Everything you need to know for hosting a beautiful tea party bridal shower!
Afternoon tea is one of my favorite activities. We’ve enjoyed tea around the world from Sketch London to tea at the Signet Library in Edinburgh to Tea at the Empress in Victoria BC. There is something special about little tea sandwiches, scones and a cup of tea that warm my heart.
I was ecstatic to host a tea party bridal shower in my own backyard! We designed and planned a modern tea party and it was such a wonderful bridal shower!
How to Plan a Tea Party Bridal Shower
Pick a Bridal Shower Theme
For this bridal shower we chose to host a tea party. Since the party took place in October we added fall elements with a modern twist. I wanted something different than the mismatched tea cups and instead found inspiration from my favorite tea brand Tea Forté.
Tea Party Invitations
Sending an invitation via email is perfectly acceptable for a tea party. Online sites like Paperless Post, Evite or Tiny Prints are perfect for picking out an invitation and managing the guest list. Furthermore, an invitation can inspire a color scheme for the event or the design of the event. Below is a picture of the one we used for our tea party. It also inspired the color blue throughout the party.
Tea Party Decorations
For our tea party bridal shower, I ordered everything from Tea Forté. I fell in love with the way they make drinking tea an experience.
For each place setting we used the tea sets. It was the perfect way to set a table for a tea party. Also, by far the best experience for drinking tea and perfect for guests to enjoy. Here’s what we ordered:
- Flowers are the perfect decor for a tea party. Have a local florist create arrangements within the color theme you’ve chosen. We also used eucalyptus (looks
beautifulby itself) and pumpkins for fall.
- A budget friendly option is to make your own. Here are some tips for DIY flowers!
- You can find the best garland for a tea party online at Oh Happy Day Shop. The bunting fan garland is my favorite!
Heart Shaped Confetti
- This giant heart-shaped confetti comes in many colors and it’s perfect to sprinkle around tables and drink stations. It adds instant bridal shower decor!
- Linens are a very important part of hosting a tea party. Purchase or rent linens that fall to the floor to create a modern, elegant look.
- Linen napkins should be placed at each setting.
- Rent linens from La Tavola and they will deliver them to your door and schedule a pick-up for the linens. They are not cheap, but they do make such a beautiful presentation.
- Print personal photos of the bride and groom together to place at each setting. This is a great conversation starter and you can make a game out of it too. Have each guest try to guess where the picture was taken!
- For this tea party, we printed the photos in black and white and made them all 4×4. We made and printed them at Walgreens.
- The party was held outside and it was 90 degrees (yes in October!), but with umbrellas and these beautiful wooden
fanswe kept somewhat cool.
Personalized Cocktail Napkins
- It’s a nice touch to have personalized items at a bridal shower. Order cocktail napkins with the bride and groom’s name or initials. Add a little graphic like a teacup or champagne flutes.
- Order the napkins in the color scheme of the party.
Faux Sheepskin Throws
- We love the way these look on benches and chairs. They add extra coziness and comfort. Perfect for a fall party.
- Place a small
Cake Stands and Serving Tiers
- Fill a dining table or kitchen bar with cake stands, platters and tiered stands to fill with food.
- Use wooden boxes to give the table height.
Tea Party Food
A tea party menu is fun to plan! Create a menu that is achievable. Don’t feel like you need to make everything you’re serving. Have a good mix of food items that are made and purchased.
The best part about tea party food is that everything is small and served individually, making it a little easier.
To serve the food, we used bamboo plates and utensils. They make for easy cleanup!
Tea Party Sandwiches
Here are a some ideas for sandwiches and what we served. These were made 45-30 minutes before the shower so they were nice and fresh.
- Curried Deviled Egg Sandwiches
- Fig Jam and Prosciutto
- Cucumber and Whipped Ricotta with Salt and Pepper
- Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese with Capers
Tea Party Food Ideas
We also served the below food options all in individual servings.
- Mini Quiche (left out the chorizo) with Homemade Buttery Crust
- Fall Fruit Platter
- Blue Cheese, Fig, Pear, Walnut Salad
- Pumpkin Scones
Tea Party Desserts
- Mini Bundt Cakes
- Pumpkin Cupcakes
- Earl Grey Macaron Cookies
- Mini Chocolate Pumpkins
- Tea Cakes
- Shortbread Lemon Cookies
- Pumpkin Panna Cotta
Tea Party Drinks
In addition to hot tea, give guests more options. We served a spiked tea punch and Champagne. The champagne was the perfect cocktail to serve when guests arrived!
- Spiked Apple Cider Tea Punch
- Earl Grey Cocktail
- Iced Tea
- Water (always when serving alcohol)
Tea Party Food Tips
Prep and make anything that can be made the day before. We made the filling for the quiche and the pie crust the day before and stored both in the refrigerator.
Scones, cookies, pumpkin panna cotta were all made the day before. This helps tremendously when preparing the day of the party. We even boiled the eggs the day before for the egg sandwiches.
Sandwiches should assemble an hour before and one of the last things you do to keep them fresh. They’re easy to make but should not be made ahead.
Fruit salad should also be made about an hour before for freshness. Squeeze lemon over apples and pears so they don’t brown.
Brewing Tea Tips
Before guests arrive, you’ll want to fill each tea kettle with hot water. This is a great tasks to give to someone who is helping you prep before the party. Hot water duty!
To make it easy, we used this electric glass teapot that boils water within a few minutes! We were able to fill all 5 ceramic teapots with hot water in about 15 minutes. I can’t recommend this item enough.
Have boxes of Tea Forté on each table so guests can choose their flavor. This is the fun part!
Make sure to refill the teapots throughout the party.
Also have cream, sugar and honey on the side to sweeten the tea.
Also, read The Ultimate Guide to Tea Preparation from Tea Forté. It provides wonderful resources like varieties and temperatures of tea.
Tea Party Favors
We gave each guest their own box of Tea Forté to take home! It was the best favor we could give! Here are some ideas for tea party favors:
- Box of scones
- Homemade jam
- Boxes of tea
- Local honey
- Fall candles
- Homemade tea cookies
Bridal Shower Games
Bridal shower games and activities are great conversation starters and add a lot of fun to the party. Here’s a list of our favorite games and a free Guess Who Said It printable to use at your party.
- Where Are They? – Use pictures of the bride and groom and have guests guess where it was taken.
- Guess Who Said It – A game where guests fill out a card with questions and write down who they think would have said it.
- Date Night Jar – Guest fill out their most memorable date on a card and put it in the jar.
Bridal Shower Hostess Gifts
As a host, I never expect anything from guests, but when they do bring a little something it makes me smile! Here are some great bridal shower hostess gift ideas:
- Bottle of Wine
- Decorative Seasonal Item
- Coffee Gift Card
- Thank You Note
Frequently Asked Bridal Shower Questions
Who throws a bridal shower for the bride?
Anyone close to the bride or even the groom can host a bridal shower. This can be a mother, soon to be mother-in-law, sister, cousin, aunts, groups of friends.
What are some ideas for a bridal shower?
- Tea Party
- Beach Party
- Seasonal Party
- Personalized Party
- Cocktail and Dessert Party
- Cheese and Wine Party
Who should pay for the bridal shower?
Whoever is hosting the party will be the one to pay for it. If it’s a few people, you can split the cost of the shower. Usually this is a maid of honor, family member or special friend.
When should the bridal shower be?
The shower should take place 1 to 3 months from the wedding date. This gives your guests time between the bridal shower and wedding.
What food is served at a bridal shower?
Select a menu based on the season, time and theme of the party. If it’s an afternoon tea party, see our menu above. If you’re doing wine and cheese party make boards of charcuterie and have a lot of wine. It all depends on your theme.
We suggest a few sides, few mains, salad, fruit and desserts.
What is etiquette for bridal showers?
Any guests that is invited to the wedding can be invited to the bridal shower. Do not invite guests who are not invited to the wedding.
The guest list for a bridal shower is close friends and family members as well as anyone
Now that you’ve learned a few great tips for hosting a tea party bridal shower, we want to see your pics! Tag us @sugarandcharm on social so we can see your hosting skills.
Also, if you have any questions leave them in the comment box below and we’ll answer. Happy tea time!