This past weekend, my mother and I threw a lovely bridal tea for a beloved friend. This is one of our favorite ways to entertain and celebrate special events because of how intimate and unique a tea can be. We broke out our collection of vintage tea cups, the silver from my grandmother, and crystal cream and sugar dishes to make the occasion extra festive.
I wanted to share this blog because I know not everyone is comfortable hosting such a party and a little guidance from an enthusiast might be just the inspiration you need to throw an elegant and resplendent autumn (or whatever season you are in) tea.
Setting the tone:
In my opinion, this is the most important factor to a tea. Pay attention to the five senses to create the perfect ambiance.
Of course, the food has to be wonderful, but it is also important to arrange it beautifully upon the table to entice your guests before they eat.
A distinctive table can make quite the impression when done well. We do this by setting out our nicest china, silver, and linens to make our guests feel special and honored.
Collecting flowers and lighting seasonal candles is the most straightforward way to make everything smell enticing at your tea table.
I love to play a relaxing and moody classical playlist in the background while guests arrive and sit. The music you choose must perfectly compliment the season and tone of your tea.
Finally, setting a gorgeous table is essential. I will go further into my natural rustic table decor later in the blog! In cooler months, keep a fire in your fireplace or wood burning stove and in the warmer months, consider holding an outdoor or garden tea among the flowers and scrubs of the season.
Hire Some Help:
We asked my brother (who is a college freshman and willing to work for cash) to come over and serve the tea. He did an excellent job offering food to the ladies and clearing plates. If you have the budget, I would highly recommend hiring a trusted friend or family member to serve and clean so that you can enjoy the tea with your guests. If you do not have the budget, serve the tea family style from the table and wait for your guests to leave before clearing the table and doing dishes. This will be very important for you and your guests to relax and enjoy the tea without worrying about getting up and down.
I sourced tea crafted locally by visiting my local farmers’ market the weekend before! I also added a few other loose leaf teas from my tea cabinet which rounded us out to a nice selection:
Earl Grey Lavender | Vanilla Chai Rooibos | Mediterranean fruity herbal
I made a plain scone because I wanted guests to have their choice of condiment:
*There was also an almond flour gingerbread muffin as a gluten-free option*
We set out huckleberry lemon curd, buttermilk clotted cream, and blueberry jam. You can also include apple or pumpkin butter as well if you have it!
Cranberry chicken salad on mini croissants and cucumber canapes were served as the main dish.
Vanilla Petit fours
We generally prefer to order these from our local bakery because they do an excellent job and there are so many other things to bake for a tea!
Setting the Table
Natural and rustic elements were the inspiration for this simple and inexpensive tea table decor.
Here is what you will need to create this look:
- Fall leaves
- Fairy lights
- Mini pumpkins or gourds
- Greenery of your choice (we used ivy)
- Chrysanthemums or other fall flowers
- Seasonal fruit in a small bowl or basket (we used apples)
- A natural fiber/fabric table runner (we used burlap but linen or a rustic cotton blend would work well)
Gather all your supplies
Lay your table runner
Begin to arrange everything starting with the larger items, such as the candles and the flowers
Distribute the remaining items around the larger ones until you everything fits on the runner
Be sure to drape the ivy and sprinkle a few fall leaves last
Now it is time to light your candles and enjoy. I loved this table so much that I am considering recreating it for Thanksgiving in a few weeks!
This tea was absolutely breathtaking and such a festive way to celebrate with our favorite bride. This year I want to encourage you to break out the tea cups you have been collecting, the linens from your grandmother, or any other fancy things you have been holding onto waiting for “an occasion”. Make your own occasion and I promise it will be worth it!