April 27, 2016 • PARTIES, STYLE

How to Host a Mother’s Day Tea Party

High tea has its roots in England, but throw in some cheese wafers, a bit of pimento cheese, and a few pretty party dresses, and you’ve given it an undeniably Southern twist.

In celebration of Mother’s Day, Katie Jacobs, Draper James pal and party planner extraordinaire, hosted a tea party in Nashville. On the guest list: her mother, Peggy; her grandmother, Kathleen (otherwise known as Honey Mama!); and her one-year-old daughter, Emmaline.  “It was a celebration of four generations of strong women,” says Katie of the colorful affair.


Stylist Katie Jacobs (right) hosted a Mother’s Day tea party for four generations of women in her family—and all but the littlest wore Draper James! Katie, holding her one-year-old daughter, Emmaline, is wearing our Acklen Shirtdress. Her grandmother, Kathleen (a.k.a. Honey Mama) is wearing our Sterling Stripe Tweed Blazer,  Katie’s mother, Peggy, is wearing our Stripe Scallop Elliot Shirt and Scallop Blazer.


“When I was a little girl, my grandmother would host tiny tea parties in her kitchen for me and my cousins,” says Katie, seen here wearing our Margaret Printed Skirt and Cloister Stripe Top. “They were miniature versions of the grand-scale elegance that was her dining room table. She has since passed her china and crystal on to me—it’s what we used for this very celebration.”


“Yes, it’s called a tea party, but it’s the food that will bring your guests the most delight,” says Katie. If you don’t have time to make the spread yourself, don’t be shy about having it catered—the food and vibe will still be all your own.


“More is more when it comes to a tea party,” says Katie. She worked with The Puffy Muffin bakery in Nashville on a menu that combined tea-time classics with Southern must-haves. Click here to see the full menu and get some tips on pulling off a tea party with your own personal touch.


“You don’t have to be a ‘Downton Abbey’ devotee to appreciate the charm and elegance of an English-style tea party, especially here in the South,” says Katie.


Never one to hold back on decor, Katie didn’t disappoint this time around. She worked with Abigail T. Calligraphy to hand-calligraph the napkins with sayings that Southern moms are known for, such as “Bless your heart,” and “Suck it up buttercup.”


Katie went even further with the party favors: She monogrammed handkerchiefs with each guest’s initials and gave Draper James picture frames filled with vintage photos of mothers and daughters.


Butterfilies perched on each water glass served as clever place cards.


Impeccable flower arrangements—not to mention the delicious food and heirloom tabletop pieces—made for a picture perfect tabletop.


A tea party ensemble requires the perfect lady handbag. Our croc-stamped handbag fits the bill perfectly.


By Katie Jacobs. Special thanks to: Amy Cherry for photography, The Puffy Muffin for catering, and Abigail T. Calligraphy.

Click here to see the full Mother’s Day tea party menu.