To ensure your guests have a great time, you have to think of all the details. Here are my tips for throwing a successful garden party tea party
My daughter recently graduated from a bachelors degree and wanted to have a family and friends celebration. She knew she wanted a little sophistication for the event and was inspired by florals. We chatted about what the event would look like and settled on a tea party garden party as it would incorporate elegance and a floral theme. I've been planning parties for her since her first birthday and it was fun to work through all the details to celebrate such an important milestone.
Whether you're celebrating a graduation or hosting a tea party, I'm including all my party planning details to help you with your next event.
Tip #1 - Start with a Theme
The theme determines the direction for the feel of the event. Once we decided on a tea party garden party we got to work deciding the décor. Florals would be main stage. Using fresh florals, we had several small centerpieces to dress tables, and added a floral canopy. Artificial florals were added to the outside umbrella and dining room chandelier. (linked below). A stunning flower wall created a beautiful backdrop for photos and created ambience. Mine was from flower walls YYC. they have several designs to choose from.
I found vintage style disposable plates from amazon as well as gold flecked cups and floral designed hot cups with lids from serving tea and coffee. I decorated tables with white lace tableclothes and sheer runners. Sweet floral napkins were the perfect added touch.
As a second backdrop inside, my husband made a frame to hang drapery and a banner. Balloons in the color scheme flanked the sides.
Tip #2 - The Menu
Depending on your theme, it can also help to inform the menu. Choosing a mid afternoon garden party tea party meant finger foods. We served an assortment of sandwiches, hors d'oeurves, scones, and sweets. Most of which were favorites of the guest of honor.
Bacon wrapped figs
Caprese hors d'oeuvres
Tarts- (ricotta, Parm, basil topped with spinach/artichoke )
Procusito, apple, Brie
Smoked salmon with dill cream cheese (open face fresh bread)
Egg salade (rye)
Squares - cheesecake brownies and lemon squares
Cookies- confetti, chocolate chip, ginger and spice, Ferrero riches, peanut butter oatmeal
Iced tea/cold brew
Shirley temple punch
We also enjoyed a toast to the graduate with mimosas. The graduate uncorked a bottle of prosecco and filled a champagne glass tower which became mimosas. It made a fun moment which out photographer captured.
Tip #3 - Have a back up plan
Garden parties can be tricky to plan due to weather. Be sure to have a plan B. We kept all the food indoors, partly due to bugs and also incase of a change in weather. Food was set out on the kitchen island where guest could easily move around. A separate dessert bar was set up inside as well. We ensured there was decor inside and out in the event festivities had to move inside. Guests enjoyed both settings throughout the event.
Tip #4 - Book a photographer
I can't tell you how many times I've hosted an event only to get to the end and realize I have no pictures. Or I decide to try and capture everything and feel like i missed out being fully present. I was so blessed to have a photographer at the party. She captured every moment and now I have this beautiful gallery. Such a gift, and I got to be fully present.
If its not in the budget, ask a friend who is great at pics to be in charge of taking photos for you.
Tip #5 - Ensure your guests are comfortable
Your guests will enjoy every moment if they are comfortable. Having easy access to food and beverages will allow for a free flow throughout the event. Ample seating both inside and outside allows guests to mix and mingle. Music playing in the background takes away any awkward silence and helps create a fun atmosphere. Our event went into the evening and we changed into comfortable clothing and gathered around a fire. I brought out smokies and mac and cheese for the evening. Comfort food at its finest.
There you have it! My tips for throwing a great garden party tea party.
We enjoyed every moment of our event and our daughter felt celebrated. So many special memories were captured and I hope these tips will inspire you to celebrate. I've included links to several of the items I used and I hope you will check them out. Please let me know if you have found this helpful or if there is something you'd like to know more about. I look forward to hearing from you! If there is anything we can do to make your next event extra special, we'd love to do so. Please head to gingerandspiceakery.com