So your best friend is head-over-heels in love and ready to commit to a lifetime of wedded bliss. How will you help her celebrate this wonderful occasion? Offer to host a bridal shower tea party!
It is commonplace for a bride-to-be to have one or more bridal showers to help celebrate her upcoming nuptials. She may have a besties-only stagette bash, an after-work dinner and drinks soiree or even a girlfriends-only trip to Vegas. But for an elegant way to include her entire family in the celebration, a traditional tea party will certainly hit the mark!
This is not your average, run-of-the-mill house party. It's a time the bride-to-be will reflect on for the rest of her life, so be sure to bring out your a-game.
- Use your best china, silverware and serving ware. Borrow or rent it if you need to.
- Add crisp, firmly pressed linen napkins and tablecloths to your table, and complement them with beautiful flower arrangements and coordinating candles. Place other floral focal points and warming candles throughout the room.
- Play soulful, romantic music. Keep it low so guests can enjoy their conversations.
- Keep the other decorations in the theme of her upcoming wedding. Ribbons in her wedding colours could be used to hold together bouquets, as decorative accents to candles or drinking glasses or even to wrap around chair backs, for example. If she has a specific theme planned, such as a beach or country wedding, use that as a jumping-off point for food and decor.
- Dress the part of a perfect hostess. Keep your outfit classic and simple while letting the bride have her shining moments.
- Mail out personal invitations at least two weeks in advance.
- Plan a memorable party favour for guests to take home. An option might be to take a digital photo of the bride and guest, print it, then place it in a personalized frame to give away at end of the party. Plan on making a scrapbook collage of all the pictures to give to the bride later.
- The primary drink at a tea party is, well, tea. Offer several steeped selections, and include such favourites as Earl Grey, camomile, green and a decaffeinated fruity herbal tea such as blueberry or cherry. If the weather is warm, offer a choice of iced tea as well.
- Have a non-alcoholic punch available for the non-tea drinkers.
- Tradition dictates that tea party offerings are finger sandwiches, small pastries, scones and Devonshire cream, but feel free to mix that up a bit according to the bride's personal tastes.
- Fruit and dip trays are a delicious addition to an afternoon tea. Take it a step further and make fruit skewers with cream cheese dip.
Fruit skewers with cream cheese dip
Plan on two skewers per guest. Makes approximately two cups of dip.
- Hulled whole strawberries
- Purple or green seedless grapes
- Granny Smith apple slices
- Navel orange slices
- Mango chunks
- 1 package softened cream cheese
- 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
- 1/2 cup Cool Whip
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Mint sprigs to garnish
- Wash and prepare the fruit.
- Alternate the fruit pieces on bamboo skewers according to personal taste.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until completely blended. Fold in the Cool Whip. Refrigerate the mixture for at least 1 hour.
- Serve the fruit skewers with a garnish of mint and the cream cheese dip.
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