Garden Tea Party Ideas (10 Simple Ways To Create A DIY Wonderland)


I was so over-the-moon when I realized that garden tea-parties are now back in style.

I much prefer tea over coffee — and planning parties is kind of my thing!

So, I suppose that means tea parties are kind of my thing, too!

Don’t come for me just yet, devout coffee drinkers! I realize I’m not in the majority here. Don’t forget, you can serve coffee at your garden tea party, too!

One of my close friends recently asked for an Alice In Wonderland themed bridal shower — so I’m actually in the process of planning a real-life garden tea party myself!

If you’re hoping to plan something similar, keep reading!

10 Garden Tea Party Ideas:

  • Boho Style Seating
  • Vintage Furniture 
  • Alice In Wonderland Inspiration
  • Dreamy Decor
  • Vintage Artifacts
  • Mismatch Teapots & Teacups
  • Garden To Table Finger Foods
  • Infused Tea & Beverages 
  • Fresh Cut Flowers
  • Elegant Attire

Boho Style Seating

My personal fave — Boho Style Seating.

Bohemian themes can go hand-in-hand with garden tea-party themes quite nicely.

Picture this: a light, airy, bright, and flirty setup of Persian rugs, dreamy-patterned blankets, knit, tasseled pillows, and elegantly dressed guests sitting intimately beside each other in a picnic-like fashion.

teacup picnic basket
Picnic-style seating is a perfect way to sit intimately with your friends.

You can set up picnic tables or regular round or rectangular tables, too, if you’d like!

Lace, cotton, or chiffon table covers will certainly fit in with a boho style — but so will plain wooden tables with simple table runners or centerpieces!

If you opt for pillows-on-the-ground seating, stacked wood pallets (make sure there are no nails or splinters!) or leg-less tabletops will work beautifully!

suitcase flowers blanket
Boho style picnics are great themes for a garden tea party.

Vintage Furniture

Whether you liked the boho idea or not — you’ll want to give people the option to sit somewhere a little more comfortable. 

blue tufted tea party bench with hat and flowers
You can arrange some comfortable seats for guests who prefer not to sit on the ground.

…Not that pillows and cushions aren’t comfortable — but remember: some people can’t get to-or-from the ground as easily as they once did. Those people will truly appreciate having a cute chair or sofa to sit in!

My favorite type of furniture?

Vintage furniture!

white chair with hat and flowers
You can dry brush white paint onto an old wooden chair to achieve a shabby-chic vintage look.

You simply can’t go wrong with an tufted couch or an antique love seat!

Don’t forget about the furniture people don’t actually sit on — like fancy old-fashioned dressers to place decorations and food spreads on!

If you’re going for an Alice In Wonderland theme, you could even bring out the old grandfather clock (so long as it’s not too heavy). In fact, even if you aren’t going for the Alice theme, a grandfather clock is an extremely timeless and wonderful addition to any tea party!

Speaking of Alice In Wonderland…

Alice In Wonderland Inspiration

Where do I even begin?! 

I could go on and on for hours about this one — especially since my dear friend is having a Disney themed wedding and an Alice In Wonderland themed, tea party-style bridal shower!

baby's breath quail eggs
Some faux eggs in a nest will make a unique and lovely addition to any table centerpiece.

I want you to picture lots of dreamy, quirky, and Victorian Age decor.

Imagine brass, copper, and gold-painted photo frames hanging over tree branches. (This is especially Alice-esque if you leave the frames empty without photos, glass, or anything for that matter!)

Think of clocks, stopwatches, stacked books, pastels, chess-board patterns, and even bronze or pastel-painted chess pieces! I’m a big fan of mismatch chess pieces!

chess pieces
You can paint your old chess pieces bright pastel colors to achieve that quirky Wonderland aesthetic.

Also, picture mismatch teapots, teacups, saucers, cake plates, and silverware!

Oh, and of course, don’t forget the delectable, colorful desserts made with ingredients directly from your garden!

You can even add some Alice-inspired labels, such as “Eat me”, “This one makes you taller”, and “this one makes you smaller”!

Alice in Wonderland pastries
You can create some pink or red colored desserts using beet juice as a natural food coloring.

I would also highly recommend framing a sign that reads:

“Would you like an adventure now, or shall we have our tea first?”

Alice in Wonderland

If you want to add some framed photos or figurines of a Mad Hatter, a fashionably late rabbit, a Cheshire Cat, and/or a caterpillar with a very rusty memory —  even better!

Absolem the caterpillar may have trouble remembering, but you shall not forget to thank the late Lewis Carroll for all the extraordinary tea-party inspiration!

& one more thing…

Two words:

Tiny. Hats.

This dog has a tiny hat – but a big heart!

(You’re welcome.)

Dreamy Decor

I know. We’ve discussed some exceptionally beautiful decor already — but we’re not finished here. Not yet. 

Have you thought about how stunning it will be to have string lights, chandeliers, candelabras, white pennon banners, doilies, freshly polished silverware, bird baths, bird cages, and tiered ceramic platters covered with delicious garden to table treats? (Don’t worry, we’ll talk more about specific treats a little further on down the track.)

What about paper fans and table runners made from doilies, book pages, or even a garland arranged with plants and flowers from your very own garden?

boho flowers book
You can place books, book pages, and scattered flowers across your table settings to impress your guests.

Speaking of garden — you can even pick flowers from your garden and put them into tea-pot spouts for an added creative flair!

When going for dreamy — think pastels and dusty colors. Think dusty blue, lavender, pale yellow, mint green, muted rose, taupe, and mauve hues!

Oh, and if you have a bar cart, that will make a wonderful addition to your dreamy decor. You can place iced tea and infused water (or wine…fruit-infused sparkling wine, anyone?) pitchers or dispensers on a bar cart! 

I could truly ramble on about decor for hours. For the sake of keeping this blog post short and sweet, though. I say, let your imagination run wild!

clock candle book
Clocks and lanterns make for some pretty dreamy decor as well.

Vintage Artifacts

Since tea parties were extremely common during the Victorian Era of the 19th century, it only makes sense to add some vintage artifacts to your tea party spread!

It doesn’t matter if your garden tea party is pool-side, garden-side, in a greenhouse, or in your sun-room. What matters is that you pull of a beautiful tea party — and most of all — that you enjoy yourself. 

& what could be more enjoyable than breaking bread with your cherished friends and family while delighting them with vintage conversation-pieces?

(Hint: the answer is “Nothing.”)

Think: tasseled lamps, rounded photo frames with sepia-hued photos inside, crystal accents, and floral teacups with matching saucers.

If your great-great-grandparents (or great-great-great) left any kerosene lamps behind, there’s another beautiful antique to display at your tea party. (Though, if an artifact like that feels too valuable to put out, you can easily find some affordable and vintage-looking kerosene lamps online!) 

kerosene lamp
Kerosene lamps add a lovely vintage touch to an already-beautiful table setting.

Fun fact about me: I collect vintage cameras! Coincidentally, the first successful photograph was snapped during the 19th century by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce! 

vintage camera
These vintage cameras make a great addition to any table setting.

Note: we mustn’t forget about Johann Zahn, who designed the first camera during the 17th century!

Admittedly, I don’t have any cameras from the 19th century (yet?), but something tells me my tea party guests won’t know the difference!

So, yes to vintage cameras, Yes to all things vintage.

Go ahead and get creative!

Mismatch Teapots & Teacups

Okay, I say mismatch, but your tea party will (of course) be just as delightful if you go with matching fine china.

For the sake of today, though, we’re talking about unique ideas that you may not have thought of before, so, yes to mismatching!

I know we’ve already discussed teapots and teacups in some of the previous sections, so I’ll keep this short and sweet.

If you already have lots of teaware — and it doesn’t quite match — use it anyway! It’ll add a cute and quirky touch that will delight your guests!

teacup Alice in Wonderland
Don’t be afraid to use what you already have. Matching or not, your guests will be delighted.

If you don’t have teaware, and don’t  want to break the bank buying any — you can actually purchase teacup-shaped paper cups online! 

Don’t knock them until you’ve tried them! The designs on paper teaware are actually quite similar to the ones you’d find on genuine ceramic teaware! 

The best part? Less time in the kitchen watching dishes!

Just remember to recycle, reuse, and compost whenever possible! We must work together to have a greener planet!

Another cool option for paper tea-ware is printable templates. These ones are more suitable for use as decorations, tea-party favors, and/or treat-containers as they would not effectively hold a hot beverage.

Still, they’re an incredibly adorable and crafty addition to any tea-party!

At any rate, my advice would be not to worry too much about getting the perfect teaware. Odds are, your guests will be absolutely thrilled just to be invited to a garden tea party.

& if your guests love you (which I am sure they certainly do), they will love your tea party no matter what kinds of cups they’re drinking from!

Garden To Table Finger Foods

If you have a garden, it probably means you know your way around a kitchen fairly well. We’ve already talked a lot about how to make your decor dreamy and mystifying. Now, you just have to adapt those ideas to your food spread!

We talked about pastels. So think of pastel-colored foods! If you don’t like using food coloring, consider adding natural colors from vegetables right in your garden!

For instance, you could bake tiny (but delicious) plant-based cupcakes and color some icing with beet, carrot, spinach, or blueberry juice! Don’t forget about fresh turmeric, which can naturally add a wonderful golden hue to any food or dessert!

desserts lights
Some tiered dessert displays will add an extra touch of class.

You could also top your desserts with citrus zest, fresh-picked berries, or even sprigs of fresh mint!

You can make your own dips and dressings using fresh vegetables, herbs and spices from your garden! 

Homemade cucumber-dill dip anyone?

You can even put out an array of fresh fruits and vegetables. Think: grapes fresh off the trellis (and washed!), cherry tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, carrots, snap-peas, pears, peaches, apples — the list goes on and on!

large ripe peach
Peaches are sure to be a crowd-pleaser. All you have to do is wash them and slice them. Your guests will take care of the rest!

Don’t even get me started with the finger sandwiches!

My favorite is sliced cucumber, sliced tomato, and hummus or vegan pesto (or both!) on ciabatta bread!

If you’d rather use a whole grain (or any other) bread, you can make cutely shaped pieces of bread using cookie cutters!

For your gluten-free guests: try slicing and roasting sweet potato instead of using bread!

sweet potatoes
Sweet potato toast is simple. Just slice, roast, top, and serve.

P.S. If you haven’t tried sweet potato toast yet, you’re missing out!

I cut my sweet potato into half-inch slices and roast it right in the oven (you can also toast yam slices a few times in the toaster if you have a good toaster and a lot of patience)! My favorite way to top my sweet potato toast is to smash some avocado, add some sea salt and black pepper, and top it all off with some fresh, homemade pico de gallo.

Speaking of pico de gallo, pico de gallo is a great plant-based dipping-option with ingredients you can harvest straight from your garden! 

Whether you make chips from homegrown potatoes or yams, opt for corn chips, or bake your own pita chips — pico de gallo is a fresh salsa that is sure to please the crowd!

Oh, and when it comes to plant-based desserts that are perfect for a tea-party. Try this beautiful (and delicious) rose-colored Vegan Macaroons recipe from okonomikitchen.com!

Magnifique!

Infused Tea & Beverages

The creative possibilities are endless!

Start by making a list of all the things in your garden that would make sense to add to an infused tea or infused water.

herbal tea infusion
You can infuse tea or water with herbs and fruit right from your garden.

I’ll list some examples:

  • Mint
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Chamomile
  • Lemonbalm
  • Lavendar
  • Edible Flowers
  • Sliced Fruits
  • Cherries
  • Berries
  • Citrus Wedges
  • Cinnamon Sticks

I’m only scratching the surface with that list, but I hope it gives you a good starting point!

My favorite homemade tea consists of fresh filtered water, steeped green tea leaves, organic lemon, raspberries, blackberries, and just a hint of 100% medjool date syrup!

Oh, and if you let it cool, throw it in a pitcher, and add lots of ice, forget it!

Heaven in a pitcher!

lime infused water
There are no rules when creating your own infusions. Just use what you have and make sure it tastes great.

I’m also a fan of fruit-infused sangrias, brunch-time mimosas (with fresh-squeezed orange juice!), and cucumber-lemon-watermelon infused water! It’s a perfect liquid alternative to the classic cucumber & watermelon salad!

It’s also a lovely idea to set up a self-serve tea bar with an array of diverse herbs and teas — along with hot water, cold water, and plenty of berries, fruits, herbs, and decorative, edible flowers!

You can also set up a serve-yourself coffee bar for those who just don’t understand that profoundly peaceful appeal of tea-drinking!

I almost kept these ideas a secret, but I’m glad I spilled the tea!

Fresh Cut Flowers

I know we already touched on this briefly, but if you have your own garden, this calls for a floral arranging extravaganza!

Seriously, there’s no better way to add A TON of aesthetic appeal with ZERO pollution or waste than arranging flowers, flowers, and more flowers. 

flowers for wedding
Flowers are biodegradable, making them an Earth-friendly decoration for your tea party.

Flowers are beautiful, dainty, and of course — biodegradable. 

They also smell lovely.

Pro-tip: just make sure not to use extremely potent-smelling flowers next to where people will be eating. The scent of strong florals can often mess with people’s perceptions of how their food tastes — and you want your guests to fully taste and appreciate every delicious flavor that your garden has to offer!

I would highly recommend scattering lots of baby’s breath around your table settings and centerpieces as these flowers add a lot of whimsical vibes. Baby’s breath is easy-to-grow, too!

baby's breath and roses
You can never go wrong with baby’s breath and roses.

There’s also a certain appeal to flowers cascading out from a tea spout.

Some people opt for removing the tops off of their teapots and placing their floral arrangements inside through the top. This opens up the option of adding fairy lights to the spout in order to create an illusion of lights spilling out when the sun goes down!

Kalanchoe-blossfeldiana-Florist-Kalanchoe
Florist Kalanchoe is an evergreen succulent that produces orange flowers.
Image courtesy of user:
Danilo via: Wikimedia Commons: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:
Kalanchoe_blossfeldiana.JPG

You can find 10 ideas for plants with orange flowers in this article.

Elegant Attire

Ahh, last but not least: the attire.

feathered hat
Top hats are always a great option for those who dare to be bold.

For a tea party this elegant, you’ll want your guests to wear something elegant.

I am imagining attire you’d see at a royal tea party in England! 

This might consist of suits or dress shirts with sweaters tied around the neck. This might also involve floral and solid dresses with midi-cuts and high necklines. For the boldly stylish, this may even include lace tea gloves and sophisticated hats!

Wide brimmed sun hats, floppy hats, feathered hats, flower-covered hats, tiny hats with veils and pillbox hats are all prime examples of the classy hats you would find at a tea party. 

For those feeling extra fashionable, a Victorian top hat will undoubtedly be the talked-about hat of the day! 

Regardless of what you wear though, as long as you’re comfortable and feeling confident — you’ll be sure to enjoy yourself!

Conclusion

Now you have the ideas you need to get started on planning the most lovely garden tea party you’ve ever been to. I wish you happy planning, happy harvesting, and happy tea-partying for many years to come!

Thank you for checking out this guest blog post by LMadGz.

Until next time, happy planting!

I hope you found this article helpful.  If so, please share it with someone who can use the information.

You might also be interested in reading my article on common concerns about backyard garden weddings or my article on common questions about backyard garden weddings.

If you want to read some of my most popular posts, check out the “Best of GreenUpSide” page here.  Enjoy!

~Jonathon

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