How to Plan a Simple Easter Tea Party
Who should I invite to my Easter tea party?
Obviously, who you invite is completely up to you, but you should think carefully about your guest list. Who you choose to invite affects many of the other decisions you will make. With any party of any kind, there are issues of etiquette as well as considerations to avoid offending family, friends, or associates. These are important issues, but not the primary purpose of this piece. The main decisions about your guest list are:
- Do you want to limit the party to close family and friends or extend it to a broader audience?
- Is this an adults-only party or will you include the kiddos?
- How many people can your home or chosen venue comfortably accommodate?
- What is the “vibe” you’re hoping for at this party? Laid-back and comfortable? Comfortable, but not too relaxed? More formal and business-like?
Once you know, who you’re inviting, you need to decide how to invite them. While tea parties are often seen as formal affairs, modern day sensibilities allow for evites to a casual party. With the wide variety of templates, you can quickly design an invitation that is festive and memorable and receive notifications when guests RSVP. Before you send an email invitation, give some consideration to the age of your guests. Older guests and guests in high school or college tend to check email less often than Gen Xers and late Boomers.
If you’re a little more “old school,” (no judgment here) then you may prefer a hard copy invitation. If so, here are a few ideas:
- If you want to involve kids, let them hand-make the invitations. You ensure the details are correct but let them decorate in spring colors with an Easter theme. This is fun for the kids, and it sets the tone for the party as well as assuring guests that children welcome.
- If you prefer a printed invitation, this is of course more time consuming and expensive, but there are numerous reputable online printerswho will ship your invites within 24 hours.
- Another way to involve kids, whether the invitations are homemade or printed, is to let them hand-deliver a few to grandparents, aunts and uncles, or neighborhood friends. They will feel like they are playing an important part, and it helps to build their excitement for the party.
Because we’re emphasizing simple, easy, and comfortable in this post, “smart casual to “sporty casual” are our broad recommendations. American Stationery has a fun, easy-to-follow party attire guide. Of course, attire is influenced by the whether or not the event is indoors or outdoors and the expected forecast. Also, the time of day is a factor and what types of activities in which guest will participate.
If your party is in the late morning (brunch) or around the noon hour, encourage guests to come directly from their worship service in their Easter outfits, but to bring a change of clothes suitable for a casual tea party. This sets the stage for beautiful, seasonal pictures and allows everyone to be more relaxed following the photos. For children, give them a break. Encourage them wear khaki-style shorts, jumpers, rompers, or comfortable sun dresses. They will be happier, which means you will be happier.
One final note on attire: Be sure to communicate specifically on the invitation what the expectations are. Vague language creates anxiety for guests and awkwardness if they misinterpret your wishes.
What food should I serve at an Easter tea party?
Serve food you like. It is difficult to impossible to know what your guests will and won’t eat. Being sensitive to the possibility of common allergies like nuts or to growing vegetarian/vegan proclivities is important, but there is no need to go overboard. At the risk of overemphasizing the point, this party is intended to be simple and easy, so your menu should be as well.
At My Cup of Tea, we host tea parties approximately once per month for customers who want to celebrate a special occasion. Our menus feature four categories, Tea Sandwiches, Savory Bites, Dessert, and Teas. You can use these broad categories to plan your simple but delicious menu.
For the Tea Sandwiches, we serve the classics: cucumber, chicken salad, and pimento cheese. What about the kids? Our princess tea parties include a PBJ, mini corndogs, and a pinwheel with either ham or turkey. Short of hiring a caterer, the simple approach to these sandwiches is to purchase the ingredients pre-made. Costco, Whole Foods, Chicken Salad Chick and others have delicious chicken salad and pimento cheese. Mini corndogs and pinwheels can be purchased at most grocery stores. And if you prefer not to assemble the PBJs, consider buying Smuckers’ Uncrustables and cutting them into bite-sized triangles.
For the savory bites, the possibilities are almost endless, but as the name says, they should be bite-sized. At My Cup of Tea, we serve mini quiche, sausage balls, and herbed scones. For children, pizza bites and macaroni and cheese cups are very popular. Spinach artichoke cup and brie-stuffed mushrooms are a couple of other suggestions that are easy-to-find or easy-to-make. In keeping with the Easter theme, whipped deviled eggs with dill or any kind of deviled egg you like is another option.
In the dessert category, we love the traditional petit fours for two reasons. One, they are delicious, cake bites that feel special and fancy. Two, almost every town has a place where you can buy them. Along with the petit fours, we offer mini-fudge brownies, Earl Grey cookies, and palmiers. For the kiddos, we serve pudding cups, sugar cookies, and donut holes.
Something to try with the children is making an Easter “carrot” patch.
- Make chocolate pudding and spoon it into you serving cups.
- Crumble Oreo cookies on top of each pudding cup. This is your “soil.”
- Then, melt some orange candy melts in the microwave or on the stove top according to the directions.
- Dip strawberries up to the stems in the melted orange candy. Let them harden and place your “carrots” in the “soil.”
What teas should I serve at an Easter tea party?
Like good wines, high-quality teas have a complex flavor profile. In the same way you would pair wines with food, you should also pair your teas with the items on your menu. Because you can’t have a different tea for every food item, choose teas that are flexible and pair with many different types of foods. And choose teas that are right for the season.
For the Easter season, our Memphis Meadow Lemon Cream is a fine choice. It is rooibos tea bursting with tangy lemon flavor tempered slightly with the taste of fresh cream. This would make wonderful pairing with the spinach artichoke cups and the herbed scones. A perfect green tea for this time of year, is our Japanese Cherry to coincide with the blooming of cherry trees. The aroma alone is worth brewing this favorite, but the cherry flavor complements both spicy and chocolate foods. If you’re serving a number of items that are creamy in flavor and texture, consider a tea that is often served with milk like an Early Grey or English Breakfast. And while all of these teas are thought to be enjoyed best served hot, of the weather is too warm, consider serving them as iced teas too.
How should I decorate for an Easter tea party?
We don’t need to offer too many suggestions. During the spring, flowers are blooming, flowering trees are budding, and the options for using what you see around you are many. Arrange the spring vegetation with dyed Easter eggs or vintage bunnies for a whimsical table decoration. There is no need to spend a lot of time or money. Additionally, beautifully plated food is a decoration itself, so spend as much effort making the food look appealing as decorating.
Don’t stress. Have fun.
Parties of any kind are mostly about spending time with people you enjoy, delighting in good food and beverages, and making memories together. This is especially true for family-focused holidays like Easter. Your guests won’t care if you only have one flower arrangement instead of two, or if you emailed the invitation versus sending in through the mail. What they will remember are the smiles, the laughs, if they felt warmly welcomed. Get your party planning started, involve your kids or grandkids, and have a great time this Easter.