Tea parties are versatile enough to be used for many different occasions, from kids’ birthday parties to bridal showers, and much more! What’s more, tea parties can take on a completely different vibe depending on the food served, the entertainment, and the location. Decorate with stuffed animals and serve peanut butter and jelly sandwiches cut into fun shapes for a perfect little girl’s birthday party. Or set up in the garden, bring out the good tea set, and serve afternoon tea sandwiches with cucumber, smoked salmon, or chicken salad for a classy shower celebrating the bride-to-be. And with all the delicious (and maybe not so nutritious) desserts you’ll likely serve, it’s important to note that tea has many health benefits! It can help with endurance during exercise, and has less caffeine than coffee. It is also loaded with antioxidants – some studies show it has more than 10 times the antioxidants of fruits and veggies!
One of our employees, Mandy, put together a list of tips for how to throw a tea party that your guests are sure to love:
1) Pick a theme. Tea parties can vary immensely from a casual sit-down to a whimsical Alice and Wonderland-themed event, or even a black tie affair. Make sure that the theme fits your venue, and that all steps of planning the party keep this vision in mind.
2) Set the date and send out the invitations. Be sure to give your guests plenty of time to clear their schedules and RSVP. Some people say these can be sent as little as two weeks in advance, while others stress that they should be sent at least a month early. The timing may depend on the type of invitees (are your friends planners who have the next few months of their lives scheduled, or are they spur-of-the-moment types?). It can also depend on the formality of the event (black tie events require more advance preparations on the part of guests, whereas open-house style events don’t need as much lead time). Ultimately, you want to send them out as early as you possibly can, within reason.
3) Choose your tea-related accessories and favors. Make sure to order well in advance. We love this garden party baby shower theme for outdoor tea party baby shower decorations! Also, you’ll want to send your guests home with favors that are appropriate for your theme, so we recommend these kitchen favors.
4) Read and review the best tea for you, or purchase a variety of tea for guests to sample. Check out these tips for selecting the best tea for you.
5) Decide what types of food you’ll serve. You can find recipes for tons of tea sandwiches, finger foods, and pastries just by searching online. If your tea party will be a heartier luncheon, serving soups, salads, and entrees, make sure to include that information on the invitations so your guests know what to expect.
6) When setting up for the event, accompany the brewed teas with cream, sugar, lemon slices, and honey.
7) Once the guests arrive, relax and enjoy!
Have you ever thrown a tea party? What was it held for?