English tea parties are traditional fundraisers for Ladies Aid Societies, church groups and girls' youth groups, both because they suggest elegance and refinement and because they are simple to plan and execute. Determine your guest list and request responses at least two weeks in advance to ensure that you have time to gather tea sets and make or order enough food. Tea parties are typically afternoon events and hostesses serve at least tea, several types of cookies and finger sandwiches, but for a fundraiser, you may wish to provide additional food.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
Things you need
- Tea sets
- Linen tablecloths
- Floral centrepieces
- Linen napkins
- Silver or plate silverware
Decide whether you will have one large table or several small tables; you will need several teapots for a large table or one for each small table. Using several small tables allows you to use several tea sets which do not match.
Send invitations which specify that the party is a fundraiser so that guests are prepared and have the choice to decline if they wish. Be sure to add the location, time, date, recipient of the funds and any dress or child care specifications.
Allow three sandwiches and several cookies per guest for an average length tea, but add additional refreshments if the tea is longer than two hours. You will need to consider any known food allergies while you plan.
Decorate tables with linen cloths and floral centrepieces. Use larger centrepieces for one table; small centrepieces on small tables will allow guests to see one another while talking.
Use linen napkins and check that the silverware on each table matches. Different tables may have different silver and china patterns. If the patterns are sufficiently different, you can use the patterns as part of a seating chart for the guests.
Prepare the teapots by filling them first with warm water and then with boiling water immediately before guests arrive. Allow one teaspoon of tea per guest at the table plus one additional teaspoon of tea for the pot. You need several minutes for the tea to steep.
Thank guests for attending and seat them as they arrive, but do not serve the tea until all of the guests have arrived. Once all of the guests have tea, introduce the representative who will be receiving the funds and indicate where to deposit donations.
Ensure that the party includes any necessary speeches and time for guests to relax, but do not artificially extend the length. Guests should not have so much time that they become bored.
Tips and warnings
- You may also provide favours for guests.
- Guests may break or stain borrowed china and linens, so be sure that the owner is prepared for the]at possibility. Specify in advance who is responsible for any losses.
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