a mad tea party in the woods

I’ve been dreaming of tea parties for years. I’m pretty sure I came out of the womb dreaming of tea parties.  That, paired with a kind of unhealthy love of all things Alice in Wonderland related (I mean, bunnies, drugs, and tea parties? What’s not to love?), was a beautiful mess of a mad tea party waiting to happen.


I did throw a tea party once upon a time, but on a much smaller scale, back when I was a super-amateur party planner and baker (as compared to just a slightly amateur one now).  It definitely went more smoothly than this one, but the payoff was no where near as satisfying.


Tea Party, once upon a time… c. 2013

That said, my dreams and visions for this party were shattered multiple times.  Everything went smoothly until the day of – the weather was perfect, the picnic area in the park was fairly empty, and 90% of my guests had RSVPed that they were coming – when, suddenly, everything just decided to go wrong all at once.  My desserts started to melt in the car on the drive over, not to mention even more at the park once they were out of the car. The frosting on the cupcakes wouldn’t hold its piped shape. I was running late and made it to the park with 4 miles of gas left in my tank (and three miles to the nearest gas station from there – which, by the way, I made it to just on time! On the way out, of course – priorities. :D). I got there to set up and two of my guests had already arrived! Emptying the car and setting up was a grand mess and took at least two hours. And, to top it all off, I realized that half the items I needed to set up were in my co-host’s car, and she wouldn’t arrive for another hour! And then, of course, once we actually finished setting up (finally!), the sun was directly above our party and the pictures were coming out ridiculously bright with crazy high contrast and shadows.

Somehow though I made it through the morning of panic and stress and was able to pull it off and make it seem like I was calm and collected the whole time. 😀 Special thanks to my two wonderful co-hosts who stayed grounded the whole time in a delightful contrast to my panicky everything-needs-to-get-done-RIGHT-NOW mentality. Also to all the wonderful friends who arrived on time and helped me set up, and particularly to those who helped me set up and then had to leave before the party even began. Love you all! ❤


Now, of course everything didn’t turn out exactly as I had hoped, and there are certain details of the party that didn’t turn out as planned and just stand out to me and make me miserable every time I notice them, but according to a few others, they aren’t things that are too noticeable. So I’ll leave that up to you to decide.


While things didn’t turn out the way I had envisioned them, I would say the overall finished effect was of a rather charming, whimsical tea party in the woods, perfectly reminiscent of the Mad Hatter’s tea party. Hope you guys enjoy the photos, and look forward to many more tea parties to come!

Some things to look out for (i.e., my favorite things and/or the things I’m super proud of):

  • Homemade pocket watch cookies
  • Shabby chic topsy turvy tiered cake
  • A variety of vintage clocks and keys
  • The perfect wooded setting for the party
  • Cute little “drink me” and “eat me” tags
  • Butterfly and dove lace place cards
  • A mini cupcake scene in a birdcage consisting of the white rabbit and his pocket watch
  • Homemade dulce de leche and vintage spoon party favors
  • An assortment of mismatched tea cups
  • A moss table runner
  • Mismatched floral table clothes
  • Directional signs reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland’s Tugley Wood
  • And fresh flowers everywhere!



Credits for 70% of these photos go to my lovely friend Tuba, who is always armed with her camera and determined to capture every detail of every event. ❤

Hope you guys enjoy this party as much as we did!


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