Bridal Shower Tea Party Ideas for a Classic Pre-Wedding Celebration
There are so many bridal shower themes to choose from, but if you're a classic bride (or planning an event for one) a traditional pre-wedding party is likely what you gravitate towards. That's why you'll probably want to stick to one of the most iconic shower styles out there: the tea party. Refined, dainty, and feminine, this theme plays right into what a bridal shower is, at its core, all about: celebrating your upcoming nuptials with all of the incredible women in your life. Need help planning an event straight out of teatime with the Queen at Buckingham Palace? You've come to the right place.
Ahead, you'll find a series of bridal shower tea party ideas, from décor inspiration to menu options. Though all of the following details can all be classified as elegant, you'll notice that there are plenty of nuanced ways to customize your tea party so that it feels right for you. For example, you don't need to plan a fully-pink shower, regardless of what Pinterest tells you an event with this theme should look like (feel free to work within any colorways you see fit!). Alternatively, mix-and-match styles, patterns, and motifs to create a tea party-inspired soirée that feels a bit more modern. At this Event Prep celebration, an upbeat gingham tablecloth and amber taper candles and goblets brought a touch of contemporary flair to the otherwise classic fête (the bride and her best friends clinked the cutest antique cups!).
Another takeaway? An easy way to hit home the aesthetic is to use the tools most associated with tea time, like saucers and teapots, as decorations. Spend a few months collecting vintage teacups—and then turn them into personalized escort cards that double as favors, like one bride-to-be did, ahead. However you decide to translate this popular bridal shower theme on your own big day, know there's an idea out there that's sure to work for your particular vision.
This bridal shower theme wouldn't be complete without actual tea. Think beyond Earl Grey or chamomile and serve interesting varieties that work with the rest of your event's décor. Keeping your decorations pink and feminine? Choose a magenta-hued berry-flavored tea, and serve it in clear pots to really make the most of its color.
When you think about what you'd actually eat at a tea party, what comes to mind? Finger sandwiches, for starters. In that same vein, keep the majority of treats you serve at your shower bite-sized for a thematic touch. This tiny Buttercream Design Co. cake would be the perfect addition to your dessert menu. The rest of this romantic tablescape was created by Magnolia Ranch for an event planned by Hitched JH.
Teacup Escort Cards
Planning a more formal tea party bridal shower with a sit-down meal? You'll likely want to create a seating chart for organization's sake. Use this important detail as a way to reference your celebration's theme by copying Amorology and hanging vintage teacups—tagged with each guest's name and table assignment—from golden hooks.
Tea Party Motifs
There is so much inspiration to glean from this Lia Griffith tabletop: Note the subtly-preppy striped bow (and coordinating placemats!), the floral dishware, and tiny bites, arranged on a three-tier silver platter. All elements would look right at home at your own shower.
Whiskey in a Teacup
Who says you have to fill your teacups with actual tea? Your shower, your rules. Want to serve your favorite spirit instead? Make like the bride at this Event Prep party and send your best friends home with their own cups, filled with whiskey and tea.
Tea party showers often mix well with garden motifs—both styles are distinctly feminine, so feel free to marry the two. Work in some flower-forward details in unexpected ways; bloom-covered paper straws, like these by Dearest Jane, are a fun way to do so.
Use your tea serveware as a chance to fill your event with color and personality. We loved this butterfly-covered teapot, which stood out on a romantic tabletop.
Tea Party Cake
Tea doesn't pair well with super-rich, decadent desserts, so keep your offerings as light as possible. A petite naked cake, decorated with all kinds of bite-sized goodies (this one was baked by Swank Desserts), is a smart choice—and one that won't conflict with your signature drinks' flavors, thanks to its minimal icing.
Here's more proof that blending tea and garden party themes harmoniously is absolutely possible. How sweet are these sugar-flower-topped donuts and their rose gold counterparts by Sweet Lee Made? They'd look so pretty next to a porcelain white teapot.
Believe us, your bridal shower tea party wouldn't be complete without an array of colorful macarons, like these from Ladurée. Get creative and serve them tower-style, à la a mini croquembouche.
Throwing your tea party shower outside? Draw inspiration from the critters of the great outdoors (and this Big Day Celebration tabletop, featuring flowers by In Bloom Florist) and work a few bug motifs onto your tabletop. Note the honeycomb-shaped centerpiece in the middle of this setup; beetle-patterned teacups helped reinforce the unique detail.
Look closely at this bridal shower tabletop by Rebecca Chan Weddings and you'll notice that every detail, from the floral centerpieces and delicate china to the teacups and paper menus, feature the same flower: roses. Recreate this method (with the bloom of your choosing!) when creating your own cohesive tablescapes.
Blue and White
Don't let Pinterest fool you—your tea party bridal shower can involve just about any color palette you'd like (your party doesn't have to be an explosion of pink details!). If you prefer blue to blush, bookmark this pretty (and easy to recreate!) centerpiece, composed of traditional Dutch delft and Chinoiserie vases.
Does your mom have a beloved teapot that she's used and kept safe all of these years? Ask her if you can borrow her piece of porcelain for your shower—actually use it to serve tea or place it near your own setting as a sweet, on-theme reminder of your lineage.
Tiered Dessert Display
The best way to splay your broad array of tiny bridal shower desserts? On plenty of tiered platters (which commonly display finger sandwiches!) and assorted vintage cake stands.
Consider tea-time staples—like honey!—when brainstorming your bridal shower favors. We love how this bride sent her best friends home with tiny jars of the sweet stuff, complete with wooden dippers.