September’s number one read article/post on Tea Party Girl was Six Possible Party Themes for Your Autumn Event. This post won by a landslide! But the post didn’t specifically tell you how to plan an Autumn Tea Party. This one will. It’s been uploaded to my articles page and reprinted here as I dash off to the afternoon’s activities. Please let us know in the comments if you are hosting any autumn tea party events. We’d love to cheer you on!
To begin planning your tea party event, no matter what the season, 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 autumn event are available through my post, “Six Possible Themes for your Autumn Event”. Other possibilities are:
- Halloween/Reformation Day/All Saints’ Day
- Election Day
- Thanksgiving (both America’s and Canada’s Thanksgiving holiday take place in Autumn)
- a Costume-Planning Party (thank you Sarah Ban Breathnach…I love your book! If you own it, be sure to check out her Autumn-themed party for Martinmas…so inspiring!). What a great idea for you crafty/seamstress types! Why not plan an afternoon to gab over tea and your handiwork in time to prepare your children’s costumes?
- All Soul’s Day–November 2nd. A great theme for a tea party. Really. Have you lost someone dear to your family? Why not set aside time to share memories over tea with your children and tell them stories about your loved one. Has a friend lost a loved one in the past year, maybe even in a season of grief? What if you planned a tea and invited a small group of some of her friends that may have struggled to help through this time. Allow her to share freely and “weep with those who weep”.
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
- 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 fall in the traditional tea menu are with:
- butternut squash soup.
- sliced pears and turkey tea sandwiches with Brie (yum!)
- salad garnished with pomegranate seeds.
- Apple Butter Cheesecake Bites
- cranberry-walnut scones
- pumpkin-based desserts like this pumpkin roll cake.
Tea flavors I suggest to serve at an autumn-themed event, depending on your menu, are:
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? Some ideas for autumn centerpieces are:
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. Some ideas for autumn-themed favors are:
- hollowed-out pumpkins as vases filled with chrysanthemums as they are prolific in fall.
- large-pillar candle surrounded by mini-pumpkins and unusual gourds.
- beautiful bowl filled with fall fruits like pomegranates, apples, pears, or a combination of all.
- colored leaves from your neighborhood with unscented and protected tea-lights.
Take time now to decide what to wear and what music to play. How can these two elements add to your theme? Warm colors of red, orange, yellow, and peaches are associated with autumn. Can you wear one of them to your event? Some ideas for autumn-themed music are:
Once these decisions are made, you will see your theme come together with all the elements that help us celebrate autumn’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.
May your event bring blessing to all who attend, and to you as well.