There’s nothing that says summer more than the time-honored tradition of the picnic. Obviously, a picnic is defined as “an outing or occasion that involves taking a packed meal to be eaten outdoors,” but beyond that, picnics can accompany so many different occasions. It can be a beach picnic, a picnic to enjoy during an outdoor concert, a mountaintop picnic to celebrate the end of a long hike, or even just a gorgeous little something you set up in your backyard. But how do you do it right? Our friends at Be Inspired went to the experts, tapping some of the hospitality industry’s finest for tips. Before you pack up your picnic basket, read this: 

  1. “Use what you already have! You don’t have buy all new stuff to make an al fresco afternoon on-trend—use what you can from your own home (like your favorite rug, a pouf from your bedroom, the stack of blankets from your closet, that coffee table tray) to bring your own style into the mix. And if you’ve got some fruit with a hard rind (like mangoes) and a paint pen lying around, you have everything you need for memorable, photo-worthy place cards.” – Lesley Smith, Ceremony App
  2. Plan your location in advance. Public parks, beaches, and woodlands sure are scenic… but they’re, you know, public! Make sure your chosen site isn’t hosting a volleyball tournament or DIY wedding on the day of your picnic.” – The team at Here Comes the Guide
  3. “Decorate with fresh flowers to add color and make your picnic that much more Instagrammable. Complete your outdoor picnic with hardy flowers that are less prone to wilting! We recommend choosing flowers like Succulents, Carnations, Daisies, Poms, Mums, Thistle and Sunflowers!” – Liza Roeser Atwood, CEO of FiftyFlowers.com
  4. Curate the setting! We love the idea of bringing your Bluetooth speaker along to play your favorite summer playlist while you wine and dine.” – The team at Here Comes the Guide
  5. “Make custom and sustainable menus at home – print your menu right on your napkins! Cut down on clutter, waste, AND add a refined flare to your table by screen printing your menu onto cloth napkins. While this looks and sounds expensive, there are lots of online options of semi-disposable cotton and linen napkins that tear off of a roll like paper towels! Screen printing one color is very inexpensive and can be done quickly.” – Jill Ryder, Shindig Bespoke
  6. “Be weather wise. Pack sunscreen, some wide-brimmed straw hats, or a pop-up shade canopy. In case of an unexpected chill or shower, extra blankets will do the trick. And if the grass is already a bit wet? Put a shower curtain liner between the wet grass and your picnic blanket to keep everything nice and dry.” – The team at Here Comes the Guide
  7. “Plates with built in cup holders are your best friend. With only two hands, how are you expected to eat AND drink AND mingle all at the same time? This is why I’m a huge fan of plates that have a built-in wine glass holder. Amazon has a huge variety of permanent and disposable options.” – Jill Ryder, Shindig Bespoke
  8. “Get your gourmet on! Even if the bulk of the fare is ordinary chicken or sandwiches, add some fancy accompaniments.(Who says you can’t have caviar at a picnic!?) But even things like smoked salmon, a chic charcuterie board, and macarons for dessert add a touch of luxury to your spread.” – The team at Here Comes the Guide