Planning & Inspiration
Garden Tea Party Bridal Shower
There are many reasons to be excited about planning a bridal shower in the spring. Warmer temps and sunshine means the season’s loveliest flowers are in full bloom. Make the most of spring’s splendor by taking the fête outdoors and hosting a garden tea party bridal shower. Delicate teacups, bountiful bouquets, vintage silverware, delicious sandwiches and desserts start a list of party-prepping details. From the décor to the food, the aim is to create a light atmosphere that is romantic and feminine. Now that you have the shower theme picked out, it’s time to get started. Here are ideas to guarantee that your bride has the loveliest afternoon bonding with her dearest friends over tea and shortbread cookies.
Décor and Set Up: When it comes to choosing décor, focus on soft pastels, vintage, florals, lace, and silver and gold accents. The tablescape is a great place to start. Impress the party with centerpiece floral arrangements placed in teapots or a bouquet nestled inside an antique birdcage. Take advantage of being outdoors by hanging lace umbrellas, glass vases filled with flowers, or white lights from a nearby tree. Gilded and whitewashed frames are a stylish way to display special notes to the bride, photos, and food and drink menus.
In addition to the main dining table, set up food and drink bars using shabby chic furniture like a vanity or dresser. Not just a great organizational strategy, these stations can be adorned with lace tablecloths and small flower-filled vases. We suggest reserving separate areas for refreshments, English tea inspired fare, and desserts.
Tableware and Serveware: To create a delightful atmosphere, set the table with vintage-style plates, bowls, teacups, and silverware. If you don’t have these dishes on hand, ask friends and family, or search your local thrift store and Etsy. See about renting options as a last resort. And don’t worry if the plates and cups are not the same – a mismatched table is unique and full of charm. Accent napkins with delicate lace or ribbon.
Spread savory food on silver and floral adorned platters and large plates. For a truly sweet presentation at the dessert buffet, arrange cookies and other delights on elegant tiered stands. A cake with pastel frosting looks just lovely on a milk glass cake stand. At the refreshments bar, have a teapot of hot water, tea, milk, and sugar so guests can fix their own cup of tea. Serve cold beverages in glass pitchers.
Food and Drinks: Plan the food menu around delicate, light fare that would have greeted the guests of Downtown Abbey. Offer afternoon tea sandwiches such as the traditional cucumber butter and smoked salmon with dill and crème fraiche. Pair with deviled eggs, tomato basil soup, and a spinach and strawberry salad with balsamic dressing.
Where to even begin with dessert?! Make it a shower your bride will never forget and present her with a cake decorated with romantic flowers. Round out the sweets with classic shortbread, sugar cookies with edible flowers, scones with jam and clotted crème, lemon bars, and an assortment of chocolate covered fruit. Stick with traditional teas and offer black, herbal, and an iced flavor such as lavender-mint. Water with fruit slices and lemonade are perfect springtime beverages. For a cocktail, we can’t think of anything more beautiful and appropriately named than the Blushing Bride Champagne Cocktail made with champagne, grenadine, passion fruit nectar, and seasonal berries.
Shower Favors: Say goodbye to your guests with a parting gift that they are sure to love. If the teacups are not of sentimental value, let each guest take their cup home along with a small tin of blended tea, or small delicious treats. Even inspire them to plant their own blossoms with a miniature pot of flowers or small planter and bag of seeds.
While hosting a bridal shower is a lot of work, it is also your chance to be creative, bringing together friends and family to celebrate a special woman as she prepares for her wedding day. Make it a most memorable affair by taking the party out to the garden to enjoy a spot of tea amidst the spring’s fresh blooms.