My first tea party that I attended (to my knowledge) was my fifth birthday party. I have a vague memory of it, but I do remember the reason why I had the tea party; to wear a pretty dress. I was supposed to be the flower girl in my aunt’s wedding, but she eloped and left me with an unworn Jessica McClintock flower girl dress. Thus, my mom helped me make an occasion to wear it! I got to wear the fanciest dress of course, since I was the birthday girl, and the other boys and girls dressed up for the occasion as well. We had just moved into our new house (which is still my family home today) and the party was in the family room. The after-tea-party-craft was reindeer ornaments made out of felt. My birthday is in December so it was quite fitting. My mom cut out the reindeer and we got to decorate them. And the love of tea and crafts is all starting to make sense…
Fast forward twenty years and now I have a new first tea party. My first tea party that I planned! I believe it was a success…between almost 5 hours of chit-chatting, food, treats, tea, crafts, how can it go wrong? This was my “practice” tea in hopes of starting my tea party planning company, and my friend who graduated got to be my guinea pig. Now, I am obviously not an expert yet, but this leads me to my post on how to plan your very own tea party.
First, pick a date that you know will work well with most of the friends that you want to invite. Then decide the mode you would like to invite people. This can be anything from a snail mail invite, an email, or an email invite. I chose the email invite route since it is cheapest but somewhat personalized. I found this site called Paperless Post and it has very cute, girly invites that are just a little more personal than the normal evite. It electronically opens the invite out of an envelope just as you would the real deal.
Once your guests RSVP, you will know how many guests to plan for and how much food to make. I planned my menu a week or so before and was able to shop a couple days before the party. Here was my graduation tea party menu for ideas, but anything works of course:
a. Egg Salad
b. Cucumber, cream cheese, and chives
c. Goat cheese, sundried tomatoes, and arugula
Spring salad with strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, candied pecans, and honey mustard vinaigrette
1. Hello Dollies (a family recipe I will share soon!)
2. Chocolate cake balls (think cake pops without the stick!)
3. Mini chocolate cupcakes with vanilla frosting
I set up the tea cups with a napkin in between the saucer and the plate and put a fork on top. I put the tea, lunch items, and the scones on the main table where everyone was sitting, and left the desserts on the coffee table for later. Once everyone was done with lunch and had time to make room for treats, I brought them over and made mint tea to change things up a bit. After everyone was stuffed, we cleared the plates and crafted! I showed all the girls how to make the reusable t-shirt market bag, like I showed you all here. I gave my party favors to the girls that were the last to leave… I was having too much fun to remember all the details (like taking pictures…).
-Cake balls! Man they were delicious
What to remember for next time:
-Did you know you are supposed to put something metal in your teapot while you pour in the hot water? Good thing we had a mother there who knew all the tricks of the trade or I would have had some cracked china.
-Limit yourself to 2 types of sandwiches and maybe only 2 desserts…I went a little overboard
All in all, it was everything I hoped it to be and cannot wait to plan more tea parties!