What Is A Kitchen Tea? Answered 

Do you know what a kitchen tea is? A kitchen tea is a pre-wedding celebration similar to a bridal shower, typically attended only by the women in the bride’s life.

group of friends preparing food in a kitchen - what is a kitchen tea
A kitchen tea is traditionally held at the bride or her mother’s home

A kitchen tea is an event held before a wedding where the brides female loved ones gather together. It is traditionally held at the bride’s home or her mother’s, usually to play games, eat food, and propose a toast for the bride-to-be.

A kitchen tea is traditionally associated with guests bringing the bride a kitchen gift so she can put together her marital kitchen. However, some brides-to-be have not moved out of their parents’ home or live with their partner already. So, they might not need new kitchenware. So, instead of emphasizing gift-giving, a kitchen tea will instead be a celebration.

Can You Have A Bachelorette Party And A Kitchen Tea?

a couple of men and women enjoying themselves in a party
The decision is entirely up to the bride if she chooses both, neither, or just one

A bride may decide to have a bachelorette party and a kitchen tea, neither, or just one – the decision is entirely up to her.

Some brides will have their hen’s night and kitchen tea on the same weekend or day. This way, the bride can spent time with those who don’t want to tag along on a night out while also meeting her friends later. You might also be interested in our Vintage tea party guide.

Kitchen Tea Alternatives

Since the celebration is similar, some women choose to have a bridal shower instead. A bridal shower’s origin pertains to “showering” the bride with presents for herself and her home but a kitchen tea focuses on the kitchen. If a bride is hosting a bridal shower, she might prepare a registry in advance so guests know what gifts she would like.

What Games And Activities Can You Have At A Kitchen Tea?

Kitchen tea games are tamer than those at a hen party, but some are very similar. A popular game played at a kitchen tea party is asking guests questions about her life, her interests, dislikes, etc., to test who knows the bride the best.

Another popular game entails the guest writing advice on sticky notes for the bride. Games at a kitchen tea can also be crafty – you split guests into teams to dress another guest in a makeshift bridal gown.

There might also be more mature versions of children’s games; consider the game “pass the parcel” with more grown-up wrapping paper and rewards like make-up, recipe books, and planners.

Kitchen Tea Ideas

Start Your Kitchen Tea Planning Early

The best advice is to start planning as soon as possible! Although it may not look like it, planning a kitchen tea party is a significant undertaking. Every task, no matter how big or small, accumulates. 

Catch Up With The Bride

Before you start planning anything, it’s always a good idea to have a conversation with your bride to make sure you’re both on the same page. At your catch up, it is essential to get an idea of the following:

  • The type of celebration she’s after: Before planning a kitchen tea party, you have to ensure that it is what she wants! 
  • The date for the kitchen tea: Once you’re sure it’s a kitchen tea party she wants, it’s time to work out a date! It’s best to let your bride decide the day and time that works well for her.  
  • The people she wants to invite: A Kitchen Tea is traditionally reserved for female friends and family members, but nowadays, there’s no reason why close male friends and family members can’t attend as well. It’s best to let your bride write out a guest list for the kitchen tea party so that everyone she wants to share this special day with has the opportunity to attend!

Set A Budget

Now that you’ve got a few ideas, it’s time to set a budget. Unlike hen’s night, guests at a kitchen tea or bridal shower are not required to contribute financially to the party. So, yes, the host is paying for everything.

You don’t want to overextend yourself financially. If the bridesmaids and family members are helping to host the event, then the expenses can be split.

Kitchen Tea Theme Ideas

a florist making design in the table
Floral-themed kitchen tea is also a good idea to organize

Many modern brides give their kitchen tea party a theme, organize it in a non-traditional setting. It’s not uncommon to find one taking place at a park or a hired venue. Check out the following ideas:

Cooking Queen

If your bride loves to cook, you could host a kitchen tea party with cooking and food as its theme. You can even ask your guests to bring their favorite recipes! Take it even further and schedule a group cooking class and various kitchen-related games for the day.

Floral Affair

Host a floral-themed kitchen tea — invite guests to wear floral prints. You can fill the area with fresh flower bouquets and provide the guests with flower crowns.

“Mad Hatter” Tea Party

You can also organize a kitchen tea party in your garden if the bride is an “Alice in Wonderland” fan. This can be achieved by setting up a long table and providing foods associated with afternoon tea, such as scones, cupcakes, and sandwiches, and play with the theme by putting out mismatched tea sets and crockery! 

Picnic Party

A kitchen tea traditionally takes place in someone’s home, but modern brides are deciding to have one in any location that suits them. For example, they might host in a backyard or have a park picnic.

Ask your guests to bring a bottle or wine and food. You can spread out blankets on the lawn and share some treats and wine. You can even grab a projector and show your guests a movie.

Scenic Celebration

Take in a stunning scene while everyone indulges in food and drinks to celebrate the big day ahead on a rooftop or a place with a lovely view. You might also enjoy our guide on the Best Bubble Tea Party Ideas.


  • Aisling O'Connor

    Aisling is an Irish food and drinks writer and journalist fueled by coffee and herbal tea. She followed up her journalism degree with nutrition studies. Find Aisling on LinkedIn.