Tea Party Bridal Shower Ideas
Tea parties and bridal showers both provide elegant settings for tradition, fun and friendship. Why not combine the two by hosting a tea party bridal shower?
Planning Your Tea Party Bridal Shower
Tea parties lend themselves well to most bridal showers; however, they aren't the best choice in every case. By nature, tea parties are intimate affairs and are best suited to gatherings of about 15 people or less. For a tea party bridal shower, you can probably stretch your guest list to about 30 attendees. If you'd like to invite a really large group, you'd do better with a different type of bridal shower.
Once you've decided on a tea party bridal shower, you'll be ready to start working on some basic planning:
- Location: Because tea parties are so intimate, a home environment is a perfect location. Consider your living room, dining room, back yard or even your kitchen! If you'd like to use an outside location, look for a restaurant or hall with an attractive, quiet room available for your shower. For tea parties at the office, a small conference room would provide a better atmosphere than an open office floor or cafeteria.
- Time: Most tea parties are traditionally afternoon events. Any time between noon and late afternoon is ideal for a tea party bridal shower.
- Invitations: You'll need to let guests know about your shower at least two weeks in advance, so be sure to send out invitations early. If this is a surprise bridal shower, send clear, discreet RSVP instructions so the bride-to-be won't catch on.
Creating a Special Tea Party Shower Atmosphere
Little touches help create an unforgettable Victorian atmosphere for a tea party shower. Here are a few ideas you may want to include at yours:
- Elegant tablecloths: try white linen, delicate lace or a combination of the two.
- Fine China and silver: Get some use from family heirloom teacups, saucers, teapots, plates and silverware. Mixing and matching only adds to the charm. For some extra warmth, ask guests to bring a favorite teacup or teapot to the party.
- Fresh flowers: Display white or colorful flowers in glass vases or tea tins.
- Lace doilies: Use these under place settings, menu items, teapots and flowers.
- Embroidered cloth napkins: Getting away from paper napkins always makes an event feel special.
- Themed centerpieces and accents: Bring the bridal theme to your tea party with a display of Victorian style bridal dolls, a vintage bridal veil, antique wedding paintings, embroidered samplers or old-fashioned sculptures of brides and grooms.
- Bridal palettes: Decorate in pure white for a classic innocent look, or choose gentle pastel shades for some subtle color variety.
- Subtle lighting: Natural sunlight, candlelight, old-fashioned lanterns, a roaring fireplace or low-watt electric lighting all work well.
- Music: Classical or other soft music, live or recorded adds a nice touch.
To further enhance your tea party atmosphere, include some historical Victorian accessories that guests can play with as well as look at. Vintage hats, gloves, boas or delicate fans really add to the fun.
Bridal Shower Games for a Tea Party Shower
Shower games are a great way to break the ice and help guests get to know one another. You may want to include some of these at your tea party bridal shower:
- Toilet paper gown contest: Divide guests into teams and give each team some rolls of white toilet paper. Each team selects a "bride" and has to design and create an old fashioned wedding gown for her out of toilet paper. The team with the most beautiful (or the funniest) wedding gown wins.
- Clothespin game: At the beginning of the party, give every guest a clothespin and card with a word related to tea or weddings. Any time one guest hears another say the word on her card; she takes that guest's clothespin. The guest with the most clothespins at the end of the evening wins.
- Two truths and a lie: Each guest tells three facts about herself, one of which is a lie. Anyone who can guess which one is the lie wins a prize.
- Name that tea: Each guest pretends to be a type of tea and states some facts about herself. (For example: "I'm made from a flower and help people relax" for chamomile tea.) Whoever can guess which tea is being described is the winner.
- Tea bingo: Use teabags instead of bingo chips.
- Memory lane matchup: Guests write down a special memory they have about the bride on a card. The cards all go into a clean teapot. Each guest draws a card and tries to match it with the person who had that memory.
Planning Your Tea Party Menu
Tea parties traditionally serve a variety of teas and light fare that can be eaten without silverware. Try to serve at least four to five tea flavors and some cold drink options such as lemonade or ice tea as well. Here are a few menu ideas your shower guests might enjoy:
- A fresh-baked cookie bar
- Flaky scones
- Finger sandwiches
- Small cakes
- Fresh fruit
- Chicken wings with herbed dipping sauce
- Fruit tarts.
Prizes and Favors
Send your guests home with charming prize gifts and shower favors that are in keeping with your tea party theme. You guests will be thrilled to go home with some of these:
- Tea baskets
- Lace bookmarks
- Heart-shaped tea infusers
- Teabag rests
- Hand fans in lace, silk or with Victorian graphics
- Miniature antiqued picture frames
- A vintage book of Victorian etiquette.
With a little loving preparation, your tea party bridal shower will give the bride-to-be a perfect send off to her new life and be something guests will remember fondly for many years to come.