Join us for a cup of tea and a few of our favorite tea party tips. We know you’ve been searching for one place to go for tips and creative tea party ideas.
Best Tips on How to Host a Stress-Free Tea Party
The party giving season is one of the busiest and most stressful times of the year. Whether you are cooking, baking, cleaning, shopping, wrapping gifts, visiting friends and relatives, attending holiday parties, or maybe hosting your own tea party, there is always something that needs your time and attention. You may feel weary, over-whelmed and stressed out at times even if you are selective in how you choose to spend your time during the summer months.
Have you ever wanted to host a tea party but decided against it time after time, just because you think it would be too time-consuming along with all of the other things you are doing? Thinking that with all the preparation comes more stress, you may think that you would not be able to enjoy yourself and that it would just be added pressure. Take a few moments to re-think this, because you can plan to host a successful tea party without a hitch. Here is how to make your tea event a success that all of your guests will enjoy and remember.
Think carefully about what kind of tea party you want to have. If you don’t feel like hosting the traditional tea party gathering this year, remember that you can turn everyday events into a party and reap the benefits. For example, if you and your friends get together to bake cookies or have tea, turn these mini-events into party prep time. Host a cookie swap with neighbors, and have a cookie-baking party with friends. Use the cookies for serving at your next tea party. This will greatly help in the food preparation process by turning a chore into fun.
Be the First to Invite
Schedule a date for your party and send your invitations out at least one month in advance. Not only will you get better attendance because your invitation will arrive before others, but you will get RSVPs sooner and be better able to plan your food needs accordingly.
Be Creative with Invitations
Save time and money by designing simple invitations on your computer and print them on fancy paper that can be found at card shops and office supply stores. Ask family members or neighbors to get together to create the invitations.
Food Selection and Planning
Food selection is the most important basic element to planning a successful tea party, but it can also be the most daunting, so take some to determine how your want to present the food at your party. One way to ease stress is to as for help from guests. You can ask your guests to bring a dish that you know they prepare well. Most people prefer not to
show up to a party empty-handed, preferring instead to receive an assigned dish. You could suggest they bring their specialty recipes by writing a note on their invitation such as, “Please bring your famous hot and spicy wings in a ready-to-serve container or another appetizer to share”. Or, you could write. “We love your Strawberry Scones! Would you be so
kind as to bring a batch to share with our guests?” Serve all these dishes buffet-style.
If it is affordable, you might consider having the party catered. The food, serving dishes, and cleanup are all managed by a professional staff, leaving you to enjoy your party and guests. A less expensive alternative to professional caterers is neighborhood teenagers. Hire a reliable teenager or two (they love extra cash) to help cook and/or serve. Another alternative might be to ask your housekeeper if they would like to assist you in preparing for the party, serving guests at the party, and after party cleanup.
Weeks before the Event
Plan Your Preparation. Several days before the party, make a to-do list of everything you will need to complete before the day of the party (i.e.,unpack decorations, clean the entryway, get a pet-sitter), and check off items as you soon as you complete them. Most party planners will tell you the key to a great party is organization, and a list helps tremendously. Plus, you will feel a sense of accomplishment as you check off items on your list.
Determine the areas of your home your guests will be occupying the most such as the bathroom, kitchen, entryway, or sitting room. Clean those rooms with a heavier hand that the rest of the house. Don’t worry too much about rooms guests will never or rarely enter such as the laundry room, master bedroom, or basement. To lessen the stress, clean a little bit of each room every day, and you won’t feel rushed the days before the party.
Make Cleanup Easier
Consider using paper plates instead of china for serving food, and paper napkins instead of cloth, which can be tossed in the garbage after use. Plastic glassware will save you time in the kitchen as well. If you prefer to use real china, this is where a housekeeper can help tremendously by keeping dirty dishes flowing into the sink and dishwasher.
Send Leftovers Packing
Before the day of the tea party, start collecting colorful, festive, or interesting food containers. Keep them on hand to fill with leftovers and give to guests as they leave. They will be happy to take food home for later enjoyment.
Get Ready for Spills
Make sure to pick up some spot remover and have paper towels on hand for any spills or messes. They are bound to happen. You might also want to think about moving any expensive, delicate, or special furniture pieces to another room for safekeeping until the party is over.
Days before the Event and the Day of the Event
Create some simple, yet elegant centerpieces. If you don’t have a tea party centerpiece, use candles. They are beautiful and perfect for the season. Cluster cream-colored candles of varying sizes in the middle of the table, or arrange votive or floating candles in a row down the center of the table. Use a pedestal cake stand to give them extra height. Set and light candles around other parts of the house for a welcoming and festive glow (but make sure they are high enough that they cannot be knocked over by a child or pet). A scented candle in the bathroom is also a nice touch.
The morning of, or a few hours before the party, remember to take time for yourself. Relax in a bubble bath to feel cool, calm, and collected at party time.
Remember that the hostess sets the tone for the party. If you are calm, relaxed, and having a great time, your guests will too. Don’t spend the whole time worrying about whether the cookies are just right or whether everyone is having the time of their lives. Your guests came to see you, not judge your party or your home. No party is ever perfect, but it can be a lot of fun, particularly if the host is having a good time.