Summer is in full effect and with it, endless options to spend the long, warm days. Barbecuing and dining al fresco are all obvious options but did you know July is National Picnic Month?
Don't worry if it's been some time since you've packed a basket and hit the greens. We've rounded up planners to share their hacks for creating a gorgeous spread and seamless experience. Here's what they have to say.
Upgrade your culinary experience.
Skip the burger and hot dogs. They don't travel well and are better served right off the grill. Pack charcuterie, fresh fruit and roasted chicken for a picture perfect meal worthy of Instagram suggests River Roast event planner Hilary Saurer. Avoid boring side dishes like potato salad and instead, bring along colorful options like caprese and fruit skewers. The pre-portioned servings are easier to handle and make clean-up almost obsolete.
Set the tone with pretty packaging.
Maximize packing space, ditch the heavy dining ware and avoid having to clean plastic containers after by using disposable (and environmentally friendly) packaging. Christine Picerno, event planner at Cafe Brauer, recommends Pack'n'Wood supplies. The line has everything from bamboo skewers to mini wood boxes for sandwiches. It's a simple way to elevate the dining experience from start to finish.
Dress up your set-up.
Take your picnic up a notch by focusing on the details. Bring along flowers which can be laid out or placed in a small vase. A patterned tablecloth or blanket goes a long way in setting the mood (ensure it's big enough to fit your party, food items and then some). Opt for patterned plates and cups to add a fun and beautiful element to your picnic, says Hilary.
Go mini for dessert.
Stick to the personal portion theme. Individual, smaller portions are trendy, says Hilary. Bring along mini macarons, cookies, tarts and pies for guests to be able to try a little bit of everything.
Beautify your beverages.
Batch cocktails in advance to make packing easier suggests Hilary. A large container makes it easy for guests to share and serve themselves. Consider a glass receptacle for presentation points (think punches mixed with seasonal fruits or floral ice cubes for your drinks).
Make sure your booze-free option is equally as pretty (and tasty!). Christine suggests infusing your waters with cool and breezy flavors like strawberry, cucumber, lemon and/or berries.
And most importantly, don't forget to leave your picnic spot in the same way you found it. Bring along a plastic bag to ensure you have somewhere to place your waste.
Style Me Pretty Contributor - Ximena N. Larkin is a writer and publicist who resides in Chicago with her husband and dog. ximenabeltran.com