How to Host A Bridal Shower Tea Party


Griffin, Georgia teahouse The Emerald Chandelier has partnered with Atlanta’s Destination Tea, The U.S. Afternoon Tea Directory, to help you plan a gorgeous and memorable bridal shower tea party. In the three years since they opened, The Emerald Chandelier has already welcomed dozens of bridal shower tea parties, from small to large groups, and now they are sharing their tips and recipes to help you plan a bridal shower tea your guests will rave about. Don’t worry if you’ve never hosted an afternoon tea before, this tea party guide will help you prepare every element of a charming and delicious bridal shower tea.

Where to Begin
First, download Destination Tea’s free Tea Party Planner, and print yourself a front-and-back copy. Next, visit the Bridal Shower Tea Pinterest board, and as you browse each section, choose which items you’ll have at your bridal shower, and fill in the corresponding section on your Tea Party Planner. You can add needed materials and ingredients to the provided Shopping List. Bookmark, pin or print any recipes you like from the Bridal Shower Tea Pinterest board to have ready for the week of your event, when you’ll begin prepping your menu.
Setting the Scene

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, including invitations, games, decorations, teaware, favors and centerpieces, which you can add to “The Scene” section of your Tea Party Planner.
The Menu, Featuring Signature Recipes from 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. Destination Tea has recommended several of our favorite love-themed blends, which you’ll find in the Bridal Shower Tea guide. 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.
  • 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).

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 their recipes for three guest favorites, now in our Bridal Shower Tea party guide, along with a couple options for you to choose from for your menu.
Scones & Spreads
For this love-inspired traditional bridal tea, you’ll find our recommendations in the Bridal Shower Tea Scone board for 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.
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.
More Help Is Available!
If you’d like a little or a lot of help throwing your bridal shower tea party, Destination Tea has other resources for you: