A Step-by-Step Guide to Hosting an Unforgettable Bridgerton Tea Party Bridal Shower
If you've gotten your hands on these society papers, you're likely planning a bridal shower for a Bridgerton-obsessed bride-to-be. (Or, perhaps you're the one saying "I do," and you're gathering inspiration to pass along to your bridal shower host.) Regardless of your role, a regal tea party bridal shower is one of our favorite trending themes. Plus, showers are often daytime events, making it the perfect occasion to get dressed up with your nearest and dearest and sip on tea and champagne while enjoying elegant finger sandwiches and hors d'oeuvres as if you're British high society members circa 1813.
If you want your soirée to be the talk of the ton, an unforgettable tea party bridal shower is all about the details. Hosting a themed party requires careful planning and thoughtful event design—and luckily for you, we're here to help every step of the way. We've tapped industry experts to share exactly how to plan a Bridgerton-themed tea party bridal shower to remember. Follow our step-by-step guide below to throw a lavish celebration that's Lady Whistledown-approved.
Select a Venue
The first, and arguably most important step, of hosting a bridal shower is selecting the location. When it comes to the setting, you can host your event at any place that fits your budget. While you can rent an event space or restaurant party room, you can also invite guests to someone's home for a budget-friendly option. Some events spaces—like Hotel Crescent Court in Dallas, Texas—may also host Bridgerton-themed parties that you can take your group to. (Read: That means less planning for you!) If you're interested in going that route, we recommend using social platforms like Instagram and Facebook to discover local Bridgerton parties. (Even a quick Google search can help you find what you need.) Just be sure to start your search early and book tickets quickly to ensure you and your group secure your spots well in advance. Hotel Crescent Court's Bridgerton event, for example, has select dates and times running through spring 2022, so you'll want to find an event that fits your bridal shower timeline.
For a Bridgerton tea party bridal shower, search for spaces that feel elevated and whimsical. "The best venues for a Bridgerton-themed bridal shower are those inspired by London's regency era, which is characterized by elegance and achievements in art and architecture," says event planner Denise Lillie, founder of Denise Lillie Engagements. "When you envision a regency theme, you think of vintage, regal and romantic styles coupled with the drama of exquisite backdrops," she adds, noting that scenic countrysides, vineyards and gardens would all make for thematic settings. Even local restaurants like a posh tea room or an upscale bar would make for appropriate locations.
It's possible to transform any space with thoughtful DIY decorations and floral arrangements too. While the venue is an important piece of the puzzle, it's simply a starting point to help carry out your theme. Even your own backyard can feel like the Bridgerton set with thoughtful decorations, which we break down below.
Choose a Color Palette
Once you have a setting, start planning the overall vision for your afternoon tea party. We recommend picking a color scheme early in your planning process to guide subsequent decisions involving invitations, bridal shower decorations, party favors, floral arrangements and centerpieces, and more. A close viewing of Bridgerton will give you plenty of palette inspiration. "Be conscious of the color stories that are associated with each character," suggests florist Amy Burke, founder of Amy Burke Designs. "The colors that surround Daphne are subtle, cool pastel shades of blue, gray and ivory. The colors that surround the Duke of Hastings are warm, earthy hues of beige, tan, caramel, white and black. Once they start their love affair, they become awash in a mixture of those warm and cool tones, which start to transition into lavender and light blush hues that speak to their warmth for each other."
Light pastels can serve as base shades for your color scheme, but Burke suggests also including pops of brighter colors to add depth. "It's important to incorporate the soft pastels of Daphne and the Duke, as well as the bright yellow, pinks and coral oranges that speak to the rest of the Bridgerton and Featherington clan. Using analogous shades in a color story will translate into a softer, more romantic mood."
Establish a Dress Code
One of the most memorable aspects of Bridgerton was, of course, the fashion. We're already seeing Bridgerton-inspired wedding dresses and accessories rise in popularity, which means there's plenty of inspiration for your bridal shower dress code. When hosting a high society-inspired event, encourage guests to dress for the occasion. (It's what Lady Whisteldown would expect, after all.) "Include the proper dress code on your invitations," suggests Lillie. "Attire for a Bridgerton-themed event falls between business casual and semi-formal. This includes tea-length dresses and dark suits with long ties."
Creative hosts might consider using custom dress code language to make the tea party bridal shower attire feel even more personalized. Lillie suggests using buzzy keywords like "Garden Tea Chic" or "Bridgerton Tea Time." The more context clues you give guests, the better—this will help them select an outfit that feels posh enough to land a positive review in the society papers.
Lillie also suggests giving guests fashionable accessories at the event, which can double as tea party bridal shower favors. "Consider giving guests tea gloves, hats, fascinators or pearl necklace strands as gifts upon arrival," she says. "Accessories will elevate any look to match the afternoon tea ambiance."
Send Thematic Invitations
After you've confirmed the important details like the date, time, location, dress code and color scheme, send invites to guests. Bridal shower invitations are a key element of your party theme. This is the first thing guests will see, making it a prime opportunity to set the tone for your party. We'll let you in on a secret: You can buy tea party bridal shower invitations on The Knot, and we make it as easy as possible to find designs that match your event theme. Find our extensive selection of bridal shower invites here, and customize your search with style categories. (For a Bridgerton tea party bridal shower, we recommend browsing invites labeled as "Floral," "Romantic," "Elegant" and "Whimsical.") Use our customization options to make your invites a seamless extension of the theme.
Invest in Florals
The next step in planning a tea party bridal shower is styling your event. If your budget allows, consider working with professional vendors, like planners, event designers and florists, to bring your vision to life. (Psst: Head to The Knot Marketplace to find pros in your area.) If you are able to work with pros, do some preliminary brainstorming about the kind of tea party bridal shower decorations you want to include. (For those working on a tight budget, check out our roundup of bridal shower decorations for pieces you can buy at all price points.)
One area to focus on, though, are floral arrangements. "Bridgerton had so many outdoor garden scenes, so it's important to mimic these textures and patterns in floral elements to create a thematic party," Burke explains, noting the importance of blooms for any themed event. "Flowers are one of the biggest design elements that you have to work with when styling a party."
Consider working with a professional florist or a local flower shop to source in-season blooms that fit a regal, high society tea party aesthetic. "In the show, flowering vines like wisteria, flowering hedges like camellia, and garden rose bushes are most common," Burke says. In addition to decorating your venue with flowering vines like these, she encourages the use of delicate blooms like butterfly ranunculus, sweet peas and hellebores on tablescapes. She also suggests styling flowers like delphinium, snapdragons, anemones and honeysuckle vines to add drama.
Use flowers to decorate every part of your venue, from the entrance to the table settings and even the cake stand. To stay within your budget, Burke suggests using greenery and leafy plants as a base, then weaving in additional florals as needed. "Using various types of foliages in arrangements is a great way to save on cost," she explains. "Choose plants that have a range of leaf sizes and shapes, as well those that are bright green and contrasting gray."
Focus on Ambiance
Florals aren't the only way to create memorable ambiance for your party. In addition to fresh flowers, details like tablecloths, teacups and teapots, place cards and serveware are important party decorations that'll carry out your theme. If you're able to hire a florist for your event, Burke suggests relying on their expertise to provide styling guidance. "Themed parties rely on additional props and rental items along with florals to create the mood," she says. "These costs can get expensive, but a great florist should have lots of options in their inventory to use for your even. They may also be able to point you towards a rental company that does have what you're looking for."
One way to up the wow-factor is through additional lighting. "If you are hosting a Bridgerton-themed party, go heavy on the candles," she says. "I suggesting using variously-sized taper candles, as well as period-specific candlesticks." A trip to your local thrift store may help you source vintage decorations and accessories for your tea party bridal shower. Create decorative vignettes on tablescapes and throughout the venue to make it feel thoughtfully styled.
Plan the Menu
When you've nailed down the event design, it's time to focus on the menu. Guests will likely get hungry throughout the course of the celebration, and it's important to provide enough offerings. The best bridal shower food ideas depend on the style and time of your event. "You could arrange a full meal or cocktail party for a Bridgerton-themed event, but I suggest a high tea menu," says Cherry Levin, owner of California-based rental company Frances Lane. "The hostess can start with a seasonal fruit course, a small salad or a soup, then transition to tea sandwiches and cakes, as well as specially-brewed tea and cocktails."
For a true Bridgerton-inspired bridal shower brunch menu, offer guests light finger sandwiches, crudités and hors d'oeuvres. Perhaps most important, though, are the sweet offerings. Tea parties are infamously known for elegant pastries, cakes and scones, so consider having a dessert spread with plenty of choices. We suggest serving treats like sugar cookies, macarons, cupcakes or a variety of small cakes for guests to enjoy with a cup of tea or champagne.
Finally, no prewedding party is complete without a few fun activities. Plan to host a few bridal shower games to give guests something fun to do in between mingling with guests and sipping on tea. We break down everything you need to know about bridal shower games in this extensive guide, but we suggest having a few Bridgerton-specific activities to further amplify your theme. We love the idea of creating your own printable society pages for a game of trivia or Bingo—or, leave them blank so guests can write well-wishes and advice for married life.
Keep in mind that a great Bridgerton-themed tea party bridal shower isn't about one showstopping element. Rather, it's more important to focus on a variety of small, personalized details that create one memorable event. "When you're building an overall look, it often boils down more to how the elements complement each other," says Burke. "The key is to make your choices feel purposeful." Adds Lillie: "It's important to make your event personal to whoever you're celebrating. Rewatch a few episodes of the show and highlight the things that resonate with you—you can't go wrong."