tea & country, a bridal shower that is

It's been a busy summer and before that a busy spring here at Red Gate Farm.  A couple of weeks ago I hosted a bridal shower tea for my niece... my niece that is getting married here at Red Gate Farm in under 2 months!  But first up, I have to warn you all there are a ton of pictures here... so sit back with what else, but a cup of tea, and enjoy!

We used to have a store when I was growing up named "Town & Country"... it was a woman's clothing store but when I was thinking of a name for this post I thought "tea & country" kind of fit!  Although this shower was planned to be a tea party complete with rented chairs and tables; mismatched teapots, china and silver; thrifted linen tablecloths and napkins... it was also going to have a country element since well, I live in the country and weather permitting it would be outside.

We've been "enjoying" a hot and dry summer in the Pacific Northwest and although we actually had some heavy rain a few days before the shower, the day of the shower was gorgeous... and hot.

As usual, the shower had to have a theme... since it was a tea party and I wanted to request that the invitees bring recipes to share with the bride-to-be I was on the lookout for some fun recipe cards.  The macaron cards I found were the perfect colors and so fitting of a tea party.

I gathered supplies including baker's twine in fun colors to make up little bundles of recipe cards.

And found the perfect invitations on etsy.  Macarons, buntings and of course, the perfect colors (or at least some of my favorites)!

Part of the planning and implementation involved a trip to Seattle (and of course a day with Miss Bee!) to head to the world famous (really, it is) Pike Place Market for tea, flowers and a stop by at a french bakery.  Although it was a cloudy and rainy Thursday, the crowds were out in force on this July day.

I wanted to find a bunch of flowers in white to complement the zinnias, bachelor buttons and sunflowers from my own gardens but wasn't successful.  I do love the flower market and am amazed by the prices!  Low ones that is.

The french bakery was Le Panier... we needed a few french goodies... namely the macarons!  It was so crowded inside and out that I couldn't even get a good photo... oops.

Instead of balloons at the end of the drive we used an old chair painted in my favorite shade of ASCP and one of my infamous chalkboards for signage.

Another chalkboard directed the guests to my "backyard" for the afternoon tea.

Since I knew I would be quite busy with setting the tables and because of the placement of the tables in a shady area, I felt I wouldn't have a lot of time to decorate.  So the evening before I strung up some clothesline on my garden fence and hung handkerchiefs with tiny wooden clothespins.  Fun, festive and hopefully it drew guest's attention away from any weeds!

My vintage iron glider was put to use holding gifts for the bride-to-be.

And even the rustic greenhouse made for a whimsical backdrop to the tables.

Tables set with my collected, but mismatched, china and teacups.  Of course the white milk glass bud vases collected for my daughter's wedding a couple of years ago came out of hiding to be filled with garden flowers.

Like my zinnias!

You may have noticed the field is planted in corn again this year... that is around 10 feet tall.  It actually made for kind of a cozy and intimate setting for the afternoon.

Guests started finding a seat upon arrival...

And the littles even a had a table of their own with pint sized chairs.

The mismatched theme carried throughout the place settings.

The teapots too...

Little creamer and sugars were at each table... this one from a thrift store is one of my favorites in white, gold and aqua.

You may notice the wrinkled linens... I personally embrace the wrinkled look since ironing all of these napkins and tablecloths was not on my to do list, and if I'm completely honest... no ironing is on my to do list!

Some Cath Kidston inspired fabric stood in for an additional tablecloth with vintage sugar spoons tucked in it's fold.

Paper straws, fun jar lids and mason jars in clear, blue and green were just waiting to be filled.

With lemonade or ice tea...

You could even add some sparkling water to make your own sparkling lemonade.  And since the day was quite hot, a pitcher of ice water was a must.

You may recognize most of this from my daughter's wedding.  I've finally gotten all of my "party stuff" in a big closet and organized but THAT show and tell is for another day!

The sweets table was all set up and waiting for the goodies...

And none too soon with guests arriving right on time.

Typical tea food like cucumber and cream cheese "sandwiches", chicken salad mini croissants, oriental chicken pasta salad and a Barefoot Contessa Frittata were all on the menu.

The sweets table was by far the prettiest...

The gorgeous, and quite tasty, macarons... including raspberry, pistachio, passion fruit, lemon, chocolate, espresso, vanilla and orange.

Pristine little meringues and chocolate sables (still in their bag) also came from the french bakery with some frozen eclairs from the plain old grocery store rounded out this end of the table.

Mini vanilla cupcakes, a recipe from Trophy Cupcakes in Seattle, make a ton and are so easy to make in a large batch of 96!

Plenty to share and take some home too!

And next to the cupcakes, my sugar cookies, which are always a hit, are easy to make ahead.

My pink and green milk glass pedestals joined the plain white milk glass for a fun display.... and the background was kind of pretty too.

Finally time to enjoy the efforts put forth by myself, my sister and my daughter... the hosts of the shower.

Everyone found a seat... and I, of course, have to point out Miss Bee being held by her great-grandmother, my mom.

The guest of honor, my niece, looking quite pretty as the bride-to-be.

Hopefully Red Gate Farm will look as pretty come the beginning of October for the big day.

The bride-to-be and her mom, my sis in law, as well as her two sisters.

The bride-to-be cheated a bit and was caught looking through her shower game booklet...

And notices the "70 days" and county page!

The booklets were fun to put togehter... with wrapping paper on the covers, macarons again, and a couple of games and a bingo card for gift opening... my favorite way to keep everyone involved in the actual gift opening.  One of the games had a "disney" theme since the bride and groom to be were engages at Disneyland AND she and her sisters kind of have a "disney" obsession.

Guests enjoyed the games and bingo.

My cohosts... of course the only picture and my daughter will not be thrilled to see she was caught with a cookie in hand... and mouth!

Miss Bee managed to sleep through the hubbub.

But for the littles not sleeping I had stocked the kid's table with crayons, paper dolls...

And whoops... not tiny kid friendly scissors!  I'll have to plan better in the future...

The bubbles kept some busy...

While the bride opened gifts... the first from my daughter and I.  A requested cake stand and a plethora of cupcake items inspired by a Trophy Cupcake box and theme!  And yes, the bride-to-be likes to make cupcakes!

A cute teapot was another well received gift...

Ribbons and bows from the gifts were used to create a traditional ribbon bouquet for the wedding rehearsal...

So fun...

And finally (well almost) a little favor for everyone to take with them...

We filled my vintage berry picking carts...

With cute little cups full of tea type goodies...

Each little bag contained a vintage tea cup with or without it's saucer; honey sticks in a couple of flavors like raspberry and orange; and little tea bags enclosed in glassine bags... Red Rose for one great grandmother and Lipton for the other.  And if you wonder where all those teacups came from?  Well the thrift stores and estate sales of course!

By evening all the guests were gone and the party venue looked a bit bare.

So I kept the bunting up just a bit longer!

And because I can't resist AND she was a much adored guest at the shower...

Miss Bee at 7 weeks...

Miss Bee at 8 weeks (love this expression!)...

Miss Bee two days after the shower at her 2 month doctor's appointment... looking rather skeptical of someone or something I must say...

And Miss Bee sleeping peacefully.  Two months already, hard to believe.
Like many of you, life at Red Gate Farm has been busy this summer but I hope to catch up on some posts as I've taken lots and lots of pictures to share.

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  1. Oh what a charming shower Chris! Of course the setting was gorgeous and I can't wait to see a wedding at Red Gate Farm. I'll keep my fingers crossed for a beautiful, sunny day. I love the tea and macaroons theme. Oh that yummy and beautiful dessert table. And those invitations were the perfect find. I'm sure the bride-to-be and guests had a wonderful time. You did an amazing job! And little Miss Bee is a sweetheart! I'm sure you are loving being a grandma!!!

  2. Beautiful shower! Looks like a gorgeous day....love the Tea Party theme, May have to copy that someday!;) ~ Kim

  3. Chris...you were so close and I didn't get to see you! next time you'll have to let me know! The shower and the all the decor is just perfect! xoxo, tracie

  4. How inspiring! You always throw a fabulous party! But…somehow….my invitation didn't arrive in time so I'm so glad you can show me what I missed! When should I start looking for my invite to your niece's wedding? Can't wait!

  5. such attention to detail! love the bunting, the decor, and the macarons. mmmm!

  6. A beautiful bridal shower!! And, Miss Bee is quite a sweetie pie!! Happy weekend! xo Heather

  7. Happy to feature your lovely shower at our party this morning! Thanks so much for sharing Chris. Have a great day!


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