When you are planning a hen party for a lucky bride to be, there are so many options to think about. You will need to consider the personality of the bride - is she quiet rather than loud? Would she prefer a quiet day in with her best friends to a wild night out with a big group? Is it just going to be the immediate bride squad, or will you be involving her family and other friends? And this is before you even get to thinking about the actual specific event you might wish to throw for her.
If you want to have a hen party that is steeped in tradition but can be carefully crafted around the unique and wonderful friend you wish to celebrate, then you should consider a Kitchen Tea Party. A little different from the traditional wild night of drinking and dancing, it is a great choice for the bride who prefers a little elegance and traditional charm in her events.
Here, we take a look at fun and informal Kitchen Tea Parties, what they are, why you might want to throw one for your bride-to-be, and some unique ideas for making your Kitchen Tea Party extra special.
Why a Kitchen Tea Party?
You may be wondering why you would want to throw a Kitchen Tea Party over and above the many other options for celebrating the end of your friend’s single life. The great thing about Kitchen Tea Parties is that they fit all kinds of hen parties. If you want to throw a dignified event with her mum and grandmother involved, then this is a fun and relaxed way to do it.
However, they also work if it’s just a group of friends enjoying a more chilled out environment. You can even enjoy a Kitchen Tea Party as part of a full weekend of events, or before heading off for a big night out. Whether you opt for a theme or just go with the flow, this can be a great way to enjoy a peaceful party where you can talk to each other without loud music or too much craziness going on. It is a wonderful choice when you want to catch up with close friends before the excitement of the wedding.
On a more financial note, the cost of hen parties has started to add up over the years so you may find yourself paying out the big bucks to throw an event for your friend before they get married. A small and intimate Kitchen Tea Party is a lovely alternative to these!
Where did the Kitchen Tea Party originate?
Before diving into the many options of how you can make your Kitchen Tea Party special, let’s take a look at the history of this hen party favourite. The Kitchen Tea Party has been going on for many, many years, originating in the 1890s. In the early days, the event was thrown in the kitchen of the bride’s parents and party attendees would bring gifts to help the bride-to-be in her new life. They would enjoy tea and cakes as well as gifts and the party-goers would provide advice on marriage, how to be a good wife (bear in mind this was the 1800s!) and played some fun games.
Nowadays, you are unlikely to find something quite as unfeminist at your Kitchen Tea Party, but it is still seen as a great, more economically friendly alternative to the costly hen parties you might have attended in the past.
Location, location, location
When you are thinking about your Kitchen Tea Party, think about where you want to throw it. While you will want to throw it at home, this can be the home of anyone in the bride’s circle. Perhaps you will want to throw it at her mum’s house, or the home of another family member or friend with the nicest space! You can choose to have it in the kitchen, as tradition dictates, or in the garden, in the living room, or in any other home space that is perfect for entertaining.
So, what are some options for Kitchen Tea Parties that could make your gathering bespoke to your friend?
While you might want to step away from the highly traditional roots of the Kitchen Tea Party, it could be fun to lean into all things vintage! Pick up some cute vintage teacups and saucers, and create a retro tea party ambience. It might even be fun to have the guests give the bride-to-be some less conventional wisdom on married life, riffing off the original Kitchen Tea Parties in the 1800s. Have the guests dress in some retro styles (you could choose an era, or just go with the flow) and make sure there are plenty of flowers, cakes - and glasses of champagne, of course!
Alice’s tea party
For something inspired by one of the most famous tea parties of all time, take a trip to Wonderland. This can be a very fun and lighthearted theme, which you could either use lightly or go full costume party. You might feel as though the Mad Hatter himself has organised your party. Best held in a garden space, you can have chairs of all different shapes and sizes and mismatched cups and plates for the full effect. Make sure to add some creative touches, such as unusual cakes, a range of different teas, and perhaps even a little soft mouse and rabbit to keep you company while you have fun. You might even want to indulge in a little croquet…
Looking for a slightly more active Kitchen Tea Party? Then why not enjoy a tipsy bake-off? This can be a fun way to turn the party into more of an all-day event; you can begin mid-morning with some mimosas and recipes and bake the cakes for the afternoon party. It can be a fun way to bond with your bride squad while you compete to see who can create the best cake (we suggest letting the bride-to-be win, but it’s up to you…) Keep drinks and snacks on hand to keep up the energy.
If you want to give your bride-to-be friend a spa day at home, then this is a great opportunity to do that. Make sure that you have plenty of fluffy bath robes (perhaps embossed with something memorable to mark the day) and give the group a home pampering session complete with mood music, a light lunch, candles, and treats for the relaxation you all need before the wedding.
Are you thinking about throwing your own Kitchen Tea Party? There are so many ways to make this an exciting and fun way to throw a beautiful bride-to-be the perfect party, tailored exactly to her interests and personality. You can have a great time with this, so start planning! The Kitchen Tea Party might have started in the 1890s, but it is a fantastic way to have an intimate, modern gathering.
And don’t forget, if you want to make your Kitchen Tea Party stand out from the crowd, Purely Gourmet has a range of hampers that would be perfect for your Kitchen Tea Party. Browse our range to find the ideal addition to your event.