Top Ten Tea Party Planning Mistakes

Top Ten Tea Party Planning Mistakes
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A tea party is a unique type of party with a long tradition and ceremony behind it. It's not a coronation but certainly an event worthy of planning. You'll be well on your way to a successful tea party for children if you'll begin by heeding this list of common mistakes:
Planning a tea party for a child who is simply too young

I know that the idea of planning a tea party for your three year old daughter who looks adorable in a frilly dress seems just perfect but please, please, please take my seasoned advice and wait until your daughter is at least FIVE years old before you plan her first tea party. At it's best, a tea party is appreciated and enjoyed the most by girls between the ages of five and nine.

Not allowing proper time to research and plan

Give yourself plenty of time, at least four to six weeks, to plan the details of your first tea party.

Inviting too many guests

Your first tea party experience with your daughter should be a memorable event because you had a lovely time not because there were twenty-four little guests running around in your house and making you crazy. Keep the guest list for your first tea party simple and limit the number of guests to about eight. This will also keep the cost of your party reasonable.

Inviting the wrong mix of guests

Invite guests who are relatively the same age as your daughter. The more varied the ages, the more work it is for you to try to please everyone.

Excluding fathers and boys

A tea party does not mean "girls only". Keep in mind dads and brothers! No one expects them to wear gloves and pearls but perhaps they can help out at the party as butlers by simply opening the door and greeting your guests. Perhaps they can escort the guests into the parlor! If your daughter is friends with a few boys or has a special male cousin - invite them. You'll be surprised how much fun boys have too!

Not setting a time limit for your party

Anywhere between one and a half and two hours is plenty of time for your first tea party.

Not making a schedule for the day of the tea party

Make a list of what you would like your guests to be doing from the moment they arrive until the time they leave. Keep in mind that you may have guests who arrive early and you may have guests who arrive late. The first activity that you do should not depend on all of the guests being there. Also remember to be flexible, if the little ladies are enjoying something - let them enjoy it a little longer. If a game is not working, move on to something else.

Not getting any help

You only have two hands! Make arrangements in advance with family members, friends or babysitters to assist you on the day of your tea party. With eight guests attending, I recommend at least two assistants. This way, you will be able to be a PART of the party and not just the producer. Let these assistants help with serving the food and taking the pictures for you. In other words, stay out of the kitchen, put the cameras down and go put on some gloves and a hat and sit with your child and her friends and enjoy your day together. You can chat with the other moms after the party is over.

Not involving your daughter in the party planning

Involve your daughter in the planning of her first tea party right from the start. Let her help pick the invitations. If her handwriting is neat let her address them! If not, let her add some stickers or stamp the envelopes and drop them in the mailbox. Keep an RSVP list near the phone and let her check off the names as the guest call. Talk about the games she would like to play or a craft project she would like to make. Let her help select the menu and the party favors. Keep reminding her that is is her special day.

Overdoing the Menu

Your party will be a success even if you don't make your scones from scratch! Keep your menu simple and serve finger foods that you can purchase inexpensively at your local supermarket. More importantly, make sure your menu includes food that you child likes! Some small tea sandwiches, cookies, sliced fruits in season and little petit fours (from the bakery) - easy and cheap.


About The Author

Residing in northern New Jersey, Lisa Marie Mihalina owns and operates a floating tea party business for both the young and the young at heart. Visit her at

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