Recently, my friends and I threw a bridal tea for a colleague of mine. We wanted the affair to be classic, a little fancy schmancy, but still fun.
The inspiration stemmed from these gorgeous bridal tea invitations, which were extra beautiful in person. Soft metallic ink on nubby paper... just lovely.
(Source - Wedding Paper Divas)
I found these cute vellum wrappers at Michael's, and they served as additional inspiration for the rest of the party. I loved how they complimented the intricate, almost doily like corners of the invite. I tucked different Tazo tea bags in the wrappers, laid them on a tray, and they served as the tea source for the party, as well as favors when guests left.
Because I have a standard to smallish size buffet, I used cake stands to stack the tea cups and saucers (we were expecting about 20 guests). I added more height by preparing 2 whimsical flowers arrangements (a tad Alice, if you must). We mixed and match silver and gold china to add to the charm of the party.
For the table, I used a hemp taupe runner from Williams Sonoma, vellum flowers scattered on the runner, and silver and gold toned serving trays. The flowers were beautiful, fluffy white hydrangeas. I made food menu cards, and added to the "vintage jewel" theme by adding scrap booking brads I found on sale at Target to the left corner of each menu card.
The food was lovely. We kept our menu simple and classic: tea sandwiches (chicken salad and pimento), crudites, assorted cheeses and crisps, assorted fruits, chocolate covered strawberries, miniature cherry topped cheesecakes, and show-stopping cupcakes from Gigi's.
Starched linen luncheon napkins, "mix and match" silver and gold china, and sterling silver salad forks added an additional polish to the event.
I kept the color scheme consistent throughout my house - creams, taupes, and touches of silver, gold, and black. In the living room (where the guests congregated to visit, eat, and watch the bride-to-be open her gifts), I used more hydrangea, doily-esque scrapbook paper on the coffee table, and I made a pennant to hang over the fireplace. I also made a matching pennant that hung over the doorway to the living room, but I don't have a picture of it.
In the back of the living room, we set up a small gift table for guests to drop their gifts as they arrived. I found the premade "Best Wishes" banner at Michaels (a Martha Stewart find), and hung that above the table. You can't tell from the pictures, but I took the backs off of a couple of the jewel scrapbooking brads and glued them to push pins. When I hung the banner on the wall, the jeweled pins finished off the look.
I had a field day with the flowers. Rachel's Flower Shop is a delightful florist in Memphis, and on Saturdays from 4-5, she has a "happy hour" where all the cut flowers are buy one, get one free. I much prefer using a florist as my source for flowers, because they always have a better selection, funkier finds, and there is just something so invigorating about being surrounded by all the beauty. Plus, while I was there, she made me a simple orchid corsage (at my last minute request) for the guest of honor to wear on her special day. Here are some photos of the arrangements. I was quite proud of my nonprofessional attempts at flower arranging. Obviously, trained florists could do much, much better, but I was going for the "straight from the garden" look, and I think I achieved it.
All in all, we had a lovely time, and the bride gushed over every detail. I think she felt special, which is truly the ultimate goal of any shower, bridal or baby. We are all so very happy for her, as she begins this new chapter in her life. I hope she will look back on this day as a happy memory, surrounded by friends and family who love her.
Friendship and filigree,