One of my oldest girlfriends in the world knows how to host the perfect garden party and for the past few years she has combined this talent with doing her bit for a good cause by hosting an Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea. We attended last year (here are the photos) and recently again.

perfect morning tea

Below are a few ideas and highlights from these days that might inspire you if you’re hosting an ABMT (or tea party in general).

1 Consider having a theme…

This year it was a ‘pink’ theme. Appropriate and simple. It was a little tricky for me as I don’t own anything pink – except for my conference dress, which it was far too cold to wear – so I piked out. I know, shame on me. However there were many others to pick up where I left off!

Other themes could be ‘Mad Hatters’ (last year’s) or ‘Autumnal’ (for the season).

2 … perhaps offer prizes for those who make an effort…

Sometimes, when it comes to themed events, especially for those who don’t have the time – or the imagination – to think of a good outfit or simply don’t like dressing up, those who do deserve kudos! This year there was a best dressed and runner-up best dressed award. Keira came second! Her prize was a miniature china tea cup set (see above) – gorgeous and fitting for the occasion. She’s not let it out of her sight since!

3 …and everyone else who comes.

What I loved was how everyone who came got a special certificate of appreciation in some way. It doesn’t have to be complicated or arduous! Riley got ‘Best Spiderman’ because he was wearing his Spiderman jacket and he loved it! Adam and I got ‘Cutest Couple’ (see above) and we loved it – especially because we were the only couple there! We all had a great giggle.

4 Use the Internet + mobile apps

Increasingly, it’s easier for hosts to ask guests to donate online rather than make cash donations on the day. I prefer to do it that way – takes some pressure off them having to write receipts. Perhaps, if you want, set up a fundraising page, and have a laptop available somewhere open at the website for guests to slip away and donate. As a sign of the times, you can get your own Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea iPhone app, too. (Except the ABMT site says it’s not available in Victoria.)

If you host or attend a morning tea, have fun and I hope you raise lots of money!


Karen Andrews is the creator of this website, one of the most established and well-respected parenting blogs in the country. She is also an author, award-winning writer, poet, editor and publisher at Miscellaneous Press. Her latest book is Crying in the Car: Reflections on Life and Motherhood.