Sharing the love…that’s what Valentine’s day is all about right? I used to always say it was a Hallmark/Florist holiday, but seriously it really is a wonderful concept. Taking the time to show those you love how special they are to you. I really wanted to do something unique for 2 of my dearest friends. Last year, I hosted a fun Galen-tine’s day brunch and it was so awesome to see the joy on my friends faces as they enjoyed the event. I really wanted to spoil them. It’s really all in the little details that really makes people feel special. You can visit this post to read all about the brunch How To Host A Fun Galentine's Day Brunch
Here’s how I planned this years’s event. Oh and these ideas could also apply to a bridal shower or a Mother’s Day gathering.
When I’m searching and planning events, I always think of a theme that I can get my inspiration from. A few years ago, I hosted a “little black dress” Chanel themed birthday party for my mom and it was such a great theme for a girly event. You can read about that post here Chanel No 70 I decided to take some direction from that for my little tea.
I love anything with a black and white theme and I wanted to do something different from the traditional pink and red. I usually will start at a craft store and just wander around looking for things that may inspire me starting with the invitations and party favor. Once I get a vision for that, I can then work on the table and all the decor from there.
Here are the elements I use when putting a gathering together:
Table Settings, Centerpiece, Decorations
My color scheme was so simple with the black and white so adding a bit of glam with some pearl accents was the perfect touch. I love making my invitations to fit in with the whole theme. I feel like it gives the receiver a hint of what’s to come and brings everything full circle.
Once I get my invitations planned and made, I start with the party favors. I always give a party favor no matter what the event is. It’s just my thing and I love showing my appreciation to my guests. I think it adds a fun touch and makes them feel more special.
For the invitations, I just bought plain card stock cards with a pretty shape, along with pretty black chalkboard tags. I punched a whole through the top of the card and attached the heart to the card and tied it in the back. I wrote each recipients name with chalk pen on the heart and added a few pearl embellishments.
Next, I added some black and white polka dot paper as a layer to add some character and then typed up the party details on the computer. Then, just cut out the printed details and glued them to the paper.
For the party favors I had a vision for cute little hat boxes. Last year I made the party favor a part of the place setting and I love how that turned out so I decided to go with a similar idea this year.
Here’s a peek at last years goody box
I bought some round cardboard boxes and spray painted them black, then added beautiful paper flowers to the top. Super simple yet elegant.
Inside the boxes I added some shredded paper with some wrapped homemade heart shaped soap, homemade lip balm in a heart shaped box and a pretty little compact mirror.
To bring in the “little black dress” theme, I thought it would be fun to make some cookies as another treat and party favor to give . I’m by no means a professional cookie decorator , but I did my best ! (note to self when tasting black frosting, remember it turns your teeth and tongue black )
Once the cookies were decorated, I wrapped them in individual bags to make it easier for taking home. I also had extras for the dessert tier at the tea.
For the food, a traditional tea is served in 3 tiers. The bottom tier is an assortment of finger sandwiches, the middle usually scones served with clotted cream and jam and the top is usually mini desserts such as tarts, macaroons and petit fors.
I used this cranberry orange scone recipe from my friend Leslie at My 100 Year Old home https://my100yearoldhome.com/easy-elegant-wednesdays-cranberry-orange-scones-recipe/and they were delicious. I just cut them as heart shapes for the tea. This would be a fun breakfast idea to serve on Valentine’s day as well.
Here are the sandwiches I served:
Mix a package of softened cream cheese with salt, pepper, fresh dill, a squeeze of lime juice. I spread the mixture on white bread then placed thinly sliced cucumbers on top. Cut into small rectangles (or any shape desired) Garish with fresh dill
Egg Salad Sandwiches
Chop up 3 hard boiled eggs ( or base it on how many you are serving) Then add a dollop of mayonnaise ( I’m not a fan of mayonnaise so I always go light but enough so it’s not dry), 1 tsp mustard, fresh dill, salt, pepper ( you can add minced pickles too but I didn’t on this recipe) Spread on bread of your choice. I used pumpernickel and love it with the egg salad. First, I cut the bread into heart shapes and then added the filling.
Chicken Salad Sandwiches
On this one I kind of cheated and bought it ready made from my favorite grocery store. !# it was easier and #2 it’s the best chicken salad ever. I cut white bread into circles and then added the filling. If you cut the bread shape first, it prevents you from squishing the sandwich. You could also use mini croissants or another bread of your choice.
For the dessert tier I made little lemon tarts using pre made shells. I combined half a cream cheese package softened with half a jar of lemon curd. Whipped it up and piped into the shells. Then garnished with mini fruit piece of lemon, strawberries and blue berries. But you could always buy macaroons, petit fors ( I would have but couldn’t’ find them at any of my local stores at the time.)
Table Setting and Centerpiece
If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you’ll know I absolutely love to design and set a fun table. It’s like playing dress up for me. I wanted it to be elegant and simple just like the theme.
I started with a crisp, creamy white table clothe then rolled a narrow black strip of wrapping paper down the middle. On top of that I added a beautiful fur runner. If you don’t have one, any pretty runner would work. You could also just use a pretty piece of fabric.
For each place setting I used a black charger, a dinner plate (my formal china) Of course you don’t need to use formal china. Any plain white plate will do. Then as my accent, the cute little hat boxes I made. To add another pretty element, I folded the napkin to look like a flower. It’s a super easy fold and you can read how to do it here Easter Table Inspiration & Ideas Part 2
Instead of putting the centerpiece right in the center, I placed it at the end of the table. Since it was such a small intimate gathering, I didn’t want something to obstruct our view from each other and wanted it easy to access the food. The star of the table really is this gorgeous floral arrangement. I got the flowers from The Bouqs Co https://bouqs.com/ and they arrived so fresh and vibrant. In, fact as I type this it’s been over a week and they still look just like this!
I used a big Chanel box as the base and added 2 white pitchers of different heights. I wanted the flowers to have a cascading look rather than a typical round bouquet. So i made the arrangement on the right taller in the bigger pitcher, then made the 2nd one lower so they look like the blend in together. Then of course I just drapes some beautiful pearls on the box to embellish the whole look.
To display the food I used 3 different sized cake plates but you could also use a 3 tiered tray. Mine is more rustic looking so I didn’t want to use it for this. I embellished the desserts on top with from edible flowers from my local grocery store.
How beautiful are my girlfriends?! It was fun having a small little gathering where we could get dressed up and just enjoy our time together. Yummy treats and catching up, totally the best!
So are you ready to celebrate with your girlfriends yet? It’s the best way to show them how much they mean to you and it’s so fun getting together where you can talk without restaurant noise and disruptions. These ideas would be fun for a shower, wedding or Mother’s day as well.
I hope this was inspiring to you and gave you some fun ideas. With a theme and a little planning ahead of time, this really is a simple and fun event. For me part of the fun is the planning a preparing . It gets me so excited for my guests to arrive and see what I have put together just for them.
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I’d love to hear what you think and of course if you have any questions, please let me know.