AUTHOR: BEC OF 'FOR EVERY HEN'
Picnic parties are fast becoming one of the most popular ways to celebrate a bridal shower, kitchen tea, and even part of a hen party. With beautiful scenery, amazing company and all the food/drink you could ask for, it’s easy to see why!
With tips for finding the best location right through to picnic games and activities, we not only share how to host a picnic party, but also some of the best picnic ideas around. With this inspiration your event is bound to be a raging success
LOCATION: FINDING THE BEST PICNIC SPOT
When hosting a picnic party, location is key! Will it be indoors or outdoors? At a house, in a hotel room, at the park, near a beach, in the backyard, or in a garden? Whichever you decide, it needs to be suitable for your celebration.
‘Make sure you have parking options, toilets close by, and chairs for the elderly’, Kelly of Little Miss Party Planner suggests. Kelly also recommends checking with the local council that picnics are ok. ‘The last thing you need is a ranger telling you to move on!’, she says.
Ebby of Little Bird Events agrees, adding that you should ‘make sure the bride loves where you’re going, and if outdoors, scope it out beforehand [at the] same time of day your party will be; so you can check how busy it is and where the shady spots are’. The more planning you do upfront, the better your day will flow in the end’, says Ebby.
When looking for the best picnic spots keep an eye out for:
WHAT IF THE WEATHER TURNS?
Knowing exactly what you’d do should the weather turn will ensure that your indoor picnic party will be just as magical as any outdoor gathering would have been.
‘Find a wet weather option as a back up JUST IN CASE; a house or private venue that can be hired is perfect for this’ says Kelly of Little Miss Party Planner.
Once you’ve chosen a backup venue, take a moment to look around. Take note of the layout and any other important details (such as toilet location, parking, etc.). You can then put together a basic plan that includes where you would set up the picnic, and where you would set up any pre-organised games/activities.
This will result in WAY less stress should the weather not be in your favour on the actual day. Rather than panicking, you can spring straight into action!
ARE YOU HAVING A THEME?
Are you thinking of having a picnic party theme? If it’s something you’re considering, ask yourself the following question: What type of celebration would your guest of honour love?
Relaxed? Classy? Elaborate? Fancy dress?
Tailor your theme to the answer.
To help get you inspired, we’ve outlined a few picnic theme party ideas below:
Oozing fun and creativity, this style draws on natural materials, comfort, colour and patterns. Follow these easy instructions to create your own stunning DIY boho picnic.
Pair your décor with the current season – taking inspiration from the colours around you. For example, a summer picnic party could feature bright hues and tropical foods, whilst an autumn picnic could feature natural materials (such as palette tables) alongside yellow, orange and red shades. A Winter picnic is the perfect excuse to incorporate a fire pit, marshmallows and cosy blankets, whilst a spring picnic could be based on soft tones and stunning floral decorations.
Bright and bold, a tropical picnic party is all about the colour and summer vibes! To learn how to create your own paradise inspired event, follow this link.
Retro items combined with music of the eras; a glamorous, timeless, sweet and fun Vintage picnic party will have guests questioning whether or not they actually time travelled!
THE 'SEATING SITUATION'
First thing's first: you will need to decide on how you're picnicking. Whether you’re chatting around an established picnic table, sprawled across picnic rugs on the ground, seated at a portable table, or even have a few of these options on offer; just make sure it’s planned. The last thing you need is to arrive at your beautiful location, food and drink at the ready... and no-where to party!
Tip: Think about who is attending the celebration. Elderly guests and heavily pregnant women, for example, may find it difficult to get up and down from picnic blankets. In this case, actual seats and a table would be a welcome addition to the day.
HOW TO MAKE YOUR PICNIC PARTY 'POP'!
Once you've decided on the seating situation, it's time to think more about styling. How are you going to create the look you're after? To help inspire you, we've outlined our favourite picnic party décor tips below:
PICNICKING AT AN ESTABLISHED TABLE
Established picnic tables are often wooden, which is absolutely perfect for rustic themed parties. If, however, this doesn't work with your vision, a table cloth is the easiest and most effective way to transform the space.
PICNICKING ON RUGS
Strategically place a few rugs on the ground. Don't be afraid to layer them to achieve both style and comfort. Some themes will call for rugs in similar hues, whilst others will encourage strong colours and patterns.
Once you have the base sorted, it's time to up the comfort factor. Throws and cushions, in a range of shapes, sizes and textures, will make your picnic area incredibly inviting. Cushions are great for sitting on, whilst throws will provide warmth on cooler days. Ottomans are another stylish and comfortable option.
PICKNICKING AT PORTABLE TABLES
These can be hired or brought from home. If they're not in the best state, no drama. Cover the table in a reusable table cloth. A simple fix with instant results!
Once you're happy with the base that you've created, it's time to bring in some accessories! Flowers are always our 'go to' décor. You will notice the immediate change in atmosphere when you bring them in. For some wonderful ways to display beautiful blooms at your celebration, click here.
Another instant atmosphere boost comes from lighting. Both festoon and fairy lights provide just the right glow, as do tealight candles.
Other gorgeous accessories that can be used include table runners, fabric napkins, balloons, tassel and/or fabric garlands, blackboards or other forms of signage, and any items that have a special meaning to your bride-to-be (even the smallest personalised touches can make the biggest difference to her day!
EASY PICNIC PARTY FOOD
Planning a picnic menu doesn’t have to be stressful.
Simple yet filling finger-foods are a great option, especially if they can be prepared a day or two in advance.
Mini quiches, tea sandwiches, sub sandwiches, fruit kebabs, scones, wraps (served as is or sliced), dips (served with a variety of breads) and strawberries in chocolate are just some of our faves.
Grazing platters are also a wonderful and filling option without much, if any, need for cutlery and plates. Cheese, antipasto, bread and dip, fruit – there are so many delicious platter options that are guaranteed to satisfy a hungry stomach! And despite their impressive looks, they’re quite easy to put together. Everything you need to know about crafting a masterpiece on a board can be found by clicking here.
And finally, mason jars filled with edibles, such as salads or desserts, can be a fun touch (dessert jars just happen to make fab favours, too!).
Tip: Grazing platters can be ordered from local small businesses, as can finger food, desserts and other delish picnic party options. If you find catering for a celebration overwhelming, and you can work it into your budget, getting the professionals to sort out this part of the day can be a huge weight off your shoulders. That, or rope in some friends/family to help with the baking!
QUENCH THAT THIRST WITH SOME DRINKS
Make sure your guests’ stay hydrated with a range of delicious beverages. ‘Any drinks that are easy to make onsite and can be offered via jugs or a drink dispenser are great’ says Kelly of Little Miss Party Planner, ‘we recommend bubbles or a punch’.
To view some of our favourite punch recipes, click here. If you’d rather serve a jug filled with cocktails, view our favourite recipes here!
When it comes to big celebrations, it’s worth including some high-quality non-alcoholic drinks.
‘Non-alcoholic drinks are a great way to pace yourself, especially if you are at a daytime event [such as a picnic]. Try swapping every other drink for a non-alcoholic one’, suggests Sans Drinks founder, Irene Falcone.
‘Gone are the days when a non-alc wine would essentially be grape juice. Now most non-alc wine is made in the same way as traditional wine – the alcohol has just been removed at the end’, Falcone explains.
For a celebration hen party picnic, Falcone recommends a premium non-alc sparkling wine such as Thomson and Scott Noughty or Wild Life Botanicals Sparkling Blush. ‘I’d also include some ready to drink mocktails such as Naked Life Negroni or Lyre’s Amalfi Spritz’.
DISPLAYING YOUR FOOD & DRINK
After whipping up a divine assortment of cold bevvies and edible goodies, it's time to think about how these masterpieces will be displayed!
PICNICKING AT A TABLE
Grazing platters or trays of food look stunning when draped down the centre of tables. If you would prefer less clutter, a separate table can be set up purely to display food and bevs (acting like a buffet, or even a cheeky drink station, for your picnicking pals!).
PICNICKING ON A RUG
Trays and platters of food can be simply placed on your rugs, ready for guests to dig in. Alternatively, low-to-the-ground tables (wooden pallets are fab for this) can be set up - ready to display your food, drink and more.
You may also like to get creative. Old trunks make it easy to transport items from home to the location, but they also double as a unique surface for displaying your glorious selection of food and beverages.
And finally, as mentioned above, there is also the option of setting up a 'buffet' table nearby!
PLAY SOME AWESOME PICNIC PARTY GAMES
Alongside your typical hen party and bridal shower games, picnic parties also lend themselves to some alternative (yet oh so memorable) options.
Giant jenga, oversized chess, bocce, croquet. Not only do enormous games lead to huge amounts of fun, but they're also enjoyable for guests of all ages.
Who doesn't love a cheeky game of ping pong? If you have a friend or relative who doesn't mind parting with their table for a few hours, it's well worth setting up at your picnic. A great ice-breaker and super fun, this is sure to be an unexpected hit!
Ping pong's racy cousin (and Beer pong's better half) will get those competitive juices flowing! To get started, set up a table with 5 reusable cups at each end (like a triangle). Teams then take turns sinking a ping pong ball into their opposing team's cups across the table. Ball in your cup? You drink. First to sink all of the cups claims victory and bragging rights!
PICNIC PARTY ACTIVITY IDEAS
A picnic party is an activity in itself. Beautiful backdrop, delicious food, refreshing drinks and amazing company - bliss! But if you want to surprise your beautiful bride-to-be with another wonderful experience, why not organise for someone to come to you, in this stunning location, and keep the party going?
Some of our favourite activities to pair with a picnic party include Paint 'n' Sip workshops, flower crown workshops, life drawing classes, wine tasting experiences, or even a leisurely bike ride. For the bride who loves a bit of competition, hilarious inflatable games (such as bubble soccer) are always a hit, as are adult laser tag parties (there will be so many places to hide from opposing team members in a garden!). You could even put up a volleyball net and enjoy a game ior two in the sunshine.
BEST THINGS TO TAKE TO A PICNIC PARTY
From the set-up through to the food, drinks and activities, this quick list outlines exactly what to bring to your picnic party; making it easier for you to check off those all important items!
Don’t have all of the items on the list? Try asking friends and family if they have any of your missing essentials. Alternatively, you could hire products such as drink dispensers, blankets, picnic tables, decorations, lawn games and more.
Too much to do on the day? Picnic party hire companies will not only have everything needed to create a dream celebration, but will also be more than happy to do the set up and pack up for you!
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