How to Host a Tea Party

Sick of bunko nights or book clubs? Mix it up with a nontraditional networking party to spice up your week.

By Courtney Caldwell

Mar 2018

Photos by Chuck TraversThere is charm in the mix-and-match styles of tea sets, both inherited and found at flea markets. When searching for good flea market finds, Hornickel says to always have a specific goal in mind. Purchase Photo
Photos by Chuck TraversThe blue plate from her grandmother is paired with a flea market cup and saucer. Finding teacups at local flea markets has become a hobby for Hornickel. She says she can always find adorable cups. Purchase Photo
Photos by Chuck TraversHornickel says a couple of her must-have party dishes are chocolate cake and breakfast quiche. At each party, guests are able to bring a dish, but she always likes to include these two favorites. Purchase Photo
Photos by Chuck TraversServing sparkling wine or champagne at every gathering gives Hornickel a chance to show off a collection of coupe glasses given to her from her sister. Purchase Photo
Photos by Chuck TraversA banquette ups the seating, and the decorative pillows change depending on the party’s theme. For Hornickel, a beautiful centerpiece is a must, and she says she loves to pick fresh flowers from her mother’s land. Purchase Photo
Photos by Chuck TraversIt’s always a good idea to have a wide assortment of teas at every party. Different table runners also work well with the variety of cups and plates and can be used to tie in the theme for each party. Purchase Photo

Stephanie Hornickel has always loved to entertain and wanted a formal but comfortable way to meet new friends. The solution? Throw a tea party. She loved the thought of there not being an agenda. It is a relaxing and comfortable environment for all attendees.

“I have learned that people love to have a nontraditional day, to change up the pace of their day or week.”
— Stephanie Hornickel

Each tea party she throws is unique, usually involving a slight menu change. She has her core friends who are always in attendance, but she encourages each person to invite someone new. No party is too big—she has enough teacups to host up to 25 people. Her teacup collection started with a couple of full china sets passed down from her grandmother. It grew when her hobby of collecting called for trips to flea markets in the Ozark area. 

If you want to throw your own party, Hornickel suggests: “Always have an assortment of drinks and finger foods. People can be more social without messy foods.” She encourages hosts to invite positive people who will keep the environment uplifting and fun.