This past Sunday, May 8, 2016 Mother’s Day, we hosted a Downton Abbey inspired tea party held on the front lawn of White House Florist! This tea party had been in the works since February and we were so excited to see it all come together! I always like to find an activity to do with my Mom on Mother’s Day and thought, why not create our own event!! Knowing that Melanie Murphy owner of By Invitation Only…Event Planning and Design was not only a tea drinker, she also loved the Downton Abbey show. So, I asked her one day, would you be interested in helping us put together a Tea Party?? We were thrilled she said YES! We couldn’t have done it without her and the BIO Team!!
We had hosted two tea parties previously in 2008 and 2009 and we had a pretty good feeling that several folks would be interested and even though Mother’s Day would follow a particularly busy time for us at the Flower Shop with weddings, proms and of course Mother’s Day week, we also thought it would be the perfect day. And 70 guests agreed!!
We wanted to keep it fairly small and intimate and started selling tickets ($20) in March and by early April we had sold out and had a waiting list!! We encouraged folks to wear their Sunday best, hats and gloves were totally acceptable!!
We had a great team of Columbia area event professionals that helped us put this fabulous event together – Katie Hart of Palmetto Duo photographed our event and provided all of the images in this blog post, Deborah Collins of Charmingly Southern Vintage Rentals provided furniture and accessories for photo area vignettes and Chris Godfrey of fab’rik Lexington put together a fabulous fashion show for our guests.
Melanie and her team not only created the Tea cup display, Bunting hanging from the trees, they provided the China and Silverware, Linens with lace overlays, Silver pitchers & teapots we used for the centerpieces, created the Seating chart and display, Table name cards, Place cards for each guest and Programs, they also prepared and served the food which included Mixed green salad with cranberries & feta, Cucumber sandwiches, Pimento cheese topped bruschetta, Chicken salad in phyllo cups and Cocktail swirls.
We rented tables, chairs and umbrellas from Lee with Celebrations, ordered delicious sweets from Silver Spoon Bake Shop which included cheese straws, mini coconut macaroons, salted caramel brownie bites and petit fours. We also hired Nick Pinelli with Partytime DJ’s to play Downton Abbey themed music throughout the tea party , upbeat songs during the fashion show and make announcements.
Thank you to Dee Lucas with Mission Creative for creating the beautiful welcome sign!!
Here are a few of the centerpieces we made! I wanted them to have a vintage garden feel and used large open roses, dainty miniature roses, dusty miller, peonies, astilbe and hydrangeas with a color palette of soft pinks and creams. I LOVED the table names that were each named for a Downton Abbey character!! So fun!
After the fashion show, our guests were invited to take photos in the various photo areas as well as browse our gift shop. We had a great time and great weather and sincerely hope it was a memorable afternoon for all of our guests!! We will be sure to let you know if we decide to do again next year!! 😉