words Alexa Wang
Time has a habit of moving a little too quickly. It may feel like yesterday that the colder days began to set in, and yet springtime is already at hand! With the weather warming and the days lengthening once again, enjoying the outdoors is back on the cards – once again opening up the possibility of the picnic party for special events. But how best to organise such a party?
Occasion and Theme
Firstly, what’s the occasion? You might be celebrating a birthday, anniversary, engagement or simply making the most of some unseasonably warm weather. Whatever the reason, you can use it as a jumping-off point for planning, and perhaps as a way of discerning a theme for your picnic. For example, a pregnancy announcement could benefit from a “spring” theme, with spring flowers and bright colours to signify rebirth.
The location of your outdoor party is your next consideration. If you have a garden, you might want to host the picnic there – giving you access to your house and kitchen for preparation, storage and other amenities. You could also host the party at an accessible public park, which might be easier for attendees to get to.
Whichever way you try to plan a picnic party, seating will always be a point of contention. The ground is a lot harder than it might seem, and especially so after more than ten minutes of sitting on it. What kinds of seating could you introduce that would complement your theme? Big cushions and throw-blankets could be used for a more relaxed, bohemian picnic, while folding furniture could be used for a meal or cook-out.
Next, you should turn your attention to how you’ll decorate your picnic space. Flowers are a great way to naturally define your area, while deploying fairy lights can be a chic way to illuminate the party as the sun sets. Even the choice of picnic blankets can have a profound effect on the aesthetic of the party.
Food and Drink
Picnics are all about grazing. Buffet-friendly foodstuffs like vol-au-vents, charcuterie boards and other finger foods like olives, crisps and dips are king, with individual muffins and cookies perfect for a sweeter touch. For a more substantial offering, you could make bringing a dish a condition of attendance, so guests cook in advance and bring food to share. Drinks should reflect the weather and the theme; for example, in early summer, cucumber-garnished tonics and bright lemony cocktails would fit right in.
Good company and good conversation is entertainment enough for an outdoors party, but sometimes a game or activity can be an excellent addition to an event. Oversized playing cards could be used to play a lawn game, or a frisbee could be used to play a team-sport of sorts.
No event is quite complete without a winning playlist. Be sure to have a Bluetooth speaker fully charged and ready to go, and consider creating a shared playlist on a music platform that guests can contribute to ahead of time. Just be mindful of the volume in a public place!