With a little creativity, you can make a tea party a chic and refined success, even if you're planning on a tight budget. Whether you're hosting a birthday celebration or a sophisticated little gathering for a group of close friends, your teenager's tea party will provide plenty of opportunity for conversation, fun and memory-making.
Choose a venue for the tea party. If it's warm and sunny, host the party in the backyard or at a park. For a party during cold or rainy weather, reserve a small banquet room or transform the basement recreation room into a venue fit for an elegant afternoon soiree. If you're opting for a more casual tea party, just clear a space and lay out a picnic blanket.
Determine the number of guests you'd like to invite and write a guest list. Too many guests might turn an upscale tea party into a loud and rambunctious affair; three to five guests is a reasonable number of guests to provide plenty of animated conversation while maintaining the decorum of the event. Send out simple, elegant invitations requesting that guests reply at least a week ahead of the date to give you plenty of time to ensure you have enough food, beverages and chairs.
Pick out a variety of teas, including green, black and herbal teas. Prepare or buy foods such as sandwiches, crackers and cheese, butter croissants, scones, puff pastries, fruit and vegetable platters, or your choice of hors d'oeuvres. Add a few desserts to the list if your party group has a sweet tooth. Consider miniature tarts, French crullers, shortbread, fudge or chocolate chip cookies.
Decorate the party venue. Cover a table with an elegant tablecloth, add simple place mats and set a dainty tea cup and saucer at each place setting. You can use a vase full of flowers for the table centerpiece or fill a tea pot with fresh cut blooms instead.
Set up a music player in the party room so you can play quiet music in the background throughout the tea party.
Arrange for an etiquette coach to give the group a lesson in proper etiquette for a tea party, or use plain white tea cups and saucers for the party and have the guests paint them to take home as party favors. Fill each one with different flavor tea bags for the teens to continue trying out different herbal teas at home.