the moms, too. When I saw Pippa Goetz’s oyster shell art, I felt like the shells- in combination with her incredible artistic skills- would be the perfect fit for our party! I asked Pippa to make a shell for each mom with the first initial. We chose blue and white for the letters and gold for the outside of the shell. A coral ribbon literally tied it all together to make it match the party.
I could have used these beautiful painted oyster shells a million different ways and had a hard time deciding which way I liked them best. Tied to the mini wine carafes was so beautiful, and then I also loved them tied to the napkins. Which way do you like better? Tied to the mini carafes or used as napkins rings?
And, can we talk about this amazing cake that the sisters at Emmie June Cakes made to coordinate with this theme?? When Emmie June and I talked about what the cake should look like, all I told them was a beach theme with an emphasis on shells- and I asked that we incorporate the sea urchin shells with air plants. Emmie June Cakes went to work and created this masterpiece of a cake! I was wowed when I picked it up! And even more wowed when I tasted the cupcakes they sent along!!! Their buttercream frosting and cake are incredibly good!
The back of the cake was a beautiful watercolor effect and was so pretty to see from all sides!
It was such a show-stopping cake, I couldn’t stop taking its picture! I was like a cake paparazzi and wanted to capture it a million times over! Lol! I even put it on my bar cart to just let it have its moment of glory all by itself! 🙂
Emmie June Cakes also sent cupcakes with ocean blue frosting and pearl sprinkles. I made candy shells using pink and melts and a candy mold that I bought at Hobby Lobby. The candies were so easy to make! I put them in the refrigerator so that they would hold up better in the warmer temps of summer before I put them on top of the cupcakes…
I love serving the cupcakes nestled in the big bowls of shells. Of course, they look (and taste) fabulous all together on a tray or platter too! I just really like the way they look with the shells and the contrast of the blue frosting…and, again, I couldn’t stop taking pictures! 🙂
The cake and cupcakes look so pretty together. I can’t say enough about how fabulous it was to work with Emmie June Cakes. I really am looking forward to the next reason to order a cake from them (or maybe I just won’t need a reason and should order one for no reason at all.) Anybody else ever do that? 🙂
I also added a balloon garland in pink, blue, green, yellow, and white to tie together the color scheme and play off the colors of the the table setting. The best part about these particular balloons is that they are from illoom balloons and they have lights inside of them. When the sun goes down, the balloons glow. It is such a surprise for the guests and adds a playful and pretty vibe to your party!
I think the cupcakes would also look so cute served in smaller, individual bowls of shells at each place setting. I love the options you have when setting a table, and I am all for making each place setting extra special for each guest! Maybe I will try that next time!
What’s a summer party without something frozen to cool you down in the heat? To go with the cake- or for those who prefer a lighter dessert- I also served Mango Passion Fruit Sherbet. Individual clear containers let the pretty colors of the sherbet shine through and then I topped it with blue pearl sprinkles and more of the pink candy shells…
Add a miniature gold spoon (found in the party aisles at craft stores) to each cup of sherbet and your guests will appreciate how easy it is to pick up and enjoy! Just have a few extras on hand in case one or two break as they dig in to the sherbet!
It’s a perfect way to say hello to summer and all of the fun that goes with it!
I have shown you all of the pretty details and you may be wondering what we actually served for dinner. I wanted to continue with the shell theme and so we decided on serving paella for dinner. It was a good fit to meet different tastes for our guests…I ordered seafood and chicken paella so that it would accommodate different likes. We also ordered gazpacho which suited our friends who don’t eat meat- and was a huge hit among the moms! I contacted The Spanish Paella in Suwanee, Georgia and arranged for him to cater the meal for us. With the giant pan, it was fun to watch dinner being prepared and to be excited to line up to try it when it was ready. I highly recommend him if you are in the area. He catered a party for one of my friends and so it was the second time I had a chance to enjoy it. It was a nice way to have a hot, delicious dinner and to be able to enjoy chatting with our guests rather than having to worry about cooking and serving! Here he is…
I do wish I had taken a group photo of all of the moms and daughters together. I snapped a couple of shots but then put my phone down and enjoyed everyone’s company. I am making a note for next time to remember to get a group shot- I know we will treasure those as our girls get older!
I did have a little glitch when I was preparing for the party and that was that I ordered 2 tablecloths in the wrong color. I decided not to let that be a problem at all and just put two coral-colored cloths outside for the girls (they loved that color) and the pink striped cloths inside for the moms. It worked out well and I ended up liking it. I would prefer that they all were the same, but sometimes you press “checkout” too quickly and end up with something you didn’t mean to order! 🙂
I enjoyed hosting this party and celebrating the season of summer and this season of life! I hope you find ideas to use for your own summer celebrations! Cheers to more flexible schedules, a slower summer pace, and the company of friends- there are so many reasons to shell-a-brate!
Here are the sources for the items I used for this party…the Amazon links are through my Amazon Associate program. I receive a small compensation (at no extra cost to you) for purchases made through this link. I only link the items that I buy myself and want to share with you!
Party Paper Designs (plates, cups, stir sticks, placemats) – When I Was Your Age
Pink Cabana Stripe Tablecloths – Amazon
Coral Cabana Stripe Tablecloths- Amazon
Cake and Cupcakes- Emmie June Cakes
Painted Oyster Shells- Pippa Goetz
Shells and Air Plants- Etsy Shop