Question:I am chairing for the PTA a Mother/Daughter tea party and I am looking for some ideas such as the practice of guests decorating their own tables and bringing their own china. Any ideas?
I love all the different looks that end up being put together when several hostesses/guests decorate. In particular, what is normally done is to 'assign' a hostess to each table, and they provide the place settings, centerpieces, tea service and, if you are handing out tea party favors, they also usually provide them for each of their guests. The food and tea is usually provided by the main organization.
Themes can be as simple as a color theme, or as elaborate as a country(nationality) theme. Some do seasonal themes, like Christmas, Easter, or Mother's Day.
If you will end up doing the decorating and providing the place settings, it is a fun thing to ask everyone to bring their favorite tea cup. During the Tea, you can ask the ladies to share stories about their cups. ie: did it belong to her Grandmother, was it a gift from a special friend...
You didn't happen to mention if this was a fundraiser for the school or not. If it is a fundraiser, it's not uncommon to ask $15-20 or more per person, if you offer a little etiquette class with it you can ask $30-50 for adults and $20-$35 for children. This class is usually a breif over-veiw of how to enjoy your food and drinks, how to pass items, when to start eating, when to be ready to leave the table...
A fun way to increase interest and participation is to offer a prize for the nicest table, like a $100 gift card for 1st place, $50 for 2nd, and $20 for 3rd, that are donated by local stores or a mall. The tables are voted on with a secret ballot. Before tea is served, pass out 'ballots' and ask the guests to walk around, looking at the tables (each one is numbered or named and is marked on the table itself and on the ballot). Have a chart set up on poster board so someone who has volunteered can easily collect the ballots and tally up how many votes each table received. At the end of the tea,before guests start leaving, the winner is announced.
Some ladies also like to participate in a 'hat fashion show'. Not all will want to participate, even if they wear a hat, but most will get into the spirit of it. Again the audience can vote or a panel of 'judges' can be selected. This can be done just for fun and award ribbons given, or again, gifts can be given to the winners. You can have a second walk through for the young ladies who would like to participate.
Your Tea Party Guide