Warm, romantic, lavish, artistic—these and so much more describe the soul of Italy. Draw inspiration from that richness and warmth for a bridal shower party set amidst a backdrop of elegant details interspersed with natural, earthy decorative accents. From finding the ideal venue to laying out theme-inspired table settings to preparing a spread of famed Italian dishes and desserts, putting together a bridal shower tea party can be just as much fun as the occasion itself.
Pick a Venue with a Classic Look
A bridal shower with an Italian twist calls for a venue that features sprawling greenery, romantic flowers, and access to natural sunlight for that “al fresco” dining atmosphere. It can be set in the gardens of a museum showcasing Renaissance artwork, with statues positioned on the grounds; or in a country club or restaurant overlooking the verdant expanse of a golf course. Another option is to host this event in a rented country cottage with views of rolling vineyards, plus rose and ivy-decked trellises providing a sun-dappled setting for outdoor tables. A lavishly appointed gazebo is yet another ideal location for an Italian-inspired tea party. With a venue such as any of these, the stage is set for the rest of the decorating elements—color, table settings, food, and favors—to come together to welcome guests to a bellissima tea party!
>> You may also want to view our wedding table with an Italian-inspired theme!
Adorn the Display with Rich, Earthy Colors
The images associated with Italy—lush vineyards, historic ruins, food and wine—normally revolve around warm earth tones, while tea parties usually evoke images of decorations in pleasing pastels. When stylishly applied, warm colors can look surprisingly appealing in a tea party setting. Capture the Italian spirit with a color palette of gold and olive green with touches of brown. To temper the warmth of these colors, choose color accents such as a creamy rose, peach, or ecru. The interplay of these tones can be flaunted to full effect in the decorative elements of the table.
For a stunning centerpiece, prepare a generous arrangement of red roses in full bloom combined with cheerful orange ranunculus. Place these in a woven basket tied with organza ribbons in sage or olive green. Fresh green grapes nestled among the flowers complete the centerpiece with an added color dimension. Alternatively, draw inspiration from the traditional torte bomboniere and prepare boxes filled with Italian pastries to create a towering centerpiece. Perch a card atop this tower, and let it function as a table card holder bearing the name or number of the table. Alongside the centerpiece, position candles tied with satin ribbons in the hues of the color palette.
For the tableware, select simple white porcelain plates or ones featuring a delicate design of hand-painted flowers and vines. A cream-colored table napkin with a copper-colored trim could be folded in the shape of a flower and laid on top of this plate. A gold frame at each place setting may hold a card bearing the guest’s name or a single gold frame alongside the centerpiece may announce the table name or number. This table setting will come to life against a cream-colored tablecloth with a delicate sheen—an inviting introduction indeed for a spread of Italian-inspired desserts and beverages.
Serve Scrumptious Food and Refreshing Drinks
As a tribute to the renowned Italian cuisine, the tea party may present a variety of traditional delights such as cannoli, tiramisu, biscotti, and amaretti cookies on tiered pastry stands. For a summertime tea party, frozen treats such as gelato, fruit sorbets, and spumoni are perfect treats—especially when accompanied with crushed chocolate-covered espresso beans.
Apart from desserts, grilled panini sandwiches filled with prosciutto, provolone cheese, and other Italian meats may also be served. Finally, each table may be set with baskets of warm Italian bread rolls and small plates topped with creamy pats of butter or slices of parmigiano reggiano cheese.
Beverages can go Italian, too, with servings of iced cappuccino and coffee granita to refresh the guests. Cocktails made with fresh limoncello liqueur and presented in chic frosted glasses can lend the tea party a modern twist. Then, as the gathering comes to a close, the guests may be given samplers of Italian treats to take home and enjoy.
Give Italian Treats as Guest Favors
Delight departing guests with delicious pizzelle cookies packaged in pretty olive-ribboned organza bags. Alternatively, present a selection of decadent Italian chocolates wrapped in gold, olive, or red fabric circles; or petite-sized Italian cookies tucked inside a tulle wrap folded in the shape of a handkerchief.
If classic bomboniere are selected, choose Jordan almonds or amorini hearts that can be displayed on a candy table laden with a plethora of Italian candies and chocolates. As another option, tiny candies like these may be presented in keepsake boxes finished off with a simple ribbon. If a personalized touch is the intention, a gold favor tag that says “Grazie” may be attached to them.
Celebrating just seems to be part of the Italian nature. So taking inspiration from a warm and inviting Italian gathering practically ensures a memorable bridal shower tea party. The mood starts with an ideal venue and a rich and earthy color palette. This carries on to the table settings, the thoughtful gifts for guests, and of course the food and beverages. A tea party, yes, but with Italian flair.
- - A Simple Recipe for Amaretti Almond Cookies - a recipe from the blog of Becks & Posh
- - A Tiramisu Recipe - from the website of Epicurious
- - Betty Crocker Pizelle Recipe - from the website of Betty Crocker
- - Cannoli Pastries - a HowStuffWorks recipe
- - Italian Drinks - recipes from Italian Cooking and Living
- - Spumone di Zabaglione - a spumoni recipe from Foodgeeks