Birthday Parties for Teens: Black & White Tea
As your children get older it gets more challenging to come up with birthday party ideas that will be unique and appropriate for teenagers. When planning a birthday party for a teen there are many routes to go, slumber parties, dances, themed parties, but one of my favorite parties for teenage girls is a Black & White Tea. Girls of all ages like to get dressed up and love tea parties - it's one of those girl things. With a little planning you can throw the party of her dreams and give her and her friends an excused to get dressed up and act prissy!
Start With A Plan
It goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway, it's best to start with a plan. Give yourself plenty of time. Grab a cup of tea, a pen, and paper and write out your plan. You will need to determine how many people you will invite. Decide the maximum number you can accommodate in the space you have available and then let your daughter help you with the guest list. The planning of the party can give you and your daughter some special quality time as well.
You will need more space for a tea than other kinds of parties because all the guests will need to be seated at a table. You can use the tables you have and borrow or rent some others. Round tables work great but rectangle tables will also work; you will be decorating the tables so it really doesn't matter. This is also a good time to inventory what supplies you have and ask around to borrow some or purchase if necessary. This is the time to pull out all the fancy china, serving dishes, etc. You will need one large teapot for each table, tea cups and saucers, and small plates for each guest. You will also need decorations and table linens but I will discuss these later.
Invitations, Favors and More
Once you have your plan you can start on your invitations. You will need to send these out well in advance. The guests will be asked to wear black & white so they will need some time to decide on what they will wear. Of course, girls love doing this and they will have fun talking to each other about what they will wear.
You can purchase invitations at a party store; black and white invitations shouldn't be hard to find, but you can also make the invitations. You can use rubber stamps, patterned paper, or stickers to make one of a kind invitations. You can even carry through on the theme to create goodie bags and table decorations using the same supplies.
Food, Drinks and Tea Of Course
In trying to stay with a traditional high tea theme it helps to do a little research. Check out this site for everything you ever wanted to know about High Tea. You will find everything you need to give you plenty of ideas for your menu including suggestions for each course. This site also gives you a brief history of High Tea which can be printed on little cards for each girl's goodie bag.
The only decorations that are really needed are the table settings and the more elegant and formal the better. Black table cloths or sheets can be used to cover the tables and then drape white tulle secured with black ribbon bows. The centerpiece of each table can consist of a candelabra or other candles, some simple flowers and china. By the time you place a sugar bowl, creamer, bowl of lemons and the settings at each place the table will appear quite elegant. At each place setting have a picture of the guest and the guest of honor in a plastic frame decorated with black and white ribbon. This will act as a place card as well as a favor to take home. Also at each place setting you can make little menu cards with the afternoon's menu.
Make the entertainment part of the tea service by asking two or three college guys or dads to do the serving. Ask them to wear black pants and white shirts and provide ties or bow ties and a black garter. You will need to give them a lesson on tea serving before the party but if you enlist the right servers your entertainment will take care of itself! Another nice touch is to have someone playing the guitar during the party adding to the elegant atmosphere.
Pulling It All Together
As the guests enter let your daughter be the hostess by greeting them and showing them to their places. Once the tea begins she can also walk around and mingle among the tables; be sure to praise her for being the perfect hostess!
It will help if you have enlisted the help of another mother or grandmother to help you prepare each course for serving. It is best if you and your helpers stay mostly in the kitchen and let the girls, served by the handsome waiters, be left to themselves. However, be sure to take tons of photos because you will surely want to preserve the memories of this special party!