A very special bride asked me to coordinate her bridal shower this summer. I’ve been planning tea parties both big and small for over 20 years. This bridal shower tea party was certainly the most unique one I had planned but the challenges that had to be overcome made the final presentation even more rewarding.
Alyssa, the blushing bride, had attended a bridal shower tea party for my sister-in-law. I co-hosted the event at the Loucks Homestead owned by the Scottdale Historic Society. After being at that tea party, Alyssa asked me if I could help her plan her big day. I love helping people plan events and was tickled that she wanted a tea party theme so I was totally on board from the start.
Her bridal shower, however, was going to be in a barn. In July. On the family farm. With no running water. I have planned events before and these constraints were going to present some new challenges but I was very confident that I could do this and I was up for the exciting challenge.
While the notion of planning an event on a farm conjured up beautiful images that I could imagine posting on my blog and possibly winning a cover on a magazine, the logistics quickly started racing in my head after I agreed to help with this special and promising event.
I approach all events like a theater director. After directing roughly 30 musicals and plays, I have a good grasp of organizing all the details needed to produce a beautiful event successfully. I start by breaking down the list of things that need to be done into categories.
Some items would need to be purchased and other items I would need to creatively construct in order to make it unique and stay within the budget. After those details are settled, I figure out who is going to take care of what task. I absolutely love this process.
Having a clear budget is key and knowing what the client (in this case the bride) expects is critical. Often a designer or director can get caught up in what their style is and lose sight of what the client would like. Clearly, if they hired you, they at least generally like your style but this is always a key point I like to make when planning the party. I also love to add little details when possible to make the occasion memorable.
My best friend, Cathy and I love tea and tea parties. We have been best friends since the 7th grade. We discovered our love for tea parties somewhere around the 1990’s and we’ve been enjoying our outings and sharing our knowledge and passion for them with others ever since.
We have hosted tea parties for moms groups, bridal showers, baby showers, Mothers Day, Red Hat Societies, and Christmas teas.
We also thoroughly enjoy supporting the Scottdale Historic Society with themed tea party fund raisers saluting Downtown Abbey. I admit I had never watched an episode of the smash hit so I crammed all four seasons into one month and became addicted to this beautifully written show. I’m excited for the 6th and final season to begin any day and for the September 27, 2015 Tea Party at the Loucks Mansion.
Anyhow, back to our bridal event. I asked my bestie and another dear friend, Joanne (also a lover of all things tea), if they would help me with this huge undertaking. The bride had invited 80 people and it was going to take a great supporting cast to pull this off.
I’m happy to say, this elegant affair exceeded my expectations. The barn looked exquisitely elegant and the weather completely cooperated. All pieces of the massive puzzle fell into place with perfection. Guests were delighted to a fabulous afternoon of merriment. My dear friends and many members of the brides family and friends worked very hard to make the brides vision a reality. But most importantly, the bride and groom attended the bridal shower of their dreams.
In upcoming posts, I’ll be sharing a series of “how to” articles that will instruct how to host your own tea party with a variety of tips and tricks that I’ve learned throughout the years. I will also outline tea party menus, recipes, and place setting if you are interested in a DIY tea party.
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And please comment below and let us know if there are additional topics you would like me to address when it comes to hosting your own tea party.
I hope you have enjoyed our tea party and finding the right tools for the job.
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