In the dead of winter with snow and sleet everywhere, what could be cozier than an intimate bridal shower tea party with close family and friends? It’s just the thing to calm those pre-wedding jitters.
Bring to life a nostalgic theme setting inspired by a quaint English cottage. Set out a “proper” English tea service with your own personal (and practical) flair—from the shower invitations, to the table decor, to the favors, food, and drinks. Then, come the party, simply relax and enjoy the company, while sipping a warm cup of tea. Here are some of our own ideas to help you plan a wonderful bridal shower, English tea party style.
5 Simple Ideas to Get the Party Started
1) A palette of pastel hues, with accents of silver and gold, sets the tone of refined elegance for your tea party. 2) A sweet posy of pink roses makes a perfect place card holder for this setting; then goes home with each guest as a thank-you favor. 3) Dainty lace purses holding sweet treats are another lovely favor idea. 4) The star of the party—aromatic tea—is best served in floral-patterned porcelain cups. 5) Don’t forget the sweet treats! Sugar-glazed pastries, tea biscuits, and petite bundt cakes can take the place of traditional English scones.
#1 Decorations – When planning the look for your tea party, consider what’s simple and what’s available. Start with an appealing palette of soft pink and blue. Add touches of nostalgia with gold-finished wooden trays, floral-patterned china, sterling silver serving platters, and a vintage tea pot. Your family may already have these at home, or they may be precious flea market finds. Don’t worry if they happen to have mismatched patterns. This only adds to the table’s charm. Finally, create double-duty centerpieces that are actually your guest favors grouped at mid-table. They’re so pretty, you won’t need real flowers. With such a warm, inviting setting, your shower is sure to be a success!
#2 Invitations - Sending the word out with lovely shower invitations doesn’t have to be costly. Simply add a whimsical touch to set the tone immediately. Using a pattern from the web or a clipart cutout, create invitations in the shape of little teapots. As a cover flap for each invite, cut out the same shape on vellum paper, punch two tiny holes at the top of each pair of cutouts, insert a length of pink satin ribbon, and tie it in a pretty bow. Option: Instead of following the teapot shape, you may cut around it in a square or oval using special scalloped scissors from Fiskars® for a decorative look.
#3 Favors – Remember the double-duty centerpieces we mentioned? These could be assembled from individual flowerpots of fabric roses—a perfect match for the English cottage theme. Then, after the tea party, guests take them home as decorative gifts. If you prefer to give edible favors, bake some scrumptious tea cookies and present them in dainty purse-shaped favor bags. Just add personalized tags with a thoughtful message and your favors are ready!
#4 Food – This is an English-inspired tea party after all. So, you may do as the English do, or you can serve whatever suits your fancy! Bite-size sandwiches can be filled with dilled shrimp and cucumber, while mini croissants can have egg, tuna, or chicken salad filling.
For the sweet side, offer madeleines, lemon bars, and shortbread cookies alongside mini bundt cakes, peach tarts, and mini scones. Be sure to include pats of butter and an assortment of jams and spreads. Just make the presentation extra special with tiered serving stands or platters atop antique-style urns. Dainty porcelain plates lined with pretty doilies would also suffice.
#5 Drinks – Set out a variety of teas for your guests to choose from, ranging from Earl Grey to Ceylon to Jasmine. Provide sugar and cream, as well as small jars of honey and slices of lemon as nice accompaniments. And to suit all tastes, you may have a pot each of freshly brewed coffee and rich hot chocolate on hand, too.
For more ideas on planning an English-inspired tea party, you may want to check out some of these books: