After surviving a long and cold winter, it’s time to welcome spring with a lively spring tea party. The last tea party you planned was probably one where your guests were inanimate dolls and stuffed animals, all sitting around a tiny table with pretend cups of tea. So let’s talk about something a bit more upscale, with light edibles and yummy refreshments. Having a tea party is more than tea and cookies though. Let us help you plan an unforgettable event.
Step 1: Determine How Many Guests Will Attend
First, consider the size of your home, and then make your list. Consider guest parking. If you’re planning to invite more people than can fit comfortably in your home, consider renting a venue. This location will likely have parking to accommodate your guests. Once your list is created, handwrite or have invitations made with an RSVP slip to be mailed back to you. Choose attractive invitations that will reflect the theme of your tea party, provide the proper date, time and location of the event along with your telephone number if you’d rather not wait for mailed responses. Make sure to mail your invitations at least two weeks before the party so that you can make arrangements for things like food and party favors.
Step 2: Buying or Renting Party Items
Depending how many guests you have invited, you may have to rent tables, chairs, and other items (drink dispensers, coffee warmers, etc.). At a rented venue, the business will typically provide tables and chairs, but you may have to bring your own decor. If you have them, use your own linens (tablecloths and napkins) or, if your budget permits, you can rent or buy these items. Choose bright, pastel colors or floral printed items to depict your spring theme. For a larger party with numerous guests, consider hiring a party planner to handle many of the tasks required for the event.
Step 3: Hiring Staff
When you are only inviting a few guests, it is easy to perform many of the tasks on your own. For a larger event, it’s better to incite the help of friends or hire staff. You can hire a chef to prepare the tea and snacks at your home, but if you’d rather avoid the clean up, hire a caterer. A caterer will prepare the desserts, such as cookies and pastries to bring to your home. This expert can also bring along the teapots/containers filled with a variety of tea selections. Staff or your party planner can decorate and set the table according to traditional tea party standards.
Step 4: Traditional Clothing for a Tea Party
Most tea parties require semiformal attire. Long ago, a spring tea party was the perfect time for ladies to wear a new floral-printed dress and for men to wear a suit. Ask guests to wear bright colors; black is typically not appropriate. Female guests and hosts often wear beautiful hats and gloves. Hats remain on for the duration of the party, especially if the event is outside. However, it is vital to remove the gloves before pouring or drinking the tea from the delicate teacups to avoid spills. You can even go farther back than modern dresses and suits for tea parties and try costumes taken from way back.
Step 5: Activities
While socializing, eating tasty treats, and drinking delicious tea are the main reasons for having a tea party, offering other activities makes an event more enjoyable. Discuss a popular book or play fun games that will help your guests to feel more comfortable mingling with one another. A memory game is an easy icebreaker, and it involves placing several interesting or unusual items on a tea tray. You or a helper carries the tea tray around the room so that the guests can see what’s on it. Next, the guests must write down everything that they saw on the tray. The individual who has the most accurate answers wins a tea-themed prize.
Planning a spring event is an excellent opportunity to help friendships bloom and to connect after the busyness of the first months of a year are underway. Take your time putting small touches that make your guests feel special and avoid planning entirely on your own. If done right, your guests will be talking about your tea party until the next spring comes around.