The guest list for a tea party is typically small, but mailed invitations are still a good idea because it's usually a formal event. Get creative and include a bag of herbal tea with a pretty wrapping. Try to get your invites in the mail three to four weeks before your party. You can make your Mother's Day tea party a mother-daughter event -- or even include men -- but be sure to specify that on the invitations.
Once upon a time, only black tea was served at tea parties. Those times have changed, and tea drinkers indulge in a wide variety of freshly brewed concoctions these days. Offer black tea for your guests, as well as herbal and green teas. Have lemon, sugar, artificial sweetener, honey, milk and cream on hand.
Tea parties aren't only about drinking tea. They're about socializing while sipping tea and eating tasty treats. Include light sandwiches cut into small slices, as well as a wide variety of baked goods. Consider cakes, cookies, pies and scones. Add a fruit tray or fruit salad so your guests have a healthier food option, too.
If you have a small guest list, one large round table may be enough to seat your guests. If that's the case, set up food and drink choices in the center of the table. Include a lazy Susan for easy serving. If you have a large guest list, or if your table isn't large enough to accommodate all of your food choices, arrange your food and drink choices on a separate buffet table. Place food at one end and tea at the other. Use decorative trays and tiered serving dishes to make a more attractive spread.
If you can find them, use vintage teacups and saucers to give your tea party an authentic feel. Guests need only small plates -- after all, they're not eating a full meal. Provide spoons for stirring tea. Use flowers to decorate the tables and give your party a soft, feminine feel.
Take a trip back to your childhood and use this Mother's Day tea party as an excuse to play dress-up. Ask guests to arrive in attire appropriate for a tea party and suggest they work big hats and long gloves into the look. For a fun twist, collect fancy hats and gloves from family, friends and second-hand shops prior to your event and make them available to your guests. Have a camera ready, and take photos of each mom with her guest to be emailed to her as a Mother's Day memento.
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