My Neon Bridal Tea Party!

For as long as I’ve had the name “The Neon Tea Party,” (eight years!!), I’ve dreamed of throwing an actual Neon Tea Party, so when the subject of my bridal shower came up, I knew it was the perfect opportunity to finally bring this concept to life.

The party was held at the home of my closest family friends, with whom I lived for over two years a couple years back. They’re basically my adoptive family, and they so generously offered to throw me the bridal shower of my dreams. Ever a lover of throwing parties, I couldn’t help but request to be involved in the planning, in the decor department, to be exact. While I was on decorations duty, the youngest, Kayla, was on games, gifts and music; and the oldest two, Rebecca and Rachel, were on menu duty (they’re both incredible cooks). Mama bear Erica oversaw the whole operation, making sure the house looked beautiful and that everything ran smoothly. With this dream team banded together, we created a shower that was as magical as it was delicious. (Seriously, the food was ridiculous.)

A shoutout is also in order to my girl Christina Mulé who drove all the way to New Jersey from Long Island to take these gorgeous photos. THANK YOU, CHRISTINA!!

Before I get into the details, it’s important to mention where this whole tea party thing came from to begin with. Growing up, my absolute favorite thing to do with my grandmothers was to have tea parties. It didn’t matter if it was just us or if we invited friends, any excuse to dress up, bake desserts and use my Nana’s rose-patterned china was good for us! My fond memories of these tea parties is what inspired the name of my brand.

I’ve since lost both of my beloved grandmas, so not only did having a tea party for my shower make sense from a branding perspective, but it was mainly an homage to them and a way to ensure that although they may be gone, they could still be a big part of such a special day. Not to mention, I pulled out my Nana’s rose-patterned china, which I inherited, to use as decor for the party. Talk about things coming full circle!

Anywayy, back to the party.

Guests arrived at 1pm, donning floral frocks and requisite tea party hats, and bearing the most beautifully wrapped gifts. After some final food prep in the kitchen, we sat down to eat around 2pm.

The menu, which was served buffet style, consisted primarily of crowd-pleasing salads, seasonal quiches, and a build-your-own-toast bar with some toasts already assembled to get people started. For dessert: raspberry ricotta cake, berry galettes, chocolate flower mousse bites, and the most adorable and delicious lavender shortbread star cookies topped with crumbled freeze-dried berries, lavender, matcha powder, pistachios and chamomile. Ridiculous, right?! (See bottom of post for full menu + links to some recipes!)

During the meal, guests chatted, took pictures and opened crepe paper-wrapped plastic eggs filled with fun surprises like paper crowns, tiny tassels, flash tats and candy. (DIY coming soon!)

After lunch, we moved from the dining room to the kitchen where we–surprise, surprise–did a DIY! I wanted to do a project where everyone could contribute some sort of decoration that could be displayed at the wedding. We toyed with many ideas before settling on lace and yarn dreamcatchers. Everyone had a great time making these easy yet stunning decorations, which we’ll pull together as an installation at the wedding.

Before saying our goodbyes, remaining guests played a rousing round of “Pin the Tassel on the Llama” — a nod to our impending llama-filled nuptials in August.

The shower truly turned out to be even more beautiful and charming than I could have ever imagined. I’m so blessed to have such a wonderful family who put up with my crazy ideas and made this fantasy a reality.

MENU

SALADS
Barefoot Contessa’s Greek Panzanella (my fave!!)
Little Gem, Watermelon Radish & Fennel with Green Goddess Dressing

QUICHES
Asparagus, Shallot & Morrell
Tomato, Pepper & Feta

TOASTS
Avocado Toast with Togorashi or Salmon Roe
Ricotta Toast with Cherries and Honey
DIY toast bar with homemade spreads including hummus, harissa, pistachio parsley pesto, and other assorted spreads and toppings

DESSERT
Raspberry Ricotta Cake
Blueberry Galette
Mixed Berry Galette
Lavender Shortbread Cookies with Tea-inspired Toppings

peace, love & neon tea parties forever,
marisa

< photos by christina mulé >

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