Looking for an elegant, feminine bridal shower theme that’s easy to plan and sure to please? With the Downton Abbey film premiering in September, there’s no better time to break out the teacups and throw your bestie a proper afternoon tea bridal shower. But this isn’t your granny’s tea party! Even though it has a vintage influence, a tea party bridal shower doesn’t need to be stuffy or old fashioned. With the right menu, décor and details, it can be just the kind of fresh and fun girly afternoon that everyone – especially the bride – will love.

Invitations

As always, you set the tone for an event with the invitations. Send out proper invitations for a lovely formal feel, using feminine fonts and spring floral prints. Or get crafty and create custom tags for each guest, which you can attach to a single tea bag and send in a pretty box or envelope.

Menu

My favourite part, of course! I love creating decadent afternoon teas for my event catering clients in Surrey, Sussex, Kent and London! For the perfect afternoon tea menu, stick to the classics. Include all the traditional English favourites: delicate finger sandwiches, buttery scones with berry preserve and clotted cream, dainty petit fours, and a selection of homemade cakes. I make every treat in-house, so the ingredients are fresh and local, and the results are truly delicious!

To complement the food, of course you’ll want to serve a selection of hot teas, from Earl Grey to English Breakfast, with fruit and herb varieties available for guests who prefer them. You could also serve bellinis or champagne cocktails in heirloom coupe glasses. Or why not let guests mix up their own at a prosecco bar?

Venue

One of the great things about an afternoon tea bridal shower is that you have lots of flexibility with where you can host it, including at home. A summer garden party is always a lovely option, although you should make sure you provide some shade for your guests. If you have a spacious living room or kitchen that can work just as well. If you’re worried about having enough space, set up a tea bar and afternoon tea grazing table instead of having guests sit down at a table, and let guests flow from room to room.

Décor

When I’m styling an afternoon tea for a client, I love to include a mixture of heirloom pieces alongside more modern ones. This is the perfect opportunity to bring out the silver tea set, cake stand, or lace tablecloth you inherited. For fun centrepieces, fill tea cups, tea pots, or vintage tin tea canisters with flowers, and place them around the table. Beautiful heirloom china always makes a lovely addition (we have plenty for hire). You could also have garlands of flowers or greenery to decorate the room, or used as a runner across the table for a sit-down affair.

Favours

Stick to the tea party bridal shower theme for your favours. For example, tea cup candles or little potted plants in tea tins. Put together small boxes with different types of tea and a strainer, or send guests home with sugar cookies decorated to look like tea pots or cups and wrapped in cellophane and ribbon.

Most importantly, have fun! Pinkies up, ladies!

Dani x

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