I am throwing a tea party for my 93 year old mother-in-law's birthday in March. Any ideas on decor and food?
A successful tea party begins with the invitation.Tea parties can incorporate a variety of occasions, themes and age groups. The tone and the theme of the party will be set for guests by the invitation. An invitation for a tea party should explain the pertinent information guests need to know before attending. For an adult tea party, for example, there could be a great deal of fragile dishware, hot beverages and other items not suitable for children. The invitation should convey that the party is for adults only.
Refreshments - The invitation should convey a brief listing of refreshments. Although tea is obvious, a short synopsis of other items offered is considered the correct etiquette. This does not mean you must include your entire menu. Choose a few items you are sure you will be offering. For example, write on the invitation, "We welcome your company on the 12th of June for tea, danishes and muffins, among other refreshments." Or, simply write, " We request your presence at a tea party brunch on May 22nd." This does not convey specific items but lets your guests know you plan to serve brunch-style foods. Finger foods.
Entertainment - Tea parties often include a harpist or violinist as light background music for the event. It is considered polite and good-natured to include the name of the musician on the invitation. For example, write on the invitation, "Please join us for tea on May 3rd and enjoy the musical musing of violinist John Mathers." This helps promote the services of your hired musician and also provides incentive for guests to come and enjoy live music.
Tea Poem - Tea-oriented poetry is a cheerful way to open an invitation. Begin the invitation with a short poem, then add the pertinent event information, such as the date, time, location and refreshments. Teas2Dine4.com offers many verse options for tea poetry. For example, use this 17th-century verse to open your invitation:
"Tea that helps our head and heart.
Tea medicates most every part.
Tea rejuvenates the very old.
Tea warms the hands of those who're cold."
Definitely treats such as cookies and tea/finger sandwiches and definitely use china cups and saucers if possible :-) I only have a set of four cups and saucers remaining that were my paternal grama's but I would try to find more at a second had store or maybe even borrow from other family members or friends for the occasion.
Here are a couple of links for yummy tea sandwiches :-)
Since she is 93 and had probably had actual tea parties, a bit more serious than today's, I suggest you go retro! plus, everyone should wear a fancy hat.
A really fun idea that will spark a lot of conversation is to ask all the guests to bring a tea cup with them and have each of the guests tell a story about the cup. You will end up with some funny and some really touching stories. Enjoy!
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