Tea parties are a great intervention for socializing, especially during delightfully warm spring and summer afternoons.
Also known as “High Tea”, “Low Tea”, or “Afternoon Tea”, these parties have come a long way from their British origins and are now considered an elegantly themed event where you can hang out with a cup of tea and nibble on some snacks, greatly enjoyed by anyone and everyone.
What is usually considered a “posh” activity, this form of get-togethers can definitely be organized into a budget-friendly affair, if only you know where and what to look for!
In this article, I will teach you all you need to know to plan the perfect tea party to throw for your friends and family.
Set A Theme
The first thing you would want to do, and this goes for any type of party, is to decide on a theme. Whether it’s a movie, TV show, pattern, or even just a color, a theme will be the basis of every decision you make, especially when it comes to the decorations.
Not only will a theme make for a beautiful atmosphere for your event, but it will also help make the process of you picking out your props and other such party pieces quicker and easier.
For example, if you’re going for a floral pastel theme, you’ll only have to pick out stuff that will be relevant to that.
What is a party without its pretty invites, right? A phone call can sometimes suffice but you can never go wrong with invitation cards. They will be the first impression of your tea party so spending time on your invitation cards can go a long way.
To get your friends excited from the get-go, make sure to send them an invite that will give them a taste of your theme so that they know what to look forward to.
Of course, invitation cards can be quite expensive to order or made by a professional designer. So if you are on a budget, why not design your own? Or better yet, email animated e-invites!
There are many websites online that offer free templates for you to work on and if you’re empty of ideas, you could hop on over to Pinterest and find yourself some inspirations.
Decorate With Props
One of the elements that stand out the most at any tea party is its decorations. Decorations and themes go hand in hand. As I mentioned before, once you have decided on a theme, the decorations will come in naturally.
Some must-have items to keep at bay are fancy table cloths, utensils, multi-tier cake stands and most importantly teacups and kettles.
Utensils include teaspoons and sugar spoons. Butter knives and spreading sticks also fall in the same category for the purpose of condiments such as jams and marmalade.
The multi-tier cake stands don’t have to be used just for cakes. You can keep bite-sized sandwiches on one layer while keeping cookies and cupcakes on the other layers and they can also just sit and act as props!
Other decorations include hanging up garlands, fancy folding napkins or even putting place cards for a more personalized touch. Candles and cut flowers are extremely versatile and they can also be readily used as props.
Prepare The Menu
Tea parties are all about light snacks and finger food. Sweet treats and pastries should definitely be on the list. These include scones, cupcakes, cakes, pies, and puff pastries.
But in order to balance out the sugar rush, you should also keep savory items such as chicken, fish, egg or vegetable filled sandwiches or finger foods such as tarts, deviled eggs or even fruit kababs. Any food on a stick is sure to be fun, presentable, and clean.
For a more fun-filled eating experience, you can even get your guests involved in preparing their own food by setting up a DIY ‘make your own food’ spread. This could be a board complete with slices of bread and baguettes, a collection of condiments, and a range of toppings and fillings to choose from.
The food at tea parties is not exactly meant to fill the stomach but they aren’t meant as just palette cleansers either. Their purpose is to basically be the sidekick and compliment the tea. They are also great conversation starters.
It’s not a tea party without actual tea. You can never go wrong with the classic English milk tea but if you want to kick it up a notch, you could serve all sorts of flavored tea. From peppermint to caramel, the options are endless!
You can lay out a variety of tea options for your guests. They could choose whether they want something with a little spice, something that’s a little sweet or something that is calming and beneficial for their health.
Whether you have an assortment of Oolong teas, black teas, white teas or herbal teas, the more options you are able to give, the more interesting it will be for your guests.
Gift Your Guests
Party favors are a great way to leave a lasting impression on your guests. They are the grown-up version of “goodie bags” that we all used to get at birthday parties as kids. Except, these will have things your guests will actually be able to use after they go home.
You can fill small baskets or paper bags with tiny candles or teabags and wrap them with a dainty ribbon for a simple touch. Other creative gifts include filling cookies or jams in small jars or decorative teaspoons that will act as pretty souvenirs.
Even though gifting your guests are not required, but it will add a nice finishing touch to your tea party and give your guests something to remember and a part of the party to carry back home.
Add Some Activities
If you want to keep your guests engaged instead of just sipping on some tea, there are many types of activities you can add to your party. For instance, there are party games that you and your guests can easily play without even leaving the table.
These include guessing games or fill in the blanks and all that you will need is some pen, paper, and some questions.
And if you are feeling a little more enthusiastic, you could arrange a treasure hunt. Spread out small clues or gifts around the space you will be hosting the party at and have your guests run for a fun filled hunt!
Another activity, which should be a no brainer, is related to music. Create a playlist that matches with the theme of your party and you can even create an empty space to serve as a dancefloor to groove with your friends. You could even play musical chairs without leaving your tables.
Planning an event can be quite hectic and may take weeks to organize. But it doesn’t have to be that way if you know what to work with beforehand. With my tips and tricks, you will be set to host an amazing tea party!