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Tea Party Planning Ideas

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Tea parties have been a staple of many childhoods, allowing kids of all ages to dress up and pretend to be someone else for a little while. They are also a great theme for bridal showers, birthday parties, and even casual Sunday get-togethers. Because there are so many ways to brew up a proper tea party, we came up with three themes to try out, depending on what kind of tea party you prefer!

Lounge Around with a Light Afternoon Tea

Light afternoon tea is best for super casual tea parties or springtime garden parties. It is easy to put together since it consists of light snacks paired with traditional English tea. If you have a garden or are near a park, host it outside in the spring while all the flowers are in bloom - no need to decorate! If the weather allows, you could include a selection of iced teas to help guests beat the heat.

What you'll need:

  • A variety of teas
  • Lemon, cream, sugar, honey, and other tea prep condiments
  • Light snack like scones, tea cakes, and breads with jam

Afternoon Tea with a Twist: Art and Music Theme

This casual, light afternoon tea setup is ideal for an art and music theme. Invite people to dress up as characters in their favorite impressionist paintings. Have chairs and tables available for seating and sipping, but also make sure to set out plenty of blankets in the grass so people can relax in the sunshine. Bring a portable music player and play some classical tunes for background music. Include a colorful array of plates and napkins, and consider having a paint-your-own-favor station to round out the party. Because this kind of tea party is so low key, you can focus on spending some quality time with your loved ones without the pressure of planning out every single moment.

Let Them Lunch with a Low Tea

Low tea is slightly more involved planning-wise than light afternoon tea, but not by much. It includes the same sweets, breads, and jams as afternoon tea, and adds in some savory elements like tea sandwiches and appetizers. Traditionally, the savories are served before the sweets, which is why this party is more formal - it acts a lot like a sit-down lunch. A tea party baby shower is sure to be a big hit with guests!

What you'll need:

  • A variety of teas
  • Lemon, cream, sugar, honey, and other tea prep condiments
  • Savory sandwiches, finger foods, light appetizers, tea cakes, and breads with jam

Low Tea with a Twist: Alice in Wonderland Theme

If you're sitting down for a lunch with friends, why not dress it up with an Alice in Wonderland theme? You can host your party indoors or out, and get a little crazy with color. Include arrangements of red and white roses to symbolize the red and white queens, and make hanging decorations out of playing cards. Make sure to accent your table tops with Wonderland-esque elements like a top hat centerpiece surrounded by goblets vases. Setting the table is easy - if you don't own any china, scour your local thrift shop for a variety of patterned teacups and plates. Don't worry about matching - the more mismatched, the better!

Host an Elegant High Tea

High tea is an affair for serious tea partiers - it consists of an evening meal complete with four to five courses. This kind of tea party is much more proper than the typical afternoon garden party, and is a chance for people to sit down together and enjoy a regal dinner party atmosphere.

What you'll need:

  • A variety of teas
  • Lemon, cream, sugar, honey, and other tea prep condiments
  • A full-course menu including soup, a meat dish, eggs, cheese, bread and butter, and sweet cakes

High Tea with a Twist: Shakespeare Theme

Because high tea is a more formal affair, a literary theme complements it perfectly. Host the event indoors in a library among stacks of books, and decorate tables with crisp white linens, tapered candles, and the special occasion china - now is the ideal time to get good use out of it! Have people dressed as their favorite Shakespearean characters, or set up each table based on a different play. At the end of the party, hand out personalized bookmarks as party favors.

And of course, no tea party would be complete without a lovely hand-written thank you note from the host once the event is over. Telling your guests you enjoyed your time together is a great way to show them they are truly your cup of tea!

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