When my friends Abir and Angela got engaged, I immediately declared that I was going to throw them an engagement party. They said they wanted a garden party feel and that they loved an Alice in Wonderland theme bar in San Diego that they visited right after their engagement. And with that, my descent into Alice in Wonderland-themed madness began.
There are lots of pics out there of Alice-themed parties, but a lot of them are for little kids or for girly bridal showers. Since this party was for the bride AND groom, I decided to concentrate on the “mad tea party” aspect. I knew I wanted people to know this was going to be a “different” kind of party before they even walked in the door.
I also knew that it was likely that the weather wouldn’t hold up, so I wanted it to feel like the outside, inside. It would be a topsy-turvy Wonderland kind of thing to do, and it would create that “garden party” feeling, even if we couldn’t go out in a real garden.
I wanted to do an astroturf table runner, but my mom suggested I use real grass. I got a roll of sod from Home Depot and created an easy “mad” garden centerpiece with real produce and fake balls of grass on top of my real sod runner.
On one side of the centerpiece, I stuck skewers with meats and cheeses along with a sign that read, “Don’t step on the mome raths.”
On the other side I had my “mad teas.” One was an Arnold Palmer made with tea-flavored vodka and lemonade and the other was a West Virginia Iced Tea, which was a West Virginia take on a Long Island Iced Tea since the happy couple are from West Virginia. These were served with “Drink Me” glasses, of course.
I also served an assortment of finger sandwiches, make your own roasted rosemary lamb sandwiches, and “white rabbit” meatballs. The meatballs were actually a mixture of rabbit and pork (because its really hard to get ground rabbit) and they went so fast I wasn’t able to get a picture.
And what would a tea party be without a little something sweet? I originally planned to make this big jello wedding cake but I foolishly decided to put alcohol in that as well, and it completely fell apart when it came out of the mold. Luckily, my Martha Stewart Cherry Almond Tea Cakes came out great, as did my black and white cake pops.
Unfortunately, more disaster struck with my meringue mushroom forest. I thought it would be a good idea to keep them upright with a little dab of chocolate on the bottom of their “stems.” But when the chocolate hardened it was almost impossible to get them off the tray. They still looked cute though.
And, as it turned out, the sun held out for a little bit and we were even able to get some real garden time into the garden party. Of course, the Cheshire Cat surveyed the scene with glee.
And since I had brought the outdoors in, I wanted to bring a little civility outside. So, I planted some flowers in teacups for a cute, quick and easy outdoor centerpiece. I used some of my leftovers teacups on the entry table, along with some flowers in a mason jar.
“A” for Alice, “A” for Abir and Angela, and “A” for “A Complete Loon,” which is what I was for planning so many projects for one party. It did turn out A-dorable and A-mazing though, so maybe it was all worth it? I’ll let you know when I’ve recovered.