How to Host a Bridal Shower Tea Party

Teacup with cookies with white flowers on table
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Bridal shower tea parties are a very traditional, elegant and sophisticated way to celebrate a bride's upcoming wedding. A bridal tea can be intimate, with just the bridal party attending, or a larger event including other female friends and relatives that will be invited to the wedding.

This shower theme isn't usually best for a co-ed shower since the food is lighter and the decorations are more feminine, but it doesn't mean male friends or family of the bride are not welcome. If a bride is interested in opening her bridal shower tea party up to members of the opposite sex so be it! An exclusive party is never a fun one, so it's nice to keep an open mind about who might enjoy this kind of event when sending out invites.

A bridal tea party is not necessarily a food-focused event so make sure guests know in advance they are joining for refreshments in light snacks so they can plan accordingly (either grabbing some heavier fare pre or post-shower). This is the brides moment to share her happy news with those nearest and dearest to the almost newlyweds. After all, you only get married once (alright maybe for some a couple of times) so might as well make some happy memories to remember the joyous occasion.

Using the theme of a tea party for a bridal shower immediately elevates and event, so make sure you choose venues appropriately. A tea party theme typically should be arranged at a nice hotel restaurant in your town or neighboring city, but an upscale restaurant or rentable hall space should do. Avoid hosting a bridal shower tea party in your home unless you have put a lot of attention and detail into your outdoor entertaining or dining room space. Setting a great atmosphere and a sophisticated tone for your event is step one before the cute little sandwiches even make their appearance. 

Party planning can be a difficult and time-consuming matter, so these are some ideas for hosts of upcoming tea parties to delight brides with an elegant and well-planned event.

Setting the Stage

  • Serve the food and beverages buffet style since there won't be a plated entree as part of your menu.
  • Decorate the buffet and guest tables with linens and flowers selected with the bride's colors in mind.
  • Ask guests to bring a small gift for the "wishing well" that fits with the tea theme. Items might include loose teas, tea strainer, tea bags, teaspoons, tea cookies.
  • Plan to organize a few bridal shower games for fun and to help break the ice when guests first arrive.
  • When the bride arrives, give her a small bouquet to welcome her, and she can use it to mark her place.
  • Create a tussy mussy for each guest and tie them with ribbon that is wide enough to write each guest's name—then use them as place cards.

The Menu

  • Assorted pots of tea. Keep refreshing them with hot water throughout the party.
  • Assorted tea sandwiches such as ​egg salad; cucumber and cream cheese; smoked salmon and dill; chicken salad with tarragon.
  • Chocolate covered strawberries. Offer an assortment of white and milk chocolate dipped berries for visual interest.
  • A Spinach and Strawberry Salad.
  • Create and decorate elegant Angel Food Cupcakes.
  • A large Fresh Fruit Salad.
  • Assorted Chocolate Truffles.
  • Serve Blushing Bride champagne cocktails.

Party Favors

Send guests home with party favors that will help them remember this special party. Think about a gift that will fit with the bride's interests. You might give each guest any of the following:

  • A small container with loose tea and a tea ball.
  • A package of tiny cookies or candies.
  • Handmade soaps.
  • A seed packet with a trowel.
  • A cookie cutter and homemade cookie mix in a decorated jar.