Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A Little Tea Etiquette

In a few weeks I will be co-hosting a bridal tea for a dear friend. I've finalized most of the details at this point, and boy has it been interesting. We probably all know that afternoon teas can be very "proper" affairs, but I was still fascinated by how many tea-related things are floating around out there.

{available here}

Did you know that there's a proper way to hold a tea cup? There is. "One's fingers are placed to the front and back of the handle with the pinkie finger tilted slightly up for balance. It is rude to loop fingers through the handle or to hold the body of the cup with the palm of the hand."

Another important tip on stirring (of all things!): "It is considered rude to stir one's tea in wide circular motions. Proper etiquette requires the teaspoon to be held at the six o'clock position to begin. Then, any added liquid is folded lightly towards the twelve o'clock position two or three times." Whew, I better be careful of that one! More tea-sipping etiquette found here.

I found so many little things designated specifically for teas. There's the teaspoon, of course:

{available here}

And, according to Crane, tea affairs have their own style of invitation. The "tea length invitation" is tall and narrow like this one in the middle:

{available here}

There are also tea length programs for weddings:

{available here}

You may already be familiar with the tea length dress:

{available here}

The official word is that modernly "if a dress falls above the ankle and below the knee, it may be properly considered a tea length dress. Anything longer may be considered 'ballerina length' or 'maxi length.'" Historically, a tea length dress was quite different:

{image from here}

Quirky etiquette tidbits ~ maybe not all that relevant, but still fun!

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