We love a good English tea party here at Wedding Ideas, and think they’re perfect for almost any occasion. If you’re not sure or you’re already a fan, make sure you read on…

English weddings are called that with good reason – they are renowned for special touches and details we (and the rest of the world) associate with films like Gosford Park, Pride and Prejudice, The King’s Speech, and lest we forget (dare we mention?) Four Weddings and a Funeral.

So, what classifies a wedding as truly English? Well, there are quaint churches with history, green fields, bright umbrellas and Weddington Boots, antique lace dresses with sleeves a la Kate Middleton and of course high tea. An English tea party is fast becoming the big thing, and with good reason.

For hen parties

Invariably you’re going to have girls of all ages and ‘conditions’ at your hen party (yes, I know being pregnant isn’t a condition, but it’s not the only thing that stop people from drinking, so I’ve lumped all tee-totallers together. I hope you understand). You’ll need a spread that will appeal anyone younger than 18, old enough to know better, on antibiotics or pregnant. So, why not check into a gorgeous country hotel and have and English tea party (weather dependent) on the lawn, or in the dining room. You can still have Champagne, but serve it with tea, scones, clotted cream and/or jam, all served up on beautiful vintage crockery. You could even have a teapot full of Pimm’s…

For wedding receptions

Cake stands, cupcakes, Earl Grey, sandwiches cut in triangles – smoked salmon and cream cheese, ham and mustard, tuna and cress, egg mayo – scones, jam and clotted cream, even the ever-so-English vol au vent. Mini beef and ale pies, fish and chips in cones (both of which featured at my wedding) and you have the perfect post-wedding feast. And again, time for that bunting, vintage crockery and harp to feature. Add in children’s laughter filling the air while they skid on their knees and climb trees, the scent of freshly mown lawns, croquet and straw boaters and you’ve got it sewn up. Well, maybe minus Hugh Grant and Colin Firth.

Thanks to Debbie Wallwork for the fantastic photos, and Secluded Tea Party for the gorgeous tea and cakes.

For further English tea party inspiration, make sure you take a look at this real wedding where the guests played touch rugby on the lawn, and another one with a fab American take on English weddings. Enjoy!

Are you having an English tea party for your hen party or wedding reception? Let us know how it went…