I recently chatted with BloomNation.com florist and owner of Sun City/Summerlin Florists, Hileah Cleveland for advice on hosting a Spring Tea Party. In addition to her many fabulous ideas, she also gave me some insight into her philanthropic passion, raising awareness and funds for the American Diabetes Association.
Here are her suggestions for planning an amazing Springtime Tea Party.
Preparation is key – “To host any successful event; time, date, location and number of guests are essential things to consider. Additional considerations are the theme, color scheme, decorative accessories, and most importantly, what flowers you would like to enhance the mood and ambiance of your Springtime Tea Party. The real success to planning any party is in the details,” said Hileah.
Set the scene – “Choosing a theme can be tough — but it doesn’t have to be. Keep in mind that the best ideas are borrowed. Try looking through floral magazines, Pinterest, Instagram, or Google Images until you feel inspired. Some common themes for Springtime Tea Parties are Traditional English Tea, Victorian Garden, 20’s Vintage Glamour, or A Mad Hatter Tea Party. Once you have decided on a theme, you are ready to start planning the details. Picture an English Tea Party – crocheted table doilies, crystal vases with large fragrant roses, and brass candelabras decorate the table tops. As your guests arrive, you invite them to sit and choose from an array of three- tiered stands with warm scones, pastries, jams, and delicate finger sandwiches while soft music plays in the background. If you’re able to paint this image in your mind, you are on your way to setting the scene,” stated Hileah.
Color your mood – “The theme of your Springtime Tea Party will play a large role in the color palette you choose. Pastels can add rustic charm to a vintage setting, while bold primary colors add a more youthful feel. Berry colors such as burgundy, magenta, plum, and deep reds will give the design rich elegance. The citrus family of yellows, oranges, and lime green will pop, giving positive energy to the ensemble. Keep in mind that color creates an emotional response. Blues are calming. Reds are energetic. Yellow helps you concentrate. Green hues inspire romance. Whatever color concept you choose will set the mood for your perfect party,” said Hileah.
The more eclectic the better – “No matter what theme you choose, it’s best to mix it up with different colors, patterns, and textures. For the 20’s Vintage Glamour look, pair slip-covered chairs and beaded table linens with floral arrangements draped in pearls or sparkling gems cascading from the centerpiece. For a Mad Hatter Tea Party, consider using a seemingly endless dining table with rows of varying chairs. Table linens could include a vibrant patterned tablecloth with contrasting patterned napkins. Along the center of the table stagger teapots topped with towering teacups housing a variety of flowers. Adorn the table with butterflies, glitter, gold birds, dragonflies, and, of course, different hats for every guest. The point is to mix it up and have fun with it. This doesn’t mean you have to break the bank or your grandmother’s fine china. Try checking out local yard sales, thrift stores, and antique shops to accomplish a look that will have everyone in awe,” the florist added.
The icing on the crumpet — THE FLOWERS – “The unique style for your tea party will be conveyed through your flowers. For centerpieces, consider clustering different sizes of eclectic vessels with assorted blooms in the center of the table. For a simple arrangement, try a pave’d bouquet of carnations, daisies, stalk, tulips and poms. For a more elaborate display, try a bold overstated floral piece in a metallic vase with hydrangeas, lilies, cymbidium orchids, roses and dahlias. Your flowers are going to express the mood and enhance the ambiance. They have the ability to tie everything back together to the theme. The best part about flowers being a part of your event is they awaken the senses,” Cleveland commented.
Hileah Cleveland’s charitable inspiration: “On September 2, 2012, my then 11 years old little brother, Chaz, went into Acute Respiratory Failure and almost lost his life as a result of diabetes. He was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, and life as he knew it drastically changed — our whole family’s life changed. Chaz spent the next week in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit while learning a new way to live. You can imagine how shocked and devastated we all were, learning of the challenging road Chaz was now forced to face. The thing is, Chaz has yet to complain or feel pity for himself. He has faced this challenge head on, with strength and bravery — much stronger than any of us. Chaz now tests his blood at least 10 times a day, takes insulin shots, and is able to lead a fairly “normal” life.
Chaz amazes me daily, and he is someone I aspire to be more like. My 11 year old brother is my HERO and my #1. He has changed the way I view my life. It’s easy, “there are things that matter, and there are things that don’t.” I am now more passionate than ever about funding and research for a cure — not just for Chaz but for ALL type 1 diabetics.
If you ask people with T1D, they will tell you it is difficult and life threatening, and they know it never goes away. My family, friends and staff have all played a big hand in supporting our uphill battle. We are supporters of the American Diabetes Association and will be riding in the Tour de Cure on May 3rd, 2014 alongside other diabetics and fundraisers in our community. So far our team, “Chazmania,” has raised the most funds in support of a cure, and we are still raising. We plan to surpass our goal of $15,000.00 by the time race day gets here. We are also affiliated with JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) and donate in any which way we can.
Our goals are reached by people taking a stand and saying we will not let our youth, or anyone else for that matter, suffer in silence. We will find a future with a cure!” said Hileah.