AUTHOR: BEC OF 'FOR EVERY HEN'
So you’re hosting a Kitchen Tea for your best friend/sibling and cannot wait to start planning! Which begs the question... where exactly do you start your planning? And what exactly do you need to plan for? Jam packed full of amazing Kitchen Tea ideas, this article 100% has your back! From those early chats with the bride-to-be, right through to activities and games, everything you need to know about hosting a memorable Kitchen Tea is outlined below!
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START YOUR KITCHEN TEA PLANNING EARLY
The best tip I can give you is to start your planning early! Whilst it may not appear to be, organising a Kitchen Tea is quite the job. Every task, no matter how big or small, adds up. Meaning if you want to create a beautiful, thoughtful event, you will need to put in the time and effort.
CATCH UP WITH THE BRIDE
Before you start to plan anything it’s a great idea to have a chat with your beautiful bride to make sure you’re both on the same page. At your catch up, it’s important to get an idea of the following:
WHAT TYPE OF CELEBRATION IS SHE REALLY AFTER?
Before you go ahead and plan an incredibly beautiful kitchen tea, make sure it’s what she really wants! You don’t want to go to all of this effort only to find out that she was hoping for a bridal shower, or even a hen’s party.
>>> RELATED ARTICLE: THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HEN PARTY, BRIDAL SHOWER & KITCHEN TEA EVENTS! <<<
WHEN DOES SHE WANT TO HAVE THE KITCHEN TEA?
Once you’ve established the fact that it’s a Kitchen Tea she’s after, it’s time to work out a date! It’s best to let your bride-to-be pick a day and time that suits her.
On the one hand, wedding planning is HUGE so she’s likely to be pretty busy in the lead-up to her special day (meaning hosting the Kitchen Tea at least two weeks before her nuptials is ideal). On the other hand, if you host the event closer to her wedding, it’s more likely that guests from out of town will be able to attend.
Let her weigh up the pros and cons of each scenario, and come to a decision that works best for her situation. Then pop it in the calendar!
WHO DOES SHE WANT TO INVITE?
Traditionally, a Kitchen Tea is reserved for female friends and family members; but in this day and age there’s no reason close male friend/s and family can’t attend as well (if the bride-to-be wishes, of course!). A Kitchen Tea is also the perfect type of celebration for all generations, with grandmothers and children alike finding it an enjoyable occasion.
With all of this in mind, it’s best to have your bride-to-be write out a guest list for you. This means that everyone she wants to share this special day with has the opportunity to attend!
SAVE THE DATE
★Click here to view a selection of fun ‘Save the Date’ E-vites★
Woohoo! It's time to put the word out to those lucky enough to score an invite! By sending out a ‘Save the Date’ early you’re giving everyone a greater chance of being able to attend (babysitters can be organised, work can be moved around, etc.).
Share the upcoming special date with your bride-to-be’s guest list via digital E-vite (you can find some fun options by clicking here), email, physical post or even a Facebook event page and get everyone pumped for what will be an incredibly fun day!
Thanks to your new intel (from the bride-to-be herself!), you now know when the party will be, who is invited, and the fact that it’s a Kitchen Tea she’s after. With this information at hand, it’s now time to move to the next stage of your planning – brainstorming!
If you haven’t already, get in touch with the other bridesmaids (and/or family members who are helping to plan the Kitchen Tea). An email thread or group conversation on Facebook is a great way to connect with each other and share Kitchen Tea ideas.
Chat about everything from themes, games, activities, food, drinks and gift ideas through to prizes, favours and special ways to personalise the day (e.g. by ordering bunches of her favourite flowers to use as part of the decorations). By putting your heads together you’ll be able to come up with an event tailored to your bride-to-be; one that is well thought out, meaningful and so special!
Tip: Not sure what to do at a kitchen tea? There is some great inspiration (everything from activities to favours) further down in this article!
SET A BUDGET
Now that you have a few ideas rolling around, it’s time to set a budget (a realistic one!). Unlike hen parties, guests attending a Kitchen Tea or Bridal Shower aren’t asked to make a monetary donation towards the day (because gift giving is involved). Rather, the host pays for it all.
It’s important to keep this detail in mind; you don’t want to stretch yourself financially. That being said, the overall costs can be split between bridesmaids and/or family members if they are helping to host the event.
DECIDE ON A LOCATION
Despite the name suggesting that a Kitchen Tea is to be held in, well, a kitchen, when it comes to the venue, the possibilities are pretty endless!
Depending on your budget, a Kitchen Tea could be held at a home (bridesmaids, Maid of Honour, or Mother of the Bride’s houses are all fabulous options) or a hired venue. You could also book a table at your bride-to-be’s favourite cafe/restaurant, or venture into the outdoors; hosting the celebration at a park, near the beach, in the forest, or in a backyard.
SET A THEME
Not essential, but definitely an exciting little surprise for guests and bride-to-be alike! Sweet and classy Kitchen Tea themes such as Mad Hatter Tea Party, Boho, Vintage, White, Her Favourite Colour, Pastels, Fairytale, Handmade, Flowers, Winter, Summer or even Tropical are all popular options. Keep it simple and elegant, with a touch of fun!
Tip: I personally find it easier to decorate when I have a theme in mind. It doesn't have to be anything elaborate. Even picking a few colours (e.g. white, light pink and light purple) makes everything so much easier.
This doesn't mean you go all out in the decor department (because sometimes less really is more). It just means that when you're choosing bunches of flowers, for instance, you stick to that same colour palette (white, light pink and light purple). Everything will flow nicely that way.
SURPRISE THE BRIDE WITH A KITCHEN TEA ACTIVITY
Just because it’s not a hen party doesn’t mean you can’t surprise your beautiful girl with a sweet activity or two! Below are some of our favourite options (many of which slot in perfectly with the overall ‘Kitchen’ theme!):
Kitchen Teas are all about sharing knowledge with others. One of the best ways to do this is by sharing a family recipe and baking it all-together!
A special bonding experience (especially if this is a recipe passed down through many generations) that results in good food and conversation (because, you have to eat what you make!). Working as a group, wine in hand, learning new tricks and creating a delicious feast – it’s bound to be one memorable experience.
Fill a cart or table with an assortment of beautiful flowers. At some point during the day, announce to the party that it’s time get creative. Draw their attention to the flowers and explain that they aren’t just for decoration – they are, in fact, an activity!
Ask guests to make their way to the table and pick out a few of their favourite blooms. Once everyone has a handful of flowers, it’s time to gather around the kitchen table. Bring out craft supplies such as scissors, ribbons and twine so that each guest can then create their very own take-home ‘wedding bouquets’! A fun activity and favour all in one.
Tip: if you want to make a lasting bouquet, consider using dried flowers rather than fresh!
A wonderful Kitchen Tea activity that any age can (and will) enjoy! Make sure you have enough edible decorations (such as sprinkles, icing in a range of colours, shaved chocolate, etc.) for all; then watch in awe as plain biscuits are transformed into heavenly treats before your eyes.
You could even make a little competition out of it, requesting guests create ‘wedding themed’ biscuits; handing out a special prize for the masterpiece judged ‘most creative’ by the bride-to-be!
Similar to above, but rather than sticking to the general ‘wedding’ theme, this time make the rules a little stricter!
Provide guests with piping bags, icing and edible decorations; then leave them to create cute wedding dresses on top of their cupcakes. Take it one step further by printing off small images of your bride-to-be’s face and sticking them to the top of toothpicks. Carefully place these picks into the ‘cupcake dresses’; demonstrating how b-e-a-utiful your bride would look in these sweet-as-can-be outfits on her wedding day!
Side note: This activity could also be used as a cheeky competition - chosen by your bride-to-be, the top 'fashion designer' wins a prize!
EDIBLE KITCHEN GARDEN
Why not help your bride-to-be set up an edible garden for the kitchen by organising a bit of a herb planting sesh?!
Set up a table filled with pots, herb seeds (or starter plants), soil, gloves and small shovels. From here, it’s up to guests (and the bride) to get their hands dirty. And the best part about this activity? These mini herb gardens provide entertainment AND a lasting favour all in one!
HIRE A CARICATURE ARTIST
For a kitchen tea with a very unique twist, why not invest some coin in having a caricature artist come to the party? The bride-to-be along with each of her guests will have the opportunity to be sketched; resulting in gifts/favours that will be forever treasured! It also provides MANY giggles, oohs and ahhs as those watching on see the caricature of their friend come to life in real time!
>>> RELATED ARTICLE: HAVING A CARICATURE ARTIST AT YOUR PARTY <<<
If your bestie enjoys nothing more than hitting up the gig scene, or sitting back and listening to some chilled out tunes, incorporate her love for music by hiring a local musician to entertain. The mix of acoustic melodies, good food, good people and good wine is a recipe for success.
SPLURGE ON PROFESSIONAL CHEFS
If you have cash to splash, there is also the option of hosting a cooking class. Either hire a personal chef to cook restaurant quality food for guests in your home (everyone can watch on and learn some sneaky tricks of the trade at the same time!), or take part in a cooking class at a dedicated venue (whereby guests create their own meals, before sitting down and eating their concoctions together).
SPOIL HER WITH A TIME CAPSULE
Help your best friend and her husband celebrate their one year wedding anniversary with a sweet time capsule. To organise, you’ll need to prepare guests before the celebration by asking them to do one or more of the following:
Ask everyone to add their goodies to the ‘time capsule’ box as they arrive (or throughout the party).
Seal the box once the celebration has wrapped up and gift to your best friend. Make sure you give her strict instructions NOT to open it before her wedding anniversary! If she doesn’t think she’ll last, keep it at your place and gift it to her one year later – what a beautiful surprise it will be!
SEND YOUR KITCHEN TEA INVITATIONS
Now that you have an idea of where the celebration will be, whether or not it will be themed, and what (if any) activities you'll be participating in, it's time to tell the guests! When putting your Kitcen Tea invitations together, make sure you include the following points:
If you decide to do one or two activities and wish to let the guests in on these plans, don't forget to put this information on the invites too. For example, if you're hiring a musician for the day, let guests know when the performance will start so that everyone arrives in plenty of time.
That being said, it can be fun to surprise guests as well - imagine arriving at a celebration and, surprise, finding live acoustic music in the lounge-room!
PLAY SOME GAMES FOR A KITCHEN TEA
Whether they’re used as ice-breakers or to add a bit of lighthearted fun to the day, having a few Kitchen Tea games up your sleeve is definitely a must!
Create your very own trivia game, based entirely on your best friend! To organise, have a chat with your bride-to-be about her fun, weird, interesting and silly quirks (the ones she’s happy to share), and make up questions to go along with her answers.
At the Kitchen Tea, separate guests into groups and, one by one, make your way through each of your pre-written questions. The team who gets the most correct win a prize!
HE SAID SHE SAID
★Click here for He Said She Said question inspiration★
First things first – you need to come up with some super cute couple questions to ask the bride and groom! These can be anything from ‘who met the future in-laws first’ to ‘who proposed?’. Tailor these to your friends as best you can. Print off your questions and head on over to your fave couples house; asking them to fill out their answers.
At the party, hand each guest (or team) a piece of paper and a pen. Now, slowly read out the questions to the group; asking players to write down their answers as you go. When you’ve finished, have your bride-to-be read out the actual answers. One point is awarded for every correct answer; with the person/team receiving the most points at the end being the winner/s.
>>> RELATED ARTICLE: HOW TO PLAY THE ULTIMATE 'HE SAID SHE SAID' GAME <<<
KITCHEN TEA BINGO
When it comes to playing time, ask each party-goer to fill in the blank squares with gifts they think the bride-to-be will receive. As your beautiful bride opens her presents, guests must watch on closely and cross off any gifts that they wrote down before the game started. First to get five in a row (and yell 'BINGO') wins!
MR & MRS QUIZ
This game requires a little bit of organisation (but it is definitely worth it!). A few weeks before the party, ask the soon-to-be husband to answer some questions about himself, his soon-to-be bride, and their relationship. When coming up with these questions, be mindful of the guest list at this Kitchen Tea and the age of guests attending. Keep it classy and fun!
On the day of the Kitchen Tea, sit your beautiful bride-to-be down and, one by one, ask her the very same questions. See how many the couple answer the same!
Tip: Film the groom answering each question. You can then play each of his answers back on the TV after your bride has given her answer. This is a sweet way to tell the party whether or not she was correct.
RECIPES FOR A HAPPY MARRIAGE
★Click here for ‘Recipe Card’ inspiration★
This sweet game (that doubles as a keepsake for the bride-to-be!) can be played in one of two ways:
From here it’s up to guests to share their words of wisdom. At the end of the celebration, your bride-to-be can take home and read these ‘recipes’ in the lead-up to her special day!
WHAT AGE WAS THE BRIDE?
★Click here to view a selection of beautiful ‘What Age was the Bride?’ playing cards★
This is such a cute game! To get it ready, print off at least 5 photos of your bride-to-be from different points in her life. Be sure to write down her correct age in each photo and keep these little details in a safe place (you will need to know this information on the day of her Kitchen Tea!). Display these pictures as you wish (stick to the wall, frame each photo individually, frame photos as a collage, pin to a pinboard, etc.). When it comes time to play, ask each of the girls to guess what age they think the bride-to-be was in the photographs. The person who gets the most right wins!
Tip: This game can also be played with photographs from the bride and groom’s relationship. Guests can then guess the order these big (or small) events in their lives happened or where they were when the photo was taken. Alternatively, Share photos of baby husband and baby wife – guests have to try and guess which baby is which!
For 20 more kitchen tea game ideas, click here!
OTHER KITCHEN TEA IDEAS
MAKE YOUR BEST FRIEND FEEL EXTRA SPECIAL
This Kitchen Tea is all about celebrating your best friend – so making her feel special is a must!
There are so many ways you can do this; from playing her favourite music, decorating with her favourite flowers and/or creating thoughtful keepsakes, to serving her favourite foods and supplying her favourite drink/s. You could also surprise her by bringing a theme to life that she absolutely adores, or by organising an extra special group gift – something she’s always spoken about but never actually owned.
It’s the little things that really count – the thoughtful touches that will mean the world to her. So put your heads together and come up with ways to wow her. It doesn’t have to be expensive; it just has to be her!
DECORATE LIKE A PRO!
When it comes to decor, you can have so much fun! Whether you go for a themed celebration (as mentioned earlier), stick to an overall ‘Kitchen’ vibe, or simply place a few stunning bunches of flowers around; you really can’t go wrong! To help get you inspired, we’ve shared some of our favourite Kitchen Tea decoration ideas below:
ADD COLOUR WITH FLOWERS
when it comes to decorations, flowers are the BEST! Stunning, elegant and colourful, these beauties come in all shapes and sizes (and can be displayed in a range of fun ways, too!). For inspiration when it comes to floral decor, click here.
COUNT DOWN TO THE WEDDING
Using a blackboard or large sign, build excitement by highlighting how little time is left before the big day! E.g. ’14 days until she says ‘I Do’!’
Help guests tell their glasses/champagne flutes apart in the best kind of way by printing off (at the smallest photo size possible) a range of funny (and nice) images of your bride-to-be.
Now for the fun part! Attach one photo per glass (that is, every single glass/champagne flute has it's own individual image of the bride attached to the stem or handle. A hole punch and some twine is an easy way to get this done).
Party-goers will have a great time checking out each other's images AND they won't forget which cup is theirs!
Want the Kitchen Tea to be stunning, different and memorable? Why not use kitchen utensils as they've never been used before!
Fill teapots and teacups with flowers, use cheese graters as candle covers, place floating candles in wine glasses, fill the bowl of a mix master with floral bunches, etc.
Mixing a couple of these eccentric decorations into the day will not only create a fun vibe, but will also continue the Kitchen Tea theme no matter what your location may be (garden, lounge room, etc.).
TEA TIN VASES
For a unique twist on floral decor, why not dig out some old (washed!) tea tins and fill them with stunning blooms? This not only brings the ‘Kitchen Tea’ theme to life, but also makes for a fun talking point.
THE CARDBOARD GROOM
After some funny photo ops? A hilarious way to surprise the bride-to-be? Why not invest in a life-size cutout of the groom?!
Add a sweet, personal touch to the celebration by incorporating old wedding photos. Parents of the bride, parents of the groom, grandparents, etc. These could be framed or placed neatly in a photo album (with a special space at the beginning saved for your bride-to-be!).
If you're after some stunning eco-decor ideas for your Kitchen Tea celebration, click here.
KITCHEN TEA FAVOUR IDEAS
If you would like to give your guests a little something at the end of the celebration, check out the following ideas:
Whether you whip up some delicious baked goods on your own, or order from one of the local bake houses, goodies such as cookies, cupcakes, mini cakes, chocolates and more make for beautiful (and mouth-watering!) favour ideas. Pack neatly in little bags or boxes for extra style.
COOKIE CUTTER SET
Coming in a range of shapes and sizes, you can get your hands on cookie cutter sets for just about any theme/occasion! A fun Kitchen Tea favour that’s also extremely handy in the home, cookie cutter sets are something your lucky guests can use again and again for many years to come!
★Click to view gorgeous seed pack favours★
Help guests create their own little kitchen garden by gifting either mini plant or seed pack favours! Thoughtful, eco-friendly, long-lasting and useful, these edible blooms make such a wonderful gift! Whether they are herbs, vegetables or fruits, party-goers are bound to be excited by the thought of adding to their indoor (or outdoor) gardens.
ENGRAVED WOODEN SPOONS
★Click to view some gorgeous, personalized wooden spoons★
It’s safe to say that wooden spoons are a well-used kitchen utensil – which also makes them a fabulous favour idea! But rather than handing out plain wooden spoons that can be picked up at any cooking store, why not make things a little more special and have each spoon engraved? From quotes to sweet messages, there are many ways to bring the fun to your Kitchen Tea with these divine (and useful) favours!
Typically the bride-to-be gives away her bouquet at the wedding, so this is a fun little twist on tradition that the girls will love. For a bouquet that lasts, we recommend using dried flowers rather than fresh.
TEA CUP SUCCULENTS
Head on down to your local op shop and find yourself some pretty tea cups! Fill each of these little beauties with succulents and soil; then finish off your favour by attaching a name tag to the handle. Living favours with a unique twist – everyone will love them!
After more Kitchen Tea favour inspiration? Check out the following articles:
Party Bag Ideas - Delight Your Guests with Eco-gift
Bridal Shower Prize Ideas (these also work nicely as favours)
RELATED KITCHEN TEA ARTICLES
If you loved the Kitchen Tea ideas mentioned above, you may also enjoy the following articles! Blasting any confusion you may have had, the first will show you exactly what the differences are between a Kitchen Tea, Bridal Shower and Hen's Party (plus fun ways to combine two celebrations if your bride-to-be is after a little bit of everything!). The second gives you SO many wonderful Kitchen Tea activity ideas, the perfect way to keep your lovely guests entertained!
FINAL THOUGHTS ON PLANNING A KITCHEN TEA
Phew! That was a lot of info to digest, but hopefully it has answered your question about how to plan a kitchen tea (and in turn will make your planning that little bit easier and a lot more fun!). I'll keep adding to this article as more ideas come to mind. Likewise, if I've missed any inspiration you feel others would LOVE, please don't hesitate to share your thoughts via the comments section below or on our socials (AUS Facebook Group | Worldwide Facebook Group | Pinterest).
Cheers to a wonderful Kitchen Tea (planned to a tee!).
Much love, keep smiling - Bec x
P.S. THE BELOW IMAGE IS PERFECT FOR PINTEREST... GO ON & SHARE THESE KITCHEN TEA PLANNING TIPS - YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO! :-)