Note to regular readers of TPG: I use the same party-planning format each time, so some of what you see below will be familiar. But I’ve highlighted the material I’ve changed to reflect the new season, including recipes, music, and decorations. Enjoy!
To begin planning your tea party event, no matter what the season or event you need start by answering a few questions:
- How many people will you invite?
- Who will they be?
- What is your budget? How much does that give you per person?
- When will your event take place?
- What will be your theme? Some ideas for your winter event are available through my post, “Four Possible Themes for Your Winter Event“. Other possibilities are Saint Valentine’s Day or Saint Patrick’s Day.
Once you make these decisions, you need to send out your invitations. These can be done a number of ways. Remember, keep your budget in mind. I’ve listed some options below.
- E-vites (free)
- Snail-Mail Invitations with
- and your computer
- preprinted Hallmark invitations you pick up at your local store and handwrite.
- handmade, scrap-booking materials
- Telephone Calls (personal, but take up your time. depending on the number of people you are trying to coordinate).
Next, you need to plan the menu. Remember to keep your budget, theme, and time of day in mind. And DON’T forget to plan the tea. I’ve written a thorough article on The Steps to Creating a Tea Party Menu to help with your planning. Specific ways to incorporate flavors of winter in the traditional tea menu are with:
- cream of broccoli soup.
- celery-nut tea sandwich.
- 3 Lettuce Salad with Oranges, Raisins, and Pecans.
- Mini Puffed Apple Pies
- Maple Nut Scones with Pear Butter
- Meyer Lemon Bars made from fresh lemons.
Tea flavors I suggest to serve at an winter-themed event, depending on your menu, are:
- Revolution’s White Tangerine Tea
- Harney and Sons Chocolate Mint
- Earl grey de la Creme
- Green Tea Lemon
- robust Assam or Ceylon estate teas
- a Darjeeling
Once you’ve decided on your menu, think through how you will set your table. I’ve written some about setting the tea table already. Now is the time to think through what you already own, what you need to purchase, and what you can borrow. How many tables and chairs will you need? Remember, intimate is never more than eight, so take that into account when you think through your seating arrangement. What will be your centerpiece(s) and how you will incorporate your theme?
Include items in your table decorations that remind you of the season’s stark, contrasting beauty. Start with what you can use from outside. What about a bare branch down the center of your table with white lights and tulle? Or three pillars nestled among it? If you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day or Saint Patrick’s Day decorate the branch with small heart ornaments or shamrocks. A simple bowl of in-season citrus fruit could also work with a sprinkle of real cranberries. Do you have a quilt, bedspread, or blanket large enough to cover your table? Consider using it as your table covering and create an instant feeling of coziness.
Part of setting your table means polishing any silver pieces and ironing any linens. Will you include a printed menu for your guests benefit? This is also the time to make/purchase some place-cards and decide what you want to give as a favor.
Take time now to decide what to wear and what music to play. How can these two elements add to your theme? Again, starker colors are associated with winter, i.e. black and white, as well as neutrals. If, like me, you love color, throw in a color focal point like cherry red or shamrock green. Some ideas for winter-themed music are:
- A Winter’s Solstice: Silver Anniversary Edition
- Winter’s Crossing
- Winter: A Collection of Seasonal Classics
Once these decisions are made, you will see your theme come together with all the elements that help us celebrate winter’s beauty. Be sure to spend some more time perusing Tea Party Girl’s archives for further details you might need to plan your tea party event. As always, feel free to email me or leave a comment with your questions as well.
May your event bring blessing to all who attend, and to you as well.