Monday, October 18, 2010

Bride-To-Be In Wonderland: Very Merry Unbridal Shower and Tea Party

My friend recently got married, and as one of her bridesmaids, I had the pleasure of helping to organize her bridal shower. The maid of honor, the other bridesmaids, and I primarily derived inspiration for the bridal shower from a blog post on an Alice In Wonderland themed shower (by a food blogger who went to school with my husband) and the Queen of Tea Parties, Wandering Chopsticks.

During our hunt for decorations, the maid of honor found an incredible set of matching invitations and "Eat Me" and "Drink Me" party labels on Etsy and a pack of Alice In Wonderland playing cards, and we went to town on using these items to make the tablescape come alive. We downloaded images from Lewis Carroll's books and slid them into apothecary jars filled with candy, and peppered the table with candies and paper daisies. Check out the tea sandwich recipes and more party pictures below!

Cucumber Tea Sandwiches
2 8oz pkgs of cream cheese, softened
1 bundle of fresh dill
2 tsp salt (or salt to taste)
1 large English cucumber, thinly sliced (with peel and seeds intact)
1 loaf of white bread, sliced and with crusts removed

Using the sharp blade of a knife, scratch off/separate the soft dill fronds from the woody stems, and finely mince the fronds. Whip the dill and salt into the cream cheese, and combine thoroughly. Taste and adjust salt accordingly. Spread each slice of white bread with a thin coat of the cream cheese spread and a layer the bread with the cucumber slices. Assemble the sandwiches, making sure that both the upper and lower slices of bread have a thin coat of the spread. Slice the sandwiches into quarters, diagonally. Cover with plastic wrap or wax paper until time to serve, to keep the bread soft.

Egg Salad Tea Sandwiches
1 dozen of boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
1 cup of mayonnaise
1/2 cup of spicy mustard
1/4 cup of sweet pickle relish
1 tsp of black pepper
1 loaf of white bread, sliced and with crusts removed

Combine the eggs, mayonnaise, mustard, relish, and pepper, and mix thoroughly. Generously spread each slice of white bread with a heaping layer the egg salad mixture and assemble the sandwiches by topping the sandwich with another slice of white bread. Slice the sandwiches into quarters, diagonally. Cover with plastic wrap or wax paper until time to serve, to keep the bread soft.

At tea parties, it is important to provide guests with a varied selection of teas. If you keep your pantry stocked with classic teas (such as black tea, green tea, chai tea, and other spiced teas) you should be in good shape. If you are looking to purchase some additional teas and are adventurous, try some great loose-leaf Asian teas (such as jasmine, tung ting, pouchong, and ti kuan yin), and robustly flavored teas such as rooibos and roses, cream Earl Grey, and ginseng. If these tea options sound too overwhelming, do not worry, just do what we did and pick up a variety pack of Bigelow (Celestial Seasonings, or Twinings) teas and you should be good to go for your tea party. (I used to totally shun Bigelow teas, but since we have them at work, I have taken quite a "liking" to some of their flavors.)

Also, another great party time-saver is preparing a crudite platter. I used to prepare all of the vegetables on my own (by washing, peeling, and cutting up carrot and celery sticks), but my husband taught me the error of my ways by showing me how easy it is to open a bag of baby carrots and grape tomatoes and pouring them onto a platter. Take it from me, it is well worth the time and money to take this shortcut.

And there you have it! I hope the pictures gave you some ideas for a tea party or shower you will be holding in the near future!


  1. What a lucky bridesmaid you were, my friend!

    The tea sandwiches look like a real delight!! What stunning pictures too!

    Kisses from Brussels to you!

  2. tea sandwiches look great. saw the SE cotechino photo-nice.

  3. Yum - this bridal shower looks amazing. I thought i saw this Alice theme before...and yep, I was not crazy. I did see this post on T's blog!

  4. Wow!! What an amazing tea party shower. The pictures depicted on jars looks amazing. Going to use this idea in my bridal shower at one of Los Angeles wedding venues as I found your ideas best and easy to prepare. Thanks for sharing.


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