Want to learn how to plan a vintage tea party for an upcoming wedding or shower? Or do you simply just feel like entertaining your best friends the old-fashioned way? Well, look no further, as today we’ve got some tips to get you started with planning your perfect vintage tea party!
Image Courtesy of Something Vintage
1. What time is your party?
First things first, when planning a vintage tea party, you must decide what time of day you’re going to have a tea party – brunch, afternoon, or evening. From there, you can choose what recipes and drinks to include in your menus.
There’s something about a breakfast tea party that is fabulous. We’re not used to having a great time first thing in the morning so that makes it extra special. Plus, the food at breakfast can be so varied with fruit, eggs, meats, cheeses, spreads and smoothies! High breakfast is a fun way to go.
In the mid 19-century, Anna Maria, the seventh Duchess of Bedford, introduced ‘Afternoon Tea’ to the world. She couldn’t stand the time between lunch and dinner, and always insisted she was hungry and asked to be brought cakes and tea between 2 – 5 p.m. The Brits are very proud of their tea tradition and since 1868 when Queen Victoria held her first Royal Tea Party at Buckingham Palace, they haven’t stopped. Now, the tradition of afternoon tea has become popular all over the world (according to The Vintage Tea Party, by Angel Adoree).
Evening tea parties can be the most indulgent and glamorous of all, plus nobody will feel naughty drinking tea cocktails. Although not traditional, they can be the most fun since you can be as inventive as you please! Dance, laugh and enjoy!
2. Where will you have your party?
Finding the right location is also essential, whether it’s tea for two, or for one hundred and two. Home is where people feel the most relaxed and comfortable – the most memorable parties are always the ones held in our friend’s homes because they are so intimate and personal. If you’re worried about not having enough space, consider including your outdoor space as well. Most tea parties aren’t seated so you don’t need chairs for everyone, unless you’re planning a seated formal tea. Also, consider renting furniture or marquees or lighting from local businesses to enhance your space at home. We’re thinking vintage rentals from places like Trove Vintage Rentals and Meuse Boutique. Old couches add a great touch to any tea party!
If home isn’t an option, consider your local park, or renting out a heritage home or garden. Just make sure you get in touch with the parks and recreation board about any rules and regulations on food and drinks in the park. If all else fails, go exploring! Bars, restaurants, churches, clubs, town halls – any venue with a little character should definitely be added to your consideration list.
3. How will you invite your guests?
For hosting a vintage tea party, a handwritten invitation is pretty much essential, in our humble opinion. It’s an old-fashioned and personal touch that makes the recipient feel extra special and like you really took the time to invite them to your party. Visit The Vintage Patisserie for some ready-made invitations. Once you’ve set a date, venue and (most importantly) who to invite, the fun can then begin.
Image Courtesy of The Vintage Patisserie
4. How to decorate for your tea party?
The organisational part of the party-planning can be just as fun as the big event! The next big step, our most favourite step, is sourcing out vintage props for your party.
There are plenty of places where you can find amazing vintage items; think garage sales, flea markets, antique markets, Salvation Army thrift stores, local thrift stores, Value Village, antique shops (Main Street is full of these!) and affordable local shops like Spruce Collective, The Passionate Home, The Antique Warehouse.
The best places to find deals are the ones that aren’t labeled as “vintage.” Etsy can also be an amazing place to find vintage pieces, just be careful with finding items in your area, otherwise shipping costs can get pretty pricey.
When buying vintage, make sure you consider the quality. If it’s going to cost more to restore it than it’s worth, there’s no point. Look for things like an old birdcage, teapots, cups and saucers, leather suitcases, intricate frames, vintage evening and cocktail dresses, Union Jack paraphernalia, chairs, couches, silver cutlery (especially tea spoons).
Here’s a list of essentials to buy, rent or create for your party from Angel Adoree, the vintage tea party expert -
- Teacups and saucers
- Dessert plates
- Cake plates
- Cake stands
- Milk jugs
- Sugar bowls
- Glassware and jugs
- Dessert forks, knives, teaspoons and serving spoons
On the non-essential but wonderful list -
- Vintage card games
- Union Jack and/or World War II memorabilia
- Tins and candle holders
- Vintage cameras
- Vintage frames
- Vintage luggage and anything that catches your eye!
To be continued next Tuesday with part two of how to plan the perfect vintage tea party!