Charming Summer Picnic Party
July 2, 2018

picnic basket, plate of food, glass, bottle of mineral water on blanket for a charming summer picnic party

Charming Summer Picnic Party

When warm weather hits don’t you just want to do everything outdoors!? {Unless you’re in Arizona and then, I’ll take the AC} When brainstorming birthday party ideas we thought a charming summer picnic party would be so much fun for girls of any age. If your first thought is “How can a picnic be charming?”, I hear you and I’ve walked you through all the elements you need to create a memorable and delicious event.

Summer Picnic Party Invitation

Floral and plaid birthday invitation for a charming summer picnic party

You start with the invitation of course! This Picnic Party Invitation is perfect for a summer birthday party, fun Mother’s Day party, or a girls night out. Florals and plaid are a match made in design heaven! I also happen to be a huge fan of the blue and raspberry color palette popping up everywhere. It inspired the back of this invitations’ fresh take on the plaid picnic blanket. You can pick this charming little invite up on the Halfpint Party Design Etsy Shop, it also comes with a thank you card, envelope insert pattern and envelope address design.

Charming Picnic Party?

Now how on earth do we make a picnic charming? Here are 8 simple ways you can elevate the feeling of the event. As usual, it’s all in the details….

1: A cute picnic basket is a must  

Picnic basket, blue glasses, and mineral water bottles on blanket for charming summer picnic party

Unless you are hiking in to some remote location, your food isn’t going to be sitting in the basket for long so I’m not too worried about keeping it in a cooler. I did have an ice pack to keep the drinks chilled but everything else was perfectly delicious at room temperature.

2: Don’t use Grandma’s Blanket 

Meat and cheese tray on blanket for summer picnic party

Or if you do….cover it up. Select a few yards of pretty fabric to really set the stage in style. I love the casual look of this denim with the sophisticated lace embroidery. A lace tablecloth would be out of place on the grass at the park, but this classy denim is perfectly suited to the occasion. Because it’s just a single layer of fabric though, I laid down a thicker blanket first and topped it with this beauty so we could enjoy both form and function!

3: Take a cake plate for serving 

It’s totally worth hauling in a few special pieces to elevate the decor. I chose a simple white cake stand to serve the cheese and crackers instead of pulling them out of a Ziploc bag! Nothing fancy about that. If this seems over the top to you….you can skip it, but I promise that the birthday girl will notice all the details and feel extra super special!

4: Add party banners for a special touch

Mini pennant banner, blanket on grass for charming summer picnic party

Another simple item to increase the festive feeling is a mini pennant banner like this one. We simply tied it to the flower pot on one side and the picnic basket on the other. If you like these little minis as much as I do I’m happy to share this beauty with you here today.
Download Mini Banner Here

5: Bring your own flowers

Meat and cheese tray, basket with flowers and bread, on blanket in grass for summer picnic party

This would of course depend on the location of this outdoor picnic. You may not need extra blooms in a botanical garden, but I’ve never heard anyone say, “I’m sorry, there are too many flowers!” I’m not suggesting toting roses to your next lunch break, this is reserved for special events: girl birthdays, mom and me Mother’s Day, or even an al fresco proposal dinner. {hint, hint gentlemen!} I chose hydrangeas. A potted pink and cut blue variety. I also loved the potted daisies, and cut white stock. *WARNING: Hydrangeas do NOT do well in the heat without water so if they are cut make sure to keep the little water vial they come with or display them in a vase.

 6: Provide placemat and napkins 

picnic basket, plate of food, glass, bottle of mineral water on blanket for a charming summer picnic party

Just because we’re outside, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t still try to keep the food off our clothes and the picnic blanket. The paper mats helped my daughter to stay tidy as we were, of course, wearing fancy clothes! And the cloth napkins came in handy and gave me a second pattern to use for coordinating the design. We used the floral watercolor fabric for napkins, sandwich ties, and as a cute detail on the forks. Enlarging and printing the full sheet envelope insert design on a sheet of 11×17 paper gave us the perfect coordinating placemat.

Picnic Food – What to Eat?

Now that we know how to do it. Let’s get down to the important business of what we should pack in that cute picnic basket of ours.

Summer Salad

Plate of spinach salad with raspberry poppyseed dressing on blanket for a charming summer picnic party

This is a controversial picnic food item so I figured we’d just get it out of the way first! Salads are notoriously hard to eat with a plate in your lap. They contain things that always seem to roll around and end up on your clothes. And the salad dressing is usually a mess to pack, pour, and store. Does that pretty much sum it up? Now, I LOVE salads on a warm summer day so I wanted to figure out HOW to make it work. So I started by purchasing a lovely pre-made berry spinach salad in the grocery store deli and adding additional berries. Bonus that it came with a darling carafe of raspberry vinaigrette that included a to-go lid. {which I taped closed for transport just in case!} In hindsight I should have served it in a bowl to reduce the aforementioned rolling of the berries, but instead we chose to lay on our stomachs, leaving the plates on the blanket, and were able to eat salads at a picnic without mishap!

The food before the food

Meat and cheese tray with plaid flag pick at charming summer picnic party

Everyone loves a little cheese and crackers. Add a few extra nibbles like summer sausage, dried cherries, and almonds. Pack a cheese knife and go to town. A plastic knife will also work in a pinch for safety!

7: Dress up simple Picnic Sandwiches

Wrapped sandwich and scones on blanket for a charming summer picnic party

I’m not a huge fan of sandwiches I make at home. They’re always a little dry, nothing fancy, kinda blah. So I took some notes from our favorite deli and created some amazingly delicious sandwiches with soft bread and fresh ingredients. Then you’ve gotta wrap that lovely up so it doesn’t fall part. I used a large doily tied with fabric, then added a pretty label that matched the invitations so we’d know which wich was which. Let me know in the comments what you favorite sandwich combinations are. We did:

  • Chicken Pesto Artichoke and Provolone for Mom
  • Smoked Turkey Avocado and Sun Dried Tomato for Daughter

Scones are another favorite around here and as a sweet side I tied blueberry scones with twine to up the cuteness factor.

Sweet Treat

Plate of berries and chocolate flower treat on blanket for a charming summer picnic party

We also had a chocolate mousse flower {Trader Joe’s} and more berries for our “lunch dessert”! Birthdays and special occasions seem to call for lots of sweets. This was a carb heavy meal so I like keeping the treats light. Cookies or dessert shooters would also work well for a picnic, being self contained and easy to transport.

8: Label your glasses

Cobalt blue glass and blue bottle of mineral water on blanket for charming summer picnic party

So logically a juice box is the simplest choice for a party at the park but that was just not charming enough! I picked up a set of cobalt glasses second hand and knew they had to make the trip. I embellished them with coordinating fabric strips and a name tag. We opted for mineral water in the prettiest blue glass bottle. Once the bottle is open, however, take care not to let it tip on the uneven surfaces. I may have learned this from experience! Good thing I’ve got quick reflexes.

9: Bonus…More Bread anyone? 

Basket with flowers and baguettes for summer picnic party

And because I’ve always wanted to indulge my inner French woman and carry a basket of baguettes and flowers I had to incorporate this one. Mostly for decoration than anything else. After all this food we were too full to think about needing MORE bread! But I quickly zipped it up at the end and we enjoyed it for the next few days.

Our Charming Summer Picnic Party

Charming summer picnic party spread on blanket in the grass

I hope you enjoyed the tour of our charming summer picnic party inspired by our darling floral birthday invitations and have some great ideas on how to style your own fancy picnic. If you’ve got more people for a birthday party, four would easily fit on the blanket. If you need more it would be really cute to have a “food blanket” and then several eating blankets to accommodate your guest list. After you’re all done eating you should consider playing croquet to keep the party moving and staying classy! I hope that you are enjoying your summer as much as we are!

Additional Reading:

Until next time my friends,

Halfpint Design, personal headshot, Bri Adams

18 Comments

  1. Nathalie - Press Print Party

    Gorgeous invitation and banner!! The girls so love picnics. I love how you show us to do it in style!!

    Reply
  2. Susan

    Oh Bri ! Everything looks so beautiful ! Love the banner and the way you wrapped those sandwiches. I’m taking notes over here.

    Reply
  3. Beth

    Love the blue and raspberry color palette for a summer picnic. Your special touches for ordinary food items make this picnic very inviting!

    Reply
  4. Natalie Mayhew

    Just love your summer picnic, that fabric choice is divine. What a great gift of printables!!

    Reply
  5. Carolina

    Bri, I love every single detail! You thought of everything!! The blanket is beautiful!!

    Reply
  6. Lori

    What a pretty picnic spread Bri! I love all the details like the pattern on the wood forks & sandwich wraps! I got those same flower mousse cakes too!! So cute!! I just love it all!

    Reply
  7. Sarina

    Darling summer picnic! I love the color scheme you picked out and all the delicious, fancy food!

    Reply
  8. Holly

    This is such a beautiful picnic!! Having a picnic is on my bucket this– this is inspiring me to actually do one!!

    Reply

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Nice To Meet You!

Gingerbread houses in a row as table runner centerpiece for a Christmas Cookie Exchange PartyI’m Bri of Parties With A Cause. I’m a mother to three crazy awesome kids, interior designer, & party planning junky. I love reading, globe trotting, and frozen yogurt. And I’m elevating the party experience one cause at a time! Read More

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