Wondering how to arrange a perfect tea party for your loved ones? Well, many will say "yes," but will it be a perfect one? Then, let's find out how to host a tea party at your home.
A party is always a fun event and a social gathering of invited loved ones, typically involved in eating, drinking, and entertainment. It's organized to celebrate an achievement or event or share happiness with guests. Parties promote companionship, joy, and laughter as a social gathering. When the main focus is on enjoying a cup of tea while entertaining the crowd, the event becomes a tea party. Generally, tea parties take place in the afternoon, where cakes, cookies, and other light refreshments are served. However, you are absolutely free to conduct a tea party at any time of the day.
There are several tea party etiquettes to follow at a tea party. Let's explore them all and learn how to host a tea party.
Planning to host a tea party? Here's how it started:
Once, a lady from a royal family in England felt a deserted gap between lunch and dinner. So she asked her maid to bring a pot of tea and light snacks. She continued the practice and eventually invited her lady friends to join her. Soon after, the afternoon became a joyful moment, and others started having afternoon tea with a gathering of their loved ones, too. This trend was spread among other royals and wealthy families, becoming the afternoon gathering called a "tea party." Tea parties originated in England and were often referred to as high tea or afternoon tea.
At a tea party, the host serves a specific pot of tea alongside light refreshments like cakes, cookies, pastries, and savory snacks. As a tea party bridges the gap between lunch and dinner, afternoon tea is traditionally served between 2:00 PM and 4:00 PM, while high tea is served between 6:00 PM and 8:00 PM. Afternoon tea parties are more common among ladies, while high tea parties are focused more on working men and women.
Planning Process to Host a Tea Party
When you decide to host a tea party, it is a must to begin with good planning. To make the tea party perfect, you need to arrange everything in proper order and ensure you take all the steps. A well-made plan would lead to the best tea party ever!
The main thing you need to understand is the purpose of the tea party. There may be plenty of reasons for a party, such as celebrating a birthday, retirement, a baby shower, gender reveal, raising funds for charity, performance opportunities, afternoon dances, and many more. The concept for each party depends on its purpose. Analyze the entire setting and the events during the party to ensure they align with the idea. Understanding the party's purpose is crucial when hosting a tea party.
Setting the Budget
The best trait of a tea party is that you can organize it with a minimal budget. You won't need to spend much on tea varieties and a few light refreshments like cakes or cookies for a small gathering of friends. For larger crowds, you can arrange a collection from the participants or seek sponsorships. The cost you're willing to spend determines the scale of your tea party.
Set the Date
When setting a specific date and time for the party, first decide on two or three date options that are most convenient for you. Ensure there won't be any rush during these days or a few days before. Confirm that there are no major events in the town on the decided date to avoid a final-minute cancellation of participation due to any other function or event happening on the same day. Then, you can check the availability of your most desired guests and whether they can attend the tea party on any pre-decided date. Pick a date that the majority can attend and communicate the date, time, and venue to the invitees. If it is a tea party with a few friends, you can just call them and deliver the message.
If it is a large gathering, you may send invitation cards. Make sure to call the invitees a few days before the party and remind them if any formal invitations are not sent. Do not expect that every invitee will join you on the party day, but make sure the majority can participate in the event.
Online Party Planning
To simplify the tea party planning process, there are many internet-based party planning tools available. These tools assist in coordinating with guests, sending online invitations, tracking responses, and more. Keep in mind that not everyone is online, so ensure the message reaches all invitees. Popular online party planning tools include Punchbowl, Evite, and Eventbrite. You can also use social media platforms to spread the message and create Facebook or WhatsApp groups to organize and communicate the news.
The number of participants depends on your budget and available space. However, a tea party is a social gathering that shares happiness by strengthening relationships. Therefore, you have to be careful when selecting the guest list without offending your friends and loved ones. Here are some tips to make your tea party a lovely gathering without budget and space constraints:
- For a small gathering, the budget won't be a constraint, as the cost of items like tea and light refreshments will be lower.
- For larger gatherings, consider arranging a potluck tea party where visitors contribute some elements to the party. As the host, you can arrange the tea while inviting each visitor to bring some light refreshments to suffice for the people gathering at the party.
Compared to other parties, a tea party needs a little space as everyone will not be seated. In a good climate, you can arrange it as an outdoor party as well. Always comfort your guests by any means, and set the guest list accordingly.
The location of the tea party needs to be convenient for your guests and suitable for your party's purpose. For small gatherings of friends or families, your living room, kitchen, balcony, or garden can work. For larger groups, select a spacious venue that fits your budget, such as a fire hall, dance studio, or community gathering place. For high-budget tea parties, consider a hotel, tea house, or restaurant.
A theme adds value to a tea party by giving it a unique concept. Themes make preparation more effortless for you as the host. Some tea party theme ideas include
- Vintage: Embrace old-fashioned themes, where guests wear vintage or Sunday best attire.
- Derby Day: Bring the Kentucky Derby to a tea party with sundresses and elaborate hats.
- White: Keep it simple and formal with an all-white theme.
Invitations let guests know the date, time, and venue of the tea party. Include details like the theme, attire, host, and other important information. The type of invitation depends on the scale and purpose. Options include phone calls, text messages, emails, handwritten invitations, or printed cards. For formal events or large, themed gatherings, we recommend using physical invitations.
Types of Tea That You Can Offer
When hosting a tea party, the central and must-have element is tea. It may be black tea, green tea, oolong tea, white tea, or herbal tea. The types of tea and their pairings are
Ideal for an afternoon tea party, a menu of scones and cream would pair well with the tea.
When strawberries are in season, you can add some strawberries to the meal for strawberry tea.
In a light tea, you can pair tea with cakes and cookies, adding more sweets to the tea table.
Full tea is somewhat complete compared to other tea types. It is generally served with savory dishes like sandwiches, sweets, and scones.
A tea party can be transformed into a royal tea party by adding elegant items to the tea table. Some offer a glass of champagne along with an afternoon tea and some light refreshments to make the event royal.
Savory Tea Party Food Ideas
When it is a tea party, everyone thinks the serving of refreshments should be sweet. But it is not! Tea can be served with both savory and sweet options to make the tea party table more diverse. Some delectable tea party foods that pair well with tea are as follows:
- Tea sandwiches
- Egg salad
- Chicken salad
- Ham and cheese
- Cheese and crackers
- Veggies and dip
- Sausage rolls
- Scotch eggs
Tea Party Ideas for Children
When planning a tea party for children, consider their preferences. Ensure there's ample space for them to play comfortably, and provide toys and fancy playing items designed for them. Most importantly, the tea and food items match their tastes, which tend to favor sweet flavors like peanut butter and jam or cream cheese and jam. Use cookie cutters or specially designed scissors to create appealing shapes in sandwiches and vegetables.
A tea party is a social gathering involving eating, drinking, and entertainment, focusing on tea. It's a cultural event that bridges the gap between lunch and dinner. When hosting a tea party, plan carefully to ensure your guests are always comfortable. Select the type of tea that matches your party's purpose and consider your guests' preferences for a remarkable tea party experience. The dishes served play a significant role, with light food items accompanying the teapot. Refreshments can be sweet, savory, or a mix of both. When planning a tea party for children, pay extra attention to making it enjoyable for them. Now that you're well prepared, it's time to host a tea party and give your loved ones the best tea party experience they've ever had. It's tea party time!