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I belong to a women's organization in my church that is 180 years old this year! It is called the Relief Society. The mission of this group was originally to help the needy, but over the years it has expanded to not only help those in need, but to also teach the gospel of Jesus Christ, to help women be educated throughout the world and as one song puts it, "to cheer and to bless in humanities name."
Every year, in March, we celebrate the Relief Society Birthday. I have recently been assigned to the committee that plans these types of activities for our group. This year, we decided to use an Alice In Wonderland Tea Party theme. (Not necessarily Mad Hatter!) It was so much fun to plan and the party turned out really well. I thought I would share what we did with you because you might want to borrow some of our simple ideas!
Why This Theme?
Because people in our church don't drink black or green tea, you may wonder why we chose a Tea Party theme. First of all, it just sounded like fun! The decorations can be so cute and girlie and tea pots and tea cups are so sweet. When we associated a tea party with Alice in Wonderland, (and who doesn't), we began to realize that there may be some messages in that story that we could use to give some inspiration to the ladies who would attend. So, my assignment was to find some great quotes and print them up to put at each table. I will put the pdfs on here and you can print them for yourselves if you would like! Just hover over the picture, it will tell you what it says. Then click the photo for the pdf.
The first thing that we did was ask the ladies at church if anyone had teapots or tea sets that we could use for the tables. Luckily one of our ladies collected tea sets, so she provided most of them for our centerpieces. Other pots that came from other people, we used on the food table and various locations around the room to add to the theme of the night. They were so cute. We gathered up flowers from all of our homes and left over decorations to put bouquets in the pots. We set them on pedestal bases to raise them up in the middle. We gathered all of the posts the day before in order to decorate in advance.
Next, the scavenging began as we found figurines of birds, rabbits, snails and things that would fit into the Wonderland look! A little ivy wound through it all and the tables looked lovely.
We found things around our houses, at the Dollar Tree or in the Target One Spot. The little wooden flower picture frames were from Dollar Tree's craft aisle. I painted them and made the round sticker to go in them that says the Relief Society Motto, "Charity Never Faileth."
My friend, Diane, already had left over wooden plaques that we painted and used to frame the quotes on with clips. We gathered easels from home, but I also found some a Dollar Tree. They don't have the same ones that I used on their website, but they do have some other options that might work.
We already have white tablecloths and the floral overlays in our Relief Society closet, but you could easily use plastic and overlay a couple of colors in pastels. We used a few different colors of pastel paper plates and napkins. Dollar Tree is a great place to pick them up. If you are using plain colored tablecloths, here are a couple of adorable options:
One other thing that I picked up at Dollar Tree were arrows that I used to make a sign, pointing in a whimsical way the "directions" to go as people entered Wonderland. I used a combination of paint and decoupage to decorate them. Then, I velcroed them onto a board! I stuck the board into a pot of flowers to stand it up.
For the serving table, I found little tag shaped wood pieces at Walmart that I painted to say "eat me," "drink me," and so forth. I used a chalk pen to write on them. I also went to Goodwill and found some tea cups and matching plates and saucers to use to make pedestal platters to serve from. (Sorry some pictures aren't very great because they were from my phone.)
At the entry to the room, we had a table with a basket of keys that had numbers on them corresponding to the numbered tables. We wanted everyone to sit a little bit out of their comfort zones to help them mingle with more people. One member of our committee, Maggie, came up with a little poem to encourage the ladies to sit with different people.
Food For Everyone
In today's world, there are so many diets to be aware of. We wanted everyone to feel included and like they could come to any of our activities so we served a variety of finger foods. Here is the list:
Oh! And since it was a tea party, we decided to have a variety of things to drink. We had fruit tea infusions (not real tea) that we served from pastel colored pitchers, a punch bowl with sherbet punch and some ice water in a clear drink dispenser.
We wanted to focus the evening on the blessing that the Relief Society Organization is in our lives and about how through it we are aided in becoming better people. At each table, we put a tea cup or bowl of prompts that each table could read and discuss as a small group. It was really fun to hear everyone's different perspectives on what being in Relief Society has meant to them and to hear special memories.
Do you remember that in the story of Alice in Wonderland, there was a key that she had to use to open a door to get into Wonderland? We used that key idea to get our theme across. The word KEYS was used as an acronym on a beautiful bookmark with a little key charm on it made by Diane. This message reinforced the discussions we had been having at our tables. The reverse side has a quote. These words and quotes are applicable to our group, but you could change up the words and quote to fit your needs. The little key charms are the icing on the cake.
At the end of the evening, we had a little blurb (from me!) about the history of the Relief Society and some of my memories and then a message about how we can give more service as we move on in the future. Then, we all sang "As Sisters in Zion." There as a sweet spirit there as we sang acapella and everyone hamonized so well together. It was a beautiful night!
By the way, if you want that pdf file to print the Relief Society Motto like I did, here it is! It fits on template #22562 . They are 2 -1/2 " round labels. They are great little things to keep in the Relief Society closet to use as centerpieces at activities in the future.
If you have gleaned any party ideas from this post, here are some others you may like to check out.
Creators of Hot Cocoa Bombs! (copyrighted)
Helen Reynolds: Mother of six children , grandmother to eleven! I love to cook, craft and create things and I especially love doing that with my family, So, when my lawyer daughter, Lindsey, my artist daughter, Madalynn, and I came up with the idea of Hot Cocoa Bombs, this blog was born. Then, one more daughter, with her technical and science skills, plus creativity has joined in to round us out! Read more about us here!