Celebrate your matriarch with this classic party theme.

By Nancy Mattia
May 05, 2020
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leaves and flowers tea american made
Credit: Yasu + Junko

If you're searching for a Mother's Day brunch theme for this year's event (or day-dreaming for a future date when you and Mom are able to congregate), look no further than a tea party. Mom, Grandma, and your aunts will be touched by your efforts to celebrate them—and the rest of the mothers and mother figures in your life!—on this special day, especially with such a fun celebration style. Ahead, several ideas to help you pull off the ultimate Mother's Day tea party (using items you likely already have around the house).

Feminine Decorations

Embrace all things floral and feminine, like tablecloths embroidered with whimsical blooms or gingham place mats and napkins. And if you have a vintage tea pot, turn it into a centerpiece filled with flowers from your garden. Bunches of grapes cascading from dessert stands also make a statement. You could also use edible items to execute a springtime color scheme, says Jason Mitchell Kahn, an event planner in New York City. "Fill clear cylinders with lemons and tangerines to bring bright colors to the table," he notes. Display hats on stands—a garden party favorite. If you happen to collect vintage tea and biscuit tins, this is the perfect opportunity to display them; place them on stacks of books to give them some height.

Calligraphed Place Cards

Even if you're a small group, using place cards at each setting is a festive way of seating your guests in style; plus, it speaks to the posh formality of a tea party. Any plain heavyweight paper will do—and then pull out your calligraphy tools to pen each loved one's name in style (paying special attention to Mom's, of course).

Your Best China

Dust off your best china and those specialty pieces you don't use that often, like multi-tiered servers, a silver coffee or tea pot, or a crystal water pitcher.

Simple Menu

Keep the cuisine simple, using what you have at home or foods that are more accessible to you. If you want to execute a traditional tea party menu, think small bites and sweets—cucumber-smoked salmon, egg salad, and roast beef sandwiches (called finger sandwiches), cranberry-orange scones, and fruit tarts. Since it's an afternoon tea party, no one will expect a full meal.

Tea, Every Which Way

Offer a variety of teas, hot and cold. Serve some signature favorites, like Earl Grey and peppermint, but also offer interesting blends like green ginger and smoked mango for a special touch. Set out sugar, honey, lemon slices, and milk—and offer water, Champagne (if you have it!), and soft drinks, too.

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