Since this may be the first occasion in which families meet, a certain amount of formality and elegance demonstrates the value placed on the meeting. At the same time, it needs to be somewhat relaxed and personal, allowing time for the sharing of stories and advice. A bridal shower tea party offers just enough time for mingling and enjoyment of the unexpected.
Your tea party can be held outdoors or indoors, as long as there is sufficient light and air to uphold a garden-like ambience. In many cases, a backyard or sitting room setting will do. Many cities today also have tearooms for rent. Alternatively, for a more economical choice, a nearby park may have a perfect shady corner for your bridal shower.
For decorations, consider dressing up foliage inside or out, with white Christmas tree lights for a magical touch. Your tablecloths should be simple, yet feminine. Lace is a versatile choice that you can expect to use again. Each table should have its own centerpiece, which may be classic pink roses and lilies, or a simple basket of wildflowers.
You will need a tea set with enough teacups for everyone. This could be the perfect opportunity to bring out those family heirloom teacups, saucers and teapots. Perhaps after the bridal shower you can pass them on to the bride. If you do not have these items, ask family members and friends to collaborate on a large gift like a new tea set that will be used as part of the party. NOTE: No need to go shopping for a silver tea set, as assortment of complementary teacups and a special teapot would be just as special.
You may choose to include specialty teas for your tea party. In this case, you will need a separate teapot for each kind of tea. If using loose teas, the pots will need removable strainers, or tea balls to contain the tea.
Tea balls are stainless steel tea bags for your loose tea. Each tea ball is lowered into individual pots or teacups and removed before serving. Good varieties of tea bags, from major companies also offer a wide variety of choices in tea. Served with cream, lemon wedges, sugar cubes, and honey, they too make wonderfully rich specialty teas without the mess of loose teas.
Bridal shower tea party edibles should be light and pretty. Suggestions include:
- Finger Sandwiches: tuna salad, egg salad, smoked salmon and cucumber cream cheese spreads work well
- Raw Vegetables: colorful additions to platters of sandwiches
- Dipping Sauces
- Hummus: an exotic non-dairy alternative
Many women may enjoy the romance of preparing traditional tea party cakes. Generally, sponge cakes are covered in whipped cream frosting. You can add a drop or two of peppermint extract to the cream before whipping for a refreshing variation. Fresh berries and kiwi fruit are delicate, colorful additions and can be used to decorate top of the cakes or as part of the creamed filling. Edible flowers, such as pansies and nasturtiums, can be a lovely decoration added around the edges of the cakes.
Present all of your guests with a favor from the party to show your appreciation for their attendance. A beautiful gardenia, or long-stemmed strawberry dipped in chocolate are suggestions, but anything that you believe to be fitting for the occasion will be just right.