Mar 4, 2011

Host a Mad Hatter's Tea Party: Alice In Wonderland


Thinking of an Alice in Wonderland themed party? Why not make it a Mad Hatter's Tea Party? This is a great idea for kids or adults. If you don't have the space indoors to set up tables for all your guests, it's even better as a garden party. As with the story, there's a ton of room for interpretation with decorating, food, dressing up, and games. The best part is, if things don't go to plan, you can pretend that was the plan in typical Wonderland fashion.

INVITATIONS:
It's always good to send out invitations 2-3 weeks in advance, and specify the date, time and place. Of course, it's fashionable to be late for the Mad Hatter's Tea Party. Get creative with your invitations, you can make your own, or check out Zazzle for pre-made Alice in Wonderland themed invitations, they have great stuff! Use lots of references to the movie, and be sure to let your guests know they are expected to show up in character!




DECORATIONS:
Check out this great photo from the 2010 Alice in Wonderland set, great inspiration for setting your tea party table! There is a distinct haphazard look going on here, with different chairs, dishes, and table decorations that create a visual smorgasbord.





 What You Will Need:
  • Space for a large table or a series of tables pushed together, they can be odd shapes and sizes.
  • Enough chairs, stools, or benches for all your guests. The more varied and mismatched the better.
  • Colourful table cloths, bedsheets will do in a pinch.
  • A few tea pot sets, don't worry if they are all different, that's part of the fun and look you are after.
  • China, silverware, and layered cake and sandwich service trays.
  • Centrepieces of flowers, candlesticks, candelabras, playing cards.
  • Paper lanterns, garden lights.
  • Get creative, use images from the book and movie to set the tone: cut out giant mushrooms and playing cards, put mirrors and clocks everywhere, pink garden flamingos... you can pretty much do anything here and it won't look out of place! 

 


FOOD AND DRINKS:
It's a tea party, so tea and cakes it is! You don't have to limit yourself, include something stronger than Earl Grey if you like, but stick to the theme with how you serve it. Set the table for a grand tea party with lots of finger foods.





 A few ideas:



ALICE COSTUMES:
It's her party! Costume Box has more than a few options to dress up as Alice - for adults, plus sizes, and children alike. Whether you go for a traditional Alice style dress, or something sexier, be sure to complete the look with shoes, stockings, and of course, bows in your hair!
Alice Adult Costume
Alice Child Costume
Alice Sexy Costume

CHARACTER COSTUMES:
There is a motley crew of characters in Alice in Wonderland, so everyone is sure to find a costume that they love. The Mad Hatter, Queen of Hearts, and Tweedledee and Tweedledum are favourites, but dressing up as a rabbit, a giant playing card, or caterpillar can be fun too. Check out these great outfits from Costume Box...
Traditional Mad Hatter Costume
Queen of Hearts Costume
Tweedledee & Tweedledum Costume

HATS, MASKS AND WIGS:
With a host that happens to be a hatter, you might want to impress with a great hat for your tea party! There are loads of Wonderland style hats around, whether you are going for a traditional Alice in Wonderland look or the updated 2010 version. 
Mad Hatter Wig
Mad Hatter Hat
Traditional Mad Hatter Hat

Wicked White Rabbit Mask
White Rabbit Hat
March Hare Hat

Giant Ace Hat
Giant Alice Hat
Queen of Hearts Crown

 
ACTIVITIES:
Drinking tea and eating sweets is a good enough time, but it's always good to keep your guests interacting and engaged with a few games. Your typical picnic activities will do best if you are having your tea outdoors, otherwise, if weather or circumstance keeps you indoors, play some parlour games!




Ideas:
  • Play a game of croquet - there are great videos at Expert Village on setting up a croquet court, and beginner tips on rules and play.
  • Giant chess set - you can make your own with a bit of effort, or hire or buy a set from Yard Games online. They have heaps of great stuff.
  • Hold court - make up a reason to take someones head off, and put together a jury and plea cases! The winner gets to avoid the wrath of the Queen.
  • Watch the movie - depending on the age of your guests, you can put on the cartoon, original movie, or Tim Burton's 2010 version. A great way to end the afternoon and let all that food digest!
  • Book reading - gather everyone around on the grass or near a fireplace, and have someone that is great at speaking do a reading from the book. Adults and children will love this, when was the last time someone read to you?
  • Picnic Games - potato sack races, egg and spoon races, wheelbarrow races or any of your favourite yard games will go well with this one!
  • Parlour Games - break out the board games, word games, or charades!


AS MUCH AS YOU WANT TO, TRY NOT TO DO THIS:


Looking for more Costume Ideas?