We’ve spent the last 4 weeks planning and now we’re almost ready to have a tea party! Here’s how I put it all together.
1) Make a list. I make a comprehensive list of what I need to do in the week before the tea party. Include shopping, baking, and cleaning. Be sure to include a little time to relax before your guests arrive!
2) Prioritize. Now that you have a list of what you need to do we need to decide which items on that list have priority. Decide what absolutely has to get done and what can you live without doing. Keep in mind that your guests aren’t coming to inspect your house for cleanliness, they’re coming to enjoy a pleasant afternoon in your company. If you a feeling like you might not have time to bake, plan to buy baked goods or trim down the menu. Also — please don’t put time for yourself on the bottom of your priority list!
3) Schedule. Get out your calendar and decide when you are going to get those priorities done! One thing I do is rewrite and organize my to do list by the day that I plan to get it done. Generally I start the final preparation about 2 – 3 days ahead. One of the first things on my list is any grocery shopping that I might need to do. That way I can adjust if there is something that I can’t get or if I find anything that I might want to add in. I usually keep the baking and any other cooking for the evening before the party or the morning of the party. Things like scones are best baked the day that they will be served, but most cookies, cakes and breads can be baked a day or two ahead. Plan to get most of the cleaning and any furniture moving done a few days ahead. Also, pull out any serving pieces and make sure that they are clean and ready to use. Label each with what goes in that dish so that you don’t forget later. If you are borrowing or renting cups, plates or whatever be sure to plan in extra time for that. It is a good idea to look them over well before you need them to make sure they are clean and ready for use. Be sure to start far enough ahead that you have the last hour before you guests arrive to get yourself ready then sit down and relax.
4) Execute your plan. You know what needs to be done and now is the time to get started! Take breaks when you need to and don’t be afraid to ask for help. I know that you are going to have a wonderful time once you guests arrive — you’ve got this!
So, that’s it. There really isn’t any big secrets, just a bit of organization and some creativity. Oh, and don’t forget the fun! Be sure you have fun!!!
Here’s the whole series in case you missed parts or want to review: