Guide to Planning a Tea Party on Long Island

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"Strange how a teapot can represent at the same time the comforts of solitude and the pleasures of company." ~Author Unknown

Tea parties represent good taste, great conversation, and of course quality tea. It's a great way to bring together various groups of people for social or professional reasons. It may also be a good option for bachelorette parties, bridal showers, or baby showers. Tea parties were extremely popular in our country's history. Perhaps now is the best time to bring back that popular social gathering. With its history and social prominence, Long Island has several sites that would be perfect to host your next tea party. Let us guide you to that perfect one:

  • Is there a specific geographic area you would like to restrict your search to?
  • Knowing what region you do or don't want your tea party to be located in can easily help rule out several hundred catering halls. Of course the more specific your desired geographic area, the fewer options you have to work with. This fact may be very welcome to some overwhelmed party planners, but may seem frustrating to others who look forward to being given a variety of catering hall options. A good compromise is to first limit your geographic area to a very specific area. If you are not pleased with the choices of catering halls in that region, then slowly expand your search to the surrounding areas until you are happy with the number of choices being offered, as well as with the distance.

  • Is there a specific type of catering hall (i.e. hotel, vineyard, restaurant, etc.) you would like to restrict your search to?
  • Limiting your catering hall search to the type of catering hall is another way to quickly narrow down your top choices. Knowing exactly the type of catering hall you would like to use can help organize your event quickly and efficiently. However, being flexible with the type of catering hall you choose can often result in a unique event that impresses all of your guests, including yourself! Of course the type of hall you end up choosing will rely largely in part to how big your tea party will be. Restaurants and proper teahouses may provide you with the perfect atmosphere you wish to create for your tea party.

  • What is the date of your tea party?
  • This may be an obvious "to do", but it is nevertheless an important factor in selecting the perfect catering hall for your tea party. Just like selecting airline tickets, the more flexible you are the more likely it is to get better rates, options and availability. In order to make sure that most of your tea party guests can attend your event, you may want to ask your guests to save the date, or clear a proposed date with your intended guest list before securing a location.

  • How formal an affair do you want your tea party to be?
  • The level of formality of your tea party doesn't necessarily equate to the level of pricing of the catering hall. Instead, it can help you to select an appropriate type of hall if given the choice. Traditionally, tea parties take on a more formal feel. In this case, a fancy restaurant, historical mansion, or pristine garden setting may be perfect for your event.

  • Is there a specific theme you would like to portray?
  • Selecting a theme for your tea party could really enhance the overall experience for the guests of honor as well as for everyone else. For example, perhaps you would like to portray a specific time period theme for your tea party. If that's the case, then you could choose to have your tea party at a mansion built in that very time era.

  • How many people will you be hosting at the tea party?
  • The number of anticipated guests will undoubtedly help limit your catering hall choices, especially if it's a large number. Depending on your budget, this could be the determining factor of where your event should be located at.

  • Will you be requiring onsite food catering?
  • Most of the catering halls we showcase on our website include food catering. However, some do not and will require additional cost and planning in order to provide quality food for your guests. Additionally, if the catering hall of your wishes allows onsite food catering, but not the type of food that you wish to feature, then you may be able to work out a deal with the catering hall's management in order to bring in the type of food you would like to feature (such as finger foods, pastries and/or sandwiches).

  • How much do you expect to spend per plate?
  • Most tea parties simply offer sandwich platters, pastries and/or cookies with the tea. However, if you wish to also provide a proper meal, then special consideration should be paid to the amount you wish to spend per plate. If you are especially interested in a specific catering hall, but the cost per plate is higher than you were expecting, you may need to either rethink that catering hall, the tea party itinerary or the number of people you invite to the event.

  • Will you be requiring a Kosher, Vegetarian or Vegan menus?
  • Many catering halls do offer Kosher, Vegetarian or Vegan menus. If this is a must for your event, make sure your catering hall choice has this option.

  • Will you be requiring food stations/carving stations for a cocktail hour?
  • Most catering halls (especially hotels and large halls) will offer this service in a customized party package. If the catering hall of your choice does not offer this service in a package be sure to inquire about the additional costs and how it may or may not affect the overall scheduling of your event. For your tea party, it might be a perfect idea to offer various finger food stations featuring pastries, sandwiches, cookies, etc. If you would rather the catering hall's wait staff to bring the food to your guests, then be sure to inquire about that possibility as well.

  • Will you be requiring a catering hall that provides party favors?
  • Perhaps not surprisingly, these days many catering halls automatically offer you a selection of party favors to choose from in order to streamline your party planning. If you are not happy with the selection of party favors that are offered, or if you would like to present your guests with additional favors, check to see if the catering hall of your choice has any suggestions. Offering the guests of your tea party with their own teacup may be a special favor as a remembrance of the event.

  • Would you prefer a location with attached or nearby accommodations for out of town guests?
  • If your answer to this question is yes, then you should highly consider hotels as your choice of catering hall. However, pay special attention to non hotel catering halls that are in close proximity to other hotel accommodations. Most halls should have this information ready at hand.

  • Will you be requiring a party planner?
  • If you book your tea party at a proper catering hall, chances are you will be provided with an in-house party planner that can help ensure that your event goes smoothly. If you are not provided with one, but you are still interested in having a party planner, keep in mind that Long Island party planners have a wide range of rates, involvement and expertise. The catering hall of your choice could also assist you in finding a party planner who has been involved with past events at that location.

  • Would simultaneous events at your location be acceptable?
  • This is an important, yet often overlooked, factor to keep in mind when booking your tea party. Neighboring events could distract from a calm celebration or compete with a high energy celebration. This could hold especially true for tea parties, which are traditionally have a lower noise level than most celebrations. On the other hand, catering halls that offer simultaneous events could help keep your costs low and could even fuel the party spirit. In any case, as the party planner, you should be aware as to what types of events may be going on simultaneously to ensure that tea party guests are comfortable.

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