If your bride-to-be would love a tea party for her bridal shower, you’re in luck, because a beautiful Georgia teahouse, The Emerald Chandelier, has worked with us to put together this Bridal Shower Tea party guide. In less than three years since opening, The Emerald Chandelier’s stunning interior and delicious homemade menus has won them an instant following. We often have folks recommend that we visit Griffin, GA to check out their afternoon tea (of course, you know we did that right away). And we loved it! So we are proud to have The Emerald Chandelier as one of Destination Tea’s advertisers, and now in a new way, as a sponsor of our Bridal Shower Tea party guide.
In the short time they have been open, The Emerald Chandelier has welcomed dozens of bridal shower tea parties, from small to large groups, and now they are sharing tips and recipes to help you plan a bridal shower tea your guests will rave about. Maybe you’ve never hosted an afternoon tea before, and you’re wishing an expert would show you everything you’d need to throw a memorable tea party. Well, let’s get started!
Notes on Using Destination Tea to Plan Your Tea Party
Here’s how we suggest using our resources:
- Print out a front-and-back copy of Destination Tea’s Tea Party Planner.
- As you browse The Scene, Tea Selection, Tea Sandwiches, Scones and Sweets ideas in our Bridal Shower Tea Pinterest board, choose which items you’ll have at your tea party, and fill in the related sections of your Tea Party Planner, adding needed items and ingredients to your Shopping List.
- Bookmark, pin or print any recipes you like from the Bridal Shower Tea Pinterest board, and have fun making your preparations!
Setting the Scene? That’s Everything!
Because bridal showers date back to the 16th century, and became popular in the Victorian era, we went with a traditional, romantic white-and-gold look for this bridal shower tea. Of course, your party decorations may reflect the bride’s style and bridal party colors. Or take inspiration from The Emerald Chandelier, which is decorated in “grandmillenial” style, updating vintage decor with modern patterns and bright colors. In addition to tea tables set for guests, The Emerald Chandelier recommends setting up the following areas:
- Gifts table
- Champagne bowl and glasses
- Bridal shower cake table
- Space for speeches and opening gifts (possibly decorate the bride-to-be’s chair)
- Photo station (consider backdrop or props)
Remember that favors can double as place setting decor. In The Scene board, you’ll find inspiration for creative touches that will make your Bridal Shower Tea party special, which you can add to “The Scene” section of your Tea Party Planner, including:
- Customized Bridal Shower Tea Party Invitations
- French Lace Embroidered Tablecloth
- How to Make A Floral Runner
- Hanging Teacup Display (DIY or purchase)
- Milk White Candlesticks
- Hatch Champagne Bowl
- Lenox Wicker Creek Tea Tray
- Emma Bridgewater Mr. & Mrs. Teapot
- Diana White Porcelain Tea Set
- White Lace Berry Teapot, Sugar and Creamer Set
- Paragon Bridal Teapot
- Grace Teaware White Lace Teapot
- Grace Teaware White Gold Scallop Teapot
- Teabloom Buckingham Palace Teapot & Warmer Set
- Rosalie Sugar and Creamer Set
- White Beaded Ceramic Three Tier Tray from Pottery Barn
- Bekith Porcelain Three Tiered Tray
- Two-Hearts Teaspoons
- Where to Buy Teacups Online
- White-and-Gold Folding Hand Fans
- DIY Customized Tea Strainers
- Silicone Teacup Cupcake Molds
- Advice for the Bride
- Bridal Tea Games Bundle
Take this tip from The Emerald Chandelier: if you have a large group that you need to seat in multiple rooms, you can plan table decor unique to each room.
The Menu: Bridal Shower Tea, featuring recipes of The Emerald Chandelier
As bridal showers happen year-round, we’ve selected recipes with ingredients that are generally available regardless of the season. Be sure to check with your guests about any possible allergies, and find out about your bride’s favorite flavors or teas, so that you might include them in your menu. Especially for a larger bridal shower tea, you’ll want to prepare as many of your recipes in advance, and recruit one or two helpers the morning of your event.
Selecting Your Teas
Especially when hosting a larger tea party, as a bridal shower can be, it’s wise to serve a caffeinated and caffeine-free option so that there’s something for everyone. You may also want to make it a royal bridal tea, by offering champagne. To simplify tea preparation for a large group, we have a few tricks to offer:
- Brew large batches of each tea the morning of, then keep warm on the stove in a stainless steel pot, to ladle into teapots and serve warm.
- Prepare a tea concentrate the night before (triple the tea to water ratio), refrigerate, then use a hot water urn to reconstitute teas in teapots at the ready. See the chart below from the Dunwoody Preservation Trust Annual Tea for an easy guide customized for varying teapot sizes.
- If you set up your bridal tea as a buffet, or want to be sure teas stay warm on the tables, you may like to set teapots on warmers (never leaving an empty teapot or tea leaves brewing in a teapot on a warmer).
Our Bridal Shower Tea party tea suggestions feature some of our favorite love-themed blends:
- Wedding Tea (white tea with vanilla, lemon and roses) by Harney & Sons (can also be ordered in customized tins as favors)
- Blessings Tea (jasmine green tea with lavender and peppermint) by High Garden
- Lover’s Leap (black tea with roses, chamomile, bergamot and black currant) by Smith Teamaker
- Oolong Passion (oolong tea with organic jasmine and passionfruit flavor) by Te Bella Tea Company
- Blossom (green tea with cherry blossoms) by Firebelly Tea
- Passionfruit Tango (hibiscus, cinnamon, apple, lemon grass, raspberry leaves, passionfruit flavor, roses, mango and peach) by Adagio Teas
Tea Sandwiches / Savories
If you are hosting a large party, you may want to keep your tea sandwich course to three recipes to cut down on prep time. The Emerald Chandelier makes all their tea sandwich fillings from scratch, and we recommend you do the same, because nothing can match the taste of freshly prepared food. They shared with us their recipes for three guest favorites, now in our Bridal Shower Tea party guide, along with a couple options we added:
- Lemony Dill Cucumber Tea Sandwiches
- Chicken Salad Tea Sandwiches
- Pimento Cheese Tea Sandwiches
- Calla Lily Tea Sandwiches
- Smoked Turkey & Apple Tea Sandwiches
- Spinach Artichoke Bites
- Tortilla Salami Roses
Scones & Spreads
For this love-inspired traditional bridal tea, we recommend going with the standard scone and spreads you’d find at a cream tea, with a touch of red for love. These can all be made weeks in advance, cut out and frozen, ready to slip in the oven 20 minutes before serving. Spreads can be plated and covered with plastic wrap the night before. If you serve three spreads, we recommend looking online or in thrift stores for three-bowl dishes that may be referred to as candy dishes. And remember to include mini spoons for the guests to serve themselves.
- English Scones
- Raspberry Rose Scones
- Homemade Clotted Cream
- Homemade Strawberry Jam
- Homemade Lemon Curd
- Three-Bowl Dish for Condiments
What’s for dessert? As your bridal shower tea will be an elegant affair, we’ve suggested desserts that are impressive in their presentation, and dainty in portion size so that they can be enjoyed without muss. For those who order a bridal cake or themed iced cookies from a baker, we’ve included inspiration for vintage style bridal cakes, bridal tea party sugar cookies, and bridal themed cake toppers. Remember to set out pastry forks if you serve anything larger than a bite or two.
- Petit Fours
- Mini Pavlovas
- Strawberry Cheesecake Bites
- Mini Grapefruit Upside Down Cakes
- Chocolate and Violet Fancies
- Mini Banana Cream Cookie Pies
- Earl Grey Chiffon Cake
Let’s Get Started Planning Your Bridal Shower Tea
If you recommend a delicious treat, tea or fun Bridal Shower Tea themed party game, please let us know in the comments, and thank you! Click on the pinboard below to delve into our suggestions for your Bridal Shower Tea and happy party planning!