Are you planning a bridal shower but want to make it a bit different than the usual shower? Consider incorporating an afternoon tea theme into your plans. The event doesn't need to be a serious high tea with straight faces all around. Make it fun for the bride and the guests by going all out and inspiring everyone to get involved.
If you want your guests to arrive prepared, make sure their invitation states that they are invited for an afternoon tea party. Hint that they bring items to help lighten the mood, such as fancy gloves, hankies or hats that they can use all through the shower. Getting the guests involved before the shower means fewer surprises during the shower and gives them a heads up as to what they can expect. There will always be some guests who won't feel comfortable participating, so don't let them get you down.
It's also a great idea to have some extra costume pieces for guests who don't have anything at home that they can bring.
The best way to get the atmosphere of an afternoon tea is to serve tea in fancy tea pots. Borrow these from friends and family if you don't have them yourself. Just be careful with them to make sure they don't break. You'll also require fancy tea cups and saucers and entice everyone to drink with their pinkie fingers in the air! Make it light-hearted and turn it into a shower game!
You can also use tea pots as vases and fill them with fresh flowers. These would make excellent centerpieces, set on a napkin or embroidered cloth.
To accompany the tea, serve dainty sandwiches filled with cream cheese and cucumber slices. Scones with homemade preserves and thick cream are also applicable for this theme. Small cookies and squares will introduce some diversity to your party menu.
An afternoon tea bridal shower isn't complete without, of course, the tea. But don't feel constrained to only this beverage. You can serve iced tea, coffee, or punch as well, but keep in the spirit by serving all of the drinks in tea cups.
If you have lots of room, set up dainty tables with four or five chairs at each table for the atmosphere of smaller parties going on at the same time. If tea is the main beverage, you can set up one pot per table and let your guests help themselves.
Keep the bride involved in the theme by providing some tea party garments for her. She may appreciate the theme since it will take some of the attention and pressure off of her as the guests get caught up in their tea party. Having a theme also helps to keep the festivities going without those awkward silences that occasionally happen because it gives people who don't have a lot in common something to talk about.
Make sure that you and your co-hosts are willing to jump head first into the shower theme. The more you are willing to get into it, the more willing your guests will be to follow suit. Your enthusiasm will be contagious and will make everyone else more comfortable to join in. If you're having fun, your guests will too.