Guest article by: Derek Lotts

Tea parties, especially outdoor ones, are something we all simply love. There is nothing nicer than gathering with a bunch of dear friends and reminiscing about all your memories together while sipping this magical beverage.

However, just like any party, even a tea party needs preparations. Here is how to throw the perfect outdoor tea party you and your friends will remember forever.

Pick the date

Ideally, you should schedule your tea party at least one week in advance so that people you invite have enough time to incorporate the event into their calendars. When it comes to time in particular, probably the best choice is the weekend afternoon, since most people are usually off from work and want to have a good time. Also, an afternoon tea party is a great midday refreshment.

Another great idea is to schedule the party around big events or holidays, so more guests will be totally free to attend.

Send the invitations

Firstly, of course, you should make a list of people you want to invite and address invitations to each one of them individually. And rather than sending a plain white card with the time and date in Times New Roman, set your creativity free and get a couple of those colorful cardstocks and cut them in teapot shape, for example, or you can even mail your invitations in envelopes containing bags of your favorite tea.

Make sure you don’t forget to specify on the invitation if there will be refreshments included – you want your guests to bring their appetite as well.

Set up the venue

A tea party is definitely a special occasion, so setting the mood is also an important part. Since this is an outdoor party, there are some things that need to be taken care of. Firstly, even though we all love to relish in the summer sun, none of us likes sunburns. Plus, there is also that summer rain factor that shouldn’t be neglected. This is why your first job is to provide your guests with proper sun- as well as rain protection. And there is nothing that can solve this issue like a marquee can – check out those cool instant marquees at Sydney Shade that will protect you and your guests from all the weather surprises. They are also offering things like multi-mast cantilever umbrellas, wall mounted umbrellas, commercial shade umbrellas etc. – so you can pick whatever fits your needs best.

The second part is the seating area – you have to make sure everyone has a place to sit and put their teacup.

Finally, there are the decorations. And we all know that the outdoor tea party is not complete without flowers. Make a couple of colorful spring nests to decorate the tables, or make cute little floral place cards. Everything should be floral, colorful, and happy.

Fancy dress it

Since, as said, a tea party is a special occasion, you should dress appropriately for it. In other words, try looking kind of fancy, but not too much. You should put some effort in it, but shouldn’t make a huge deal out of it.

In other words, put on that favorite floral dress of yours, or throw on those suspenders and whip out the aftershave. Maybe you will want to wear your hot pink stilettos, or maybe you are already ironing your button down and searching for your fedora. It is up to you and your vision of fancy.

The tea

While everything about this part is up to you, there is one rule you should follow: Offer the widest possible variety of teas you can. Tea bags, loose tea, plain or flavored; green, white, or black; expensive or cheap… you just cannot go wrong because serving tea at tea parties is the main purpose of tea parties, right? You can also tell your guests to bring their favorite tea with them so that everyone has at least one tea they certainly love AND you will also be able to try something new.

Finger food

Is there anyone who doesn’t like finger sandwiches? Probably not. You can use cookie cutters and make cute shapes or you can simply spread some margarine and put a couple of pickles on a slice of bread and call it a day. As long as you are eating a sandwich-y thing with your fingers – it is a finger sandwich.

Also, those tiny snacks that you can pop into your mouth in just one bite are also a must, whether they are savory or sweet. Biscuits, cookies, petit fours, cheese plates, tiny cupcakes – whatever you can think of is definitely a perfect option. You can even make a cake!

So there you have it, the tea party basics. The rest is really up to you and your preferences. Cheers!

Images provided by author. All are creative commons.