Last week my daughter Quinn turned two and we celebrated her birthday party with a ‘Tea for Two’ theme. Mom and I decided while we’re hosting the party to round up our favorite tips and inspiration for your own parties this season as the holidays are coming up.
1. DIY WHEN YOU CAN
Mom and I love to hire talented people to help us create beautiful spaces and parties, but sometimes the budget only allows for so much. We’ve hired someone to create balloon arches for past events but decided to try it on our own. The size arch we needed might have cost $700 or more. We found a kit on Amazon for under $20. The biggest tip we can share is to buy an electric air pump. We paid around $20 for this as well. The time it saved was well worth it. Another tip is to tie a few balloons together to make a fuller arch. The strip is easily tacked up with some small finishing nails or tacks that won’t leave big holes in your walls. We put the big balloons in the corner to make a bigger impact. It took a couple hours and we love the way it turned out!
2. MAKE A SIMPLE MENU
Grazing tables are very popular these days and our large farm table really lends itself to that kind of thing. But sometimes a menu with fewer items keeps the cost down, is easier to create and makes as big of a statement! We chose “Tea for Two “ for Quinn’s party. When you have a theme, sometimes the menu writes itself. We had under 10 items. Of course, we had to have tea sandwiches. And since we had so many little ones we made a PB&J. We made them yummy for adults by using a gourmet preserve and peanut butter from Central Market, the fancy kind! We also made a cucumber with herbed creme cheese and a chicken salad sandwich. We’ll share the recipe for the chicken salad our friend Shannon from the Little White Barn created. It’s the best! We also did berries in bamboo boats with whipped cream and celery/carrot sticks in bamboo cups with ranch dip in the bottom. The placement of the food on boards and in fun containers makes our table welcoming. We like to lay these serving pieces out the night before the party so we have an idea of our table layout. We did dessert on the opposite end of the table. A simple white frosted cake dressed up with roses and a tiny teacup for a topper was the centerpiece. But the under $10 doughnut pile was everyones favorite! We just piled white glazed doughnuts and added pink mini roses and eucalyptus! Fun, quick and easy! We filled a glass container with pink cotton candy flavored popcorn from our favorite Popcorn Papa! And lastly we put cupcakes in tea cups on a tiered tray! Another tip is to use thrifted items for display. The mix matched teacups were an estate sale find and you can give them as thank you gifts for guests to take home.
3. NO-FUSS PHOTO OP
The balloon arch created a great backdrop for our large group photos. But we also wanted a way to capture photos of Quinn and her little friends. We simply used her tiny table and chairs set for tea for two. We found a heart board with a beaded hanger on clearance at Hobby Lobby and used our cricket to say “You’re my cup of tea!” The little girls especially loved sharing cookies and tea and we captured sweet memories of Quinn and her friends!
4. BUILD AROUND WHAT YOU HAVE
We were already decorated for fall so we chose the colors and florals that we could incorporate into what was out. For example we had Cinderella Pumpkins in muted orange, emerald green, and blue hues. We used those colors in the balloon arch, adding just a touch of rose gold. Then we added more muted pinks along with the other sunset colors in our floral arrangements, as well cake florals and the other decor. We love using nature in our tablescapes and we already had a foundation with moss laid down the table, so we simply added a few succulents to give it some more whimsey!
We know the time for hosting is coming up and we’ll be sharing more ways to make a big impact without breaking the bank. And more importantly with less stress so you can enjoy time with family and friends this holiday season! I’d love to hear your tips for hosting in the comments below! What do you thinking about Quinn’s party?