A bridal shower is meant to honour a bride-to-be and celebrate her upcoming wedding. Family and friends gather at the pre-nuptial bash to eat, drink, play games, and exchange gifts. Someone close to the bride, whether it’s the maid of honour or a close relative, is usually tasked with the preparation-including picking the date and time. If you’re planning a bridal shower, follow these guidelines to figure out when you should throw this important party.
Having an elegant tea party or taking tea is an occasion that allows you to feel that you’ve taken a step back in time; tea time is where you feel pampered, and things are slower and more simple. Serving tea adds an aura of elegance and creates an atmosphere tinged with anticipatory delight. Having an elegant tea party is now a form of modern entertaining; from business meetings to birthday parties, bridal showers, formal weddings, holidays, or any social gathering that requires a special touch. Tea party tips and etiquette follow so that classy ladies can entertain properly and have the most elegant tea party ever! Also included are recipes, hosting tips, tea sets, and how you can shop online for purchasing tea party essentials.
Did you know that February is one of the most popular months for getting married? We think that might just have something to do with the day for lovers, Valentine’s Day being on the 14th!
At one time the tradition was for hen parties, riotous naughty nights out with girlfriends with lots of drinking and partying of involved. Not all brides want this, and there is a definite move back to Kitchen Tea parties; a more sophisticated and classy day-time party where you can enjoy hearing each other speak, as well as having fun.
The History Of The Kitchen Tea & Going Modern
With a rather unfeminist history, the humble Kitchen Tea Party was thought to have begun in the 1890s. It was an event organised in the kitchen of the bride to be parents, where the nearest and dearest of the bride gathered to drink tea and cakes. They also bought gifts to aid the bride to be in becoming domesticated! Items like kitchen equipment and family recipes would be given, alongside plenty of well-meaning marriage tips and advice along with playing pre-wedding games.
Not exactly classy or sophisticated! But fast- forward to 2020 and the humble Kitchen party is transformed to something a lot more suited to the modern women of today.
There are fantastic venues throughout Australia that offer events such as winery tours, glamping overnighters, interactive group classes on anything from painting nudes to making jewellery, and luxury spa days. You can even hire a party planner to save you all the hassle!
However, in the economic climate, such events can prove expensive for everyone, when you add in all the costs associated with a wedding for the bridal couple and the guests! So today we are going to explore how you can organise the perfect Kitchen Tea Party at home.
Theme Ideas For A Kitchen Tea Party
While traditionally held in the kitchen, today the party can take place in the living room, patio, garden or poolside and it can be at the brides home or the matron of honour – the traditional organiser of this event. The time can be what suits the bride and the guests, remembering you will never satisfy everyone, so, go with what you and the bride consider the best time.
Themes to consider include:
Alice in Wonderland Mad Hatters Tea Party
A Mad Hatter Tea Party an idea that you can have loads of fun with, you could,
- Place quirky combinations of different coloured cups and saucers of various sizes, add a child’s toy tea service to the mix. Add a mix up of teapots on the table and as room decorations in one or two add a ‘dormouse’ soft toy to be found.
- Create your invitations in teapot or cup shape and add a golden key to them.
- Decorate patio umbrellas to represent mushrooms.
- Scatter different types of chairs in a combination of colours around the area, remember a plush armchair for the guest.
Who’ll you invite at your kitchen tea party? To get some tips, check out our post on Who should you invite to a bridal shower?
Favourite Book, Film Or Era Of The Bride
From a star wars theme to 1940s glamour your selection is endless, remember it has to be your brides favourite, not yours.
A vintage Kitchen Tea Party, like a Breakfast At Tiffany’s theme, is always popular and can give you lots of scope for design, incorporate things like,
- Vintage cups and saucers
- Plenty of fresh flowers
- Lots of lace tablecloths
- Asking guests to come dressed to match the era you are emulating, 1920/30/40/50 are the best ones.
You could also consider a classy outdoor BBQ or even a Bake-Off. A Bake -Off would fit nicely into the overall idea of the event but might be more part of an event that the theme.
Kitchen Tea Party Games
When organising an event like this, you want to keep the bride and her guests entertained throughout the day. Games are a great way of doing that. Another plus to games is they act as a great ice-breaker if there are people present who do not know one and other.
We have created the ultimate list of Hens Party Ideas for you and the girls to create a day and night she’ll never forget.
A Walk Down Memory Lane
Get the guests to write down a memory they share with the bride, but not to sign it. These are then read out loud, and the bride has to guess who the writer is.
Something similar can be done about the groom – ask the groom beforehand a list of questions, keep the answers secret. Then ask the bride the same questions, asking how would her groom have answered! Questions like.
- What is ‘groom’s name’ favourite colour
- Which TV programme does ‘groom’s name’ loathe/love etc
- ‘Groom’s name’ favourite team/player
If the bride answers wrongly, she has to do a silly task or down a shot!
A Type Of Bake-Off & Recipes
Ask the guest to bring their favourite dessert, cake or cookie recipe that has a link to the theme. The bride is the judge. Also, ask the guests to print out their recipes.
If not holding a Bake-Off, ask the guest to write down their favourite recipe to compile into a memento recipe book for the bride.
To make it that bit more special give each guest a card following the day’s theme, tipjunkie.com have some downloadable recipe card templates that you could use.
Bridal Bingo For Kitchen Tea Parties
Not for everyone, but can be a laugh. Print our your bingo cards, and instead of numbers have wedding-related symbols instead. Small prizes go a long way to everyone having fun. You can find downloadable templates online.
Get the Kitchen Tea party guests to share their wisdom and wit with a tip for keeping a relationship strong. Instead of the traditional guest book have them do this on a wooden spoon, things like,
- Never go to bed upset – talk!
- Say ‘I love you’ often
- Laugh together always
The spoons can then be varnished and used as part of the bride’s kitchen or even better framed into a lovely keepsake.
Kitchen Tea Party Pamper Hampers
The last thing you want to be doing is preparing food, especially when there are so many other things to be organising to make your event the best possible day for your bride.
A food hamper is an ideal answer, as the party guests can nibble, mingle and be involved in the event activities. A Hamper Emporium Hamper comes packed with gourmet goodness that elevates the party and puts everyone in a good mood. Any of our luxury wine gift hampers offer a selection of delicious nibbles that are guaranteed to be crowd-pleasers.
If you want a more substantial food offering, then look to something that can be prepared well beforehand, like a lasagne and serve with a salad, again letting guests help themselves. If the budget stretches, you could use an outside caterer or even ask the guest to bring a contribution to the food table.
The last word on hampers – even if you can’t go to a spa for whatever reason, consider bringing the spa to the bride with one of our fantastic pamper hampers. These are designed to be decadently delicious, filled with exquisite skincare products from L’Occitane and Jurlique, with a gorgeous plush robe for the bride to enjoy, and of course some bubbly!
Remember that timing is everything
Most bridal showers are usually held three weeks to three months before the wedding. There is no golden rule for choosing a time, and the final date will depend on the bride’s preferences, venue availability, and scheduling issues. Try to choose a date that best accommodates the bride, the bridal party, and as many guests as possible. The key is planning early-especially when dealing with long-distance guests who need to make travel arrangements.
Consider a combined bash
For the sake of convenience, consider throwing the bridal shower on the same day as the bachelorette party. That way, guests can carve out one full day for festivities, and out-of-towners won’t need to make two separate trips (which can be a costly and tedious endeavour).
Don’t plan it for too early or too late
Although a bridal shower can take place any time before the wedding, try not to throw it more than three months in advance or less than three weeks before the wedding. Why? If it’s too far out from the main event, those involved may lose some of their pent-up anticipation for the wedding or feel frustrated with parties that are too spaced out. Similarly, you shouldn’t plan to host a bridal shower too close to the big day. The bride will be too busy with last-minute wedding prep to enjoy herself at the shower. And whether you’re the maid of honour or a close relative, wedding stresses will probably be running through your mind as well, causing you to be a less-than-stellar host.
Spread out split showers
Some brides have two bridal showers with separate groups of people. If you’re picking the date for one shower, make sure it’s a few weeks apart from the other. Spreading the dates will give the bride time to relax and unwind between events.
Tea Party Bridal Shower Decor
When it comes to planning the perfect tea party bridal shower, choosing the right decor is incredibly important. After all, this is the best way to showcase the event theme and set the mood for the entire day.
If the weather is nice, a garden, backyard or outdoor patio would make for the ideal venue. If not, you can bring the garden atmosphere into your indoor space with an abundance of freshly plucked blooms, soft pastel hues and watercolour details.
Floral or lace-embellished tablecloths will help enhance the feminine, springtime atmosphere. Dainty details like bunting, birdcages, parasols and draped strings of pearls can be used to decorate buffet stations, dining tables and side tables.
As for centrepieces, antique teapots or teacups filled to the brim with colourful flowers will add a touch of whimsy and fun. Old and used tea tins can also be used for displaying floral arrangements to create a vintage feel.
Tea Party Bridal Shower Menu
Bridal showers (and especially tea parties) do not call for heavy plated meals. Plan to serve light, delicate finger foods like tea sandwiches, scones, fresh fruit and deviled eggs. Buffet-style tends to work best for these types of occasions.
As for something sweet, we recommend displaying tiered trays of bite-sized desserts like tea cakes, fruit tarts, petit fours, macarons and mini cupcakes. Tea-themed treats like earl grey cookies are always a big hit.
Of course, you can’t host a tea party bridal shower without tea! Serve assorted pots of hot or iced tea, and be sure to keep refreshing and refilling them throughout the event.
Alternatively, create a brew-your-own tea station with assorted tea bags and pots of hot water. Stock your tea serving stations with plenty of lemon wedges, milk and sugar cubes.
In either case, we recommend including a diverse selection of teas such as black tea, green tea and herbal tea, as guests may have different taste preferences and caffeine tolerances. Floral varietals — like rose tea and hibiscus tea — are especially appropriate for a garden tea party.
Tea Party Bridal Shower Favors
It is considered proper etiquette to provide favours for your guests to take home. Even a small token of appreciation will be well-received.
For an elegant affordable favour, fill small metal tins, glass jars or bags with your favourite varietal of full-leaf loose tea. Twine, stamps, stickers or ribbons will dress up the packaging. Consider using the same tea being served at the bridal shower; guests will reminisce on the event every time they sip!
If you have a smaller guest list (or a larger budget), consider potting little plants or succulents in assorted teacups, or making teacup candles. These thoughtful tea party favours will be cherished long after the event has ended.
Ultimately, the key to hosting a successful bridal shower tea party is staying true to the theme in terms of decor, refreshments and favours. With all of these boxes checked, your bridal shower tea party is sure to delight both the bride and her guests.
Those months leading up to your wedding are filled with opportunities to celebrate, and your bridal shower is no exception. Unlike your bachelorette party, it’s also a great chance to include both older and younger family members in the festivities, meaning grandma and your flower girl can be part of the anticipation and excitement. So when’s the best time to throw a bridal shower? Our experts share some scheduling advice on when to host the bridal shower.
Tradition (and Emily Post) state that the bridal shower should take place between two weeks and two months before the wedding. Seems tight, no? Thankfully, the real requirement for planning a shower isn’t how soon your wedding is, but whether or not you have concrete plans. As long as you and your partner have started planning your wedding and have a date set, any day goes when it comes to throwing a bridal shower.
Finding the right timing is especially important if you live further away from home and would have to travel to attend. Are you heading home five months before the big day for a dress fitting? Host your shower on the same weekend. Are you planning to be in town for a week before your wedding day? Instead of making extra trips, choose a date that’s convenient for your friends and family, even if it’s the day before you walk down the aisle. If you’re hoping to spread out the events, look at when you’re scheduling your engagement and bachelorette parties, so your shower isn’t too close to one or the other. This will make sure you’re not taking over your friends’ social calendars, and help them to budget any travel days they might need.
And of course, keep your guests in mind, too. When you start looking at dates, double-check with your VIPs to see if they’ll be available to join in the celebration. If you aren’t involved in planning the shower, make sure your mom or maid of honour knows when you’ll be around. Provide them with a list of weekends when you’re free, so they don’t accidentally plan a surprise shower when you’re going to be away on a business trip. And make sure they have an outfit for you, so you don’t arrive at your surprise afternoon tea in workout gear.