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You had a great time at the engagement party, you have your devil horns all ready for the hen’s night, and you’ve selected a wedding gift from the online registry, but now you’ve received an invitation to the kitchen tea and you’re not really sure what it’s all about. The following should answer some of the common questions about kitchen teas.
A kitchen tea could be seen as the civilised sedate version of a hen’s party. It usually involves afternoon tea, perhaps held at someone’s home or in a caf? or restaurant. After tea there are often some silly games, followed by present giving.
The presents at a kitchen tea used to be kitchen essentials that the bride would need in married life such as mixing bowls, bottle and can openers, rolling pins, tea towels, baking sheets, oven gloves and potato peelers. These days, most brides have lived away from home and already have these items, so novelty gifts are often given instead.
Some brides choose to have either a hen’s party or a kitchen tea, depending on their personal tastes and the people they want to invite, while others prefer to have both.
It is quite common to hold a kitchen tea and a hen party on the same day. The bride’s older relatives or friends that don’t want to go out drinking could come for the kitchen tea, and then go home when the hen’s party starts to heat up.
Another alternative could be to have different people hosting the parties. Perhaps the bride’s mother could host a kitchen tea one weekend, inviting relatives and family friends, and the maid of honour could arrange a hen’s party the next weekend, with younger friends, relatives, and colleagues.
As most brides already have plenty of kitchenware when they get hitched, maids of honour and bridesmaids are often looking for alternatives to a kitchen tea. Here are a few possibilities:
The games at a kitchen tea tend to be less raunchy than at a hen’s night, but some of them can be quite similar. A popular one is a quiz to see how well the guests know the bride with questions about her childhood, her likes and dislikes, and so on.
Games can also be more physical such as creating a bridal gown from tissue paper. Adult versions of children’s games work well at kitchen teas; try ‘pass the parcel’ with elegant wrapping and classy chocolates instead of toys.
The present opening can be an activity in itself and with a little thought the gifts can be presented in an imaginative way. Perhaps arrange all the gifts in a hamper and play guess the gift as the bride pulls each one out. Alternatively hang each of the gifts on a small tree resembling a Christmas tree, or if one of the guests has a child with a toy kitchen, borrow that and arrange the gifts around it.