Thursday, May 16, 2013

6th Annual Ladies' Spring Tea - "Hats Off to Spring!"

When I came home from Holland, I hit the ground running because I only had two days to accomplish a list of last minute tasks for the church's annual Ladies' Spring Tea held on Saturday, May 11th.  I'm happy to report everything got done!  ;-) 

This is the banquet facility where the tea was held - Sycamore Hills Golf Club.

I arrived at the banquet facility at 10:00 a.m. to do my portion of the set-up.  The tea began at 11:30 a.m.  The colors I chose for the tea were yellow and lime green.   Since the theme was hats, stiffly crocheted picture hats were the favors.  I bought them at a craft store, and embellished them with yellow netting, and a yellow daisy.  They looked lovely sitting on the green place mats.

Our program had the same hat artwork that was used for all the publicity.

There were seven tables for the 54 ladies who attended the tea.   Centerpieces were  hats on hat stands.  A friend loaned me a couple of her designer hats made by Metro-Detroit milliner, Luke Song, which was really a highlight for the ladies.  Most of the hats, however, were vintage.

The hat below was one of Luke Song's.  The ladies loved it, and some had their picture made wearing it.

A pair of dress gloves and pearls were at the base of each hat stand.


The hat below came from J.L. Hudson's and has the department store label inside.

A wool felt beret is on the stand, and at the base is a fascinator from London's Harvey Nichols store where Princess Diana liked to shop.

A sporty Fedora that Ingrid Bergman made popular in the 40's.

Hats were displayed on a table by the podium too.  My friend let me borrow a hat from China that ladies wear in the tea fields while plucking tea.  That was especially fitting at a hat-themed tea party!

There's a Victorian mourning hat on the table, a "Doll" hat [the style name - it's not for a doll], and a "whimsey."  Remember those from the 60's when we didn't want to mess up our bouffant hairdo's, yet still wanted to wear a hat?

It was such a fun theme to research, and even though not many ladies' wear hats anymore, they all thoroughly enjoyed the nostalgia of seeing them again.

I asked one lady [who happens to be in her 80's] to bring her grandmother's Kansas slat sun bonnet.  She brought it in the hat case below [doesn't it look like it just came off of a stage coach?].  She also brought a pilgrim bonnet, a colonial bonnet, and a pioneer bonnet that she made.  She did an awesome job telling about each hat, and I regret that I didn't get a picture of her at the podium.

The tables are set and ready for the ladies to arrive.

The beautiful [and delicious] hat cake was our dessert.  This was one time we could speak the phrase, "I'll eat my hat" and mean it!  ;-)

The ladies at their assigned tables, happily chatting while waiting for the tea to begin.

This sweet four month old baby girl was attending her first tea party with her mommy, two grandmas, and auntie!  And her mommy is starting her off right with a fascinator on her head! 

My girlfriend, Lori, with her granddaughter, Courtney.

Three generations.  Sarah [in the white hat] is a retired minister's wife, and a treasured member of our church.  She was so pleased to have all her granddaughters at the tea [along with her daughter-in-law].

My girlfriend, Sandy, with her daughter, Kim, and daughter-in-law Sarah, and Sarah's mom, Michele.

Another three generation picture.  My mom, my daughter, Lori, and me.  I wore a pillbox hat that Jacqueline Kennedy made popular.  I so wish hats would come back in style in our country as they are in England.

This was a high tea with a menu of tossed salad, rolls, chicken piccata, green beans almondine, potatoes Anna, Chocolate Raspberry Truffle tea [a black tea], cake and ice cream.

Humble apologies my salad was eaten before I realized I had forgotten to take a picture.  But a salad is a salad, right?  ;-)  At least I remembered to photograph the main entree.  It was yummy.  I wish I had a plate of it to eat right now!

I began the program by sharing "hat phrases."  There are more than you might think such as: "Hold onto your hat," "Talking through your hat," "Keep this under your hat," "Pass the hat," and "At the drop of a hat."  There are at least twelve more.  Can you come up with them?

We talked about professions that require hats.   Seven professions that still wear hats were shared, and six that did at one time, but don't anymore.  Remember when nurses wore hats? And how about mailmen, and the milkman.  The younger gals didn't even know what a milkman was!  ;-)

We also talked about places where hats are worn such as wedding, funerals, tea parties, but especially at the Kentucky Derby.  Hats are a tradition at Royal Ascot, and the tradition was adopted at the first Kentucky Derby in 1875.  Today the Kentucky Derby is the largest hat fashion event in America.  

What about famous women who wear [or wore] hats?  Of course, Queen Elizabeth II, and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge head the list.

The title of the program was "Have You Seen My Hat?" which spanned hats from the 1500's up to the present time.

Did you know that January 15th is National Hat Day in the United States?

Would you wear a hat if they came back into style again?

The ladies all seemed to have a good time.  Now to come up with a theme for next spring's tea!


  1. Hi Phyllis, I wish I could wear hats more often. Trouble is, people don't dress up for church like they used to and a fancy hat requires a dress; also, the only hats I have are my gardening hat to protect me from the sun, and baseball caps. You look great in your pillbox hat. I enjoyed reading about your tea. This was beautifully done and I'm sure it was enjoyed by all.

  2. Oh, how pretty everything was! Love the centerpieces and your hat display. That hat cake was so cute and all the food looked delicious. I thought about you on Saturday and wondered if that was the "Spring Tea" day for you. So glad it went well and thank you for sharing it with us!

  3. Fun post --- I enjoyed your decor and all the beautiful hats!

    Gracious Hospitality

  4. Such another lovely afternoon tea, Phyllis. Loved the hat cake! And all those hat centerpieces... oh my! Great job!

  5. The tables are wonderful and also the food. What a lovely event!

  6. I often wore a hat to church in the 1960's. Today I do wear caps either to keep the rain off my head or the sun out of my eyes. I actually have gotten so I rather enjoy them. Your tea event sounds like it was a fun afternoon.

  7. I've been in the garden and am catching up. Love this post Phyllis, and I do wish hats would come back in fashion. I have a couple of fancy hats I wear for dress up tea parties and some nice straw hats I wear when out. In the winter I have a couple of dressy hats that I get compliments on, even if hubby is embarrassed that I wear them. :-)
    Jackie O was a real lady and someone I admired. Her pill box hats became famous and you look lovely in yours. The whole event sounds like it would have been interesting to attend.

  8. Hi Phyllis,
    I am just now catching up on my favorite blogs as I have been so busy with family and gardening. I just love everything about this tea! Oh, I wish I lived near you! I, too wish hats would come back in style. I like to wear them now if I have the chance. When I was eighteen I wore a pink petal dome hat for Easter sunday. I sure wish I still had that hat! I saw on Pintrest a hat just like it on a cake stand for decoration at a tea party! (It looked almost like a cake!). When first working as a nurse I wore the nurses cap! You gave a wonderful tea and and you look so cute in your pill box hat!
    Blessings to you

  9. You amaze me with your energy and fun ideas! I thoroughly enjoyed this post!

  10. What an amazing tea these guests enjoyed! From the hat decor to the hat cake to the hat history, I love it ALL! Especially enjoyed seeing pix of you and Sandy and all the beautiful ladies in your families. Looks like everyone's hat is off to you again, Phyllis!

  11. Love, love, love your blog!! I live in Holland, Michigan, and what a treat to read your blog posts about your recent experience during Tulip Time! I also love going to English Cottage Tea in Grand Rapids. I was at the Mother's Day Tea Party there, and Cindy told me about you finding her and coming out for tea a few days earlier. I've been doing tea parties and speaking at tea parties for a number of years now, and it's always fun to meet other tea lovers! I, too, cannot believe that Holland doesn't have a tea room! Blessings always, and I hope we can meet in person some day!
    P.S. Next time you come to the area, you might consider staying at the Baert-Baron Mansion B&B in Zeeland. The house is almost unbelievable, and the proprietors, Anna and Vic VanDeventer, are amazing -- I've been to a number of dinners AND tea parties there, and those experiences will stay with me for a lifetime!)


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