Summer is finally here which means (if you live in Southern California) the beach is calling your name. I firmly believe there’s no better way to shake off the long work week than getting outside and enjoying some vitamin SEA. The beach is a great place to hang out with your best buds, chill by the bonfire, and unwind. Salty hair, sandy toes, make-up free face: it doesn’t get any better than that. I recently celebrated my 30th birthday on the beach and it was the most amazing day. So grab an umbrella drink and settle in. Here are your must-haves for throwing an epic beach bash your friends will continue to talk about all year long!
Set the Scene
Whenever I throw a party, I always like to throw in something unexpected that doesn’t require too much extra work but shows that you put in the effort. In this case, I wanted to create an boho-inspired beach table that all of my friends and family could gather around together and enjoy. You were probably planning on sitting on a towel anyway, why not have a cute set-up to really wow your guests. This can be easily accomplished with old crates. Hardware stores usually have crates or usually someone knows somebody who has crates just lying around. I used four crates total for this table and stacked two on top of each other for the perfect height. The table decor is totally up to you! It can be as simple or as elaborate as you want it. I knew I wanted a macrame table runner to really give it that bohemian vibe. The rest of the decor were items I keep around my home. I also used battery-operated tea light candles in the candle holders and lanterns because it can get super windy at the beach. Next, just surround the table with vintage looking quilts and moroccan-inspired tapestries. Mix and match patterns and colors for an effortless boho look. You can even add in pillows and poufs to make it an even more cozy space.
Bring out Your Inner Kid
Something about being on the beach brings out the inner kid in everyone. Games are a fun way to pass the time on the sand and laugh out loud with friends. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Cards Against Humanity
Build a Bonfire
There’s nothing better than sitting by the bonfire with your friends after a long day at the beach and eating s’mores. I’m going to be honest, I’m a little timid around fire so I definitely had my husband and the other guys deal with the bonfire situation. They did share their best tips with me on how to build a fire that will last all night and now I can pass on that wisdom to you!
First, determine how much fire wood you need to buy. While there’s no exact equation or formula to follow, I’ve found that estimating about 1 bundle for 1 hour is a good rule of thumb. We bought 5 bundles of firewood and it lasted us a little over 5 hours. Next, don’t be a hero and buy some lighter fluid. It never fails that a neighboring bonfire will ask to borrow ours and it’s because it makes all the difference. You should only need one container and it’s such a time saver. Next, arrange your firewood and place a little kindling to help get it started. You can buy kindling from the store, or, in a pinch, you can use your magazine or newspaper that you were reading on your towel. The fire should catch. Continue to add on firewood when the flames start dying down. Now grab a s’more and sit by the fire!
Your Beachside Menu
Burgers and hot dogs have been done time and time again and they’re classics for a reason. But why not surprise your guests with something different? These foil packs can be made ahead of time, are easy to cook, and delicious. The possibilities of combinations are endless but I made mine with shrimp, andouille sausage, corn, red potatoes, and cajun seasoning. Simply use the beach-provided fire pit and set a camp grill or grate over it to use as your BBQ. Serve it with some Red Lobster style biscuits and you have a full and complete meal.
Since it was my birthday, I just HAD to have birthday cake (who doesn’t want birthday cake, I mean honestly). Chelsea from TLC Cakes and Baking Co. made me the most delicious Funfetti-inspired drip cake to celebrate. She’s done the last few of my cakes (see post here and here) and I seriously cannot recommend her and her mom enough. Definitely look them up if you’re in the Southern California area. If it’s not your birthday, cookies, donuts, and cupcakes are other great ideas.
And of course, you absolutely have to cap off the night with s’mores. Beach bonfire and s’mores go hand in hand like peanut butter and jelly, peas and carrots (Forest Gump anyone?), you get the idea.
What do you guys think? Will you be throwing any beach bashes this summer? Let me know what your favorite thing to do at the beach is in the comments below.
Invitation: Misspokadot on Etsy
Table Runner: World Market
Himalayan Rock Salt Candle Holders: Amazon
Moroccan Tapestries: Amazon
S’more Sticks: Amazon
Cake: TLC Cakes and Baking Co.
Photography: Sierra Tucker Photography