Whether you want to serve afternoon tea to fit a theme or because you like the idea of doing something different, it can be done and tailored to suit a variety of wedding budgets. Having this instead of a wedding breakfast is not for everybody. But when served in the traditional manner on beautiful vintage crockery, it’s a wonderful idea!
Afternoon tea can be served to your guests by waiting staff or buffet style if you are after a more informal affair. You can have the food presented on elegant stands where guests help themselves and then return to their tables.
It would be nice to serve the tea in three courses, as you would a wedding breakfast. You could start with finger sandwiches with other savoury items followed by scones as your second course. Then it’s on to the cakes as your final course. The worry that many couples have is that afternoon tea will not be substantial enough. It is possible to have waiting staff bring out more food as your guests work their way through it. I also recommend having a drinks reception with plenty of canapés before you sit down for tea. Include a few extra savoury items in addition to sandwiches such as mini tartlets and pies.
Finger rolls, wraps and mini bruschetta are a nice touch if you don’t just want typical looking sandwiches. You can get adventurous with the fillings too. When it comes to the cakes, where do I start? There are many wonderful delights for you to choose from, everything from macaroons and cupcakes to tarts and sponge cakes. You could even serve your wedding cake served with the tea. Just cut the cake upon your entrance in to the wedding breakfast. Whether or not you choose to serve traditional cakes or not there are many wedding venues and caterers that can help you create the perfect afternoon tea menu.
Afternoon tea would lend itself well to a country chic, English tea party, vintage or garden party theme. Beverages such as Pimm’s or tea would go nicely and Bellini’s are a wonderful idea for the drinks reception. Mini jars of jam or elegant teapot favour boxes filled with goodies of your choice would be fitting as wedding favours. Hot food such as a hog roast, barbecue or bowl food would be a nice choice for the evening. You can also make it clear to your guests that you are having canapés and drinks followed by an afternoon tea reception and hog roast in the evening, so they are well informed. Alternatively, you may opt for more of a mini afternoon tea after your wedding ceremony. You could then forgo an evening buffet and canapés in place of a three course dinner instead. With carefully planned timings this would work perfectly.
I hear a slice of Victoria Sponge calling!