Weddings don't always need to be a traditional black tie affair with a sit down meal.
Picture this: Luxurious picnic blankets laid out on lush green grass, delicious and succulent treats to sink your teeth into, and lawn games galore...
Sounds good right?
Picnic weddings are the perfect blend of rustic charm and elegant chic, and they make for a truly memorable event.
With Spring upon us and Summer just around the corner we've put together a guide to show you exactly how to throw the perfect sun soaked picnic wedding.
Venue Ideas & Inspiration
When it comes to where to host your picnic wedding the possibilities are endless. From a clearing in the woods to beachfront with a view of the ocean, the great outdoors is the ideal backdrop for your special day.
Luscious Lawns - One of the most popular picnic wedding locations, and for good reason, is amid the manicured gardens and grounds of a stunning private estate. Vast open spaces provide the perfect canvas for your outdoor wedding allowing plenty of room for you to customize the entire day to ensure it reflects your personal vision. After the day is done you can relax and unwind in complete luxury inside the beautiful and opulent accompanying estate.
Here are our top three suggestions for venues that offer gorgeous lawns and meadows:
-- Ash Lawn Highland - With 55 acres of well manicured lawns and pristine gardens Ash Lawn Highland offers a unique and romantic feel. It also boasts a beautiful hilltop pavilion which is a permanent structure that can be utilized in wet weather.
-- La Bella Vida - Dine on the lawn and under the night sky at the spacious and wondrous Mediterranean style La Bella Vida estate.
-- Hewitt Hill Farm - Feel at ease at this sweet old fashioned home with a luxury twist, and host your ceremony and reception comfortably atop smooth, expansive green lawns.
Whimsical Woodlands - It's no surprise that more and more couples are looking to tie the knot among the trees as a forest setting makes for a truly magical event. A picnic wedding nestled in the woodland lets you experience mother nature at her best. Thanks to the canopy of tree cover that comes hand in hand with a woodland wedding you can indulge in all the glories of a warm sunny day without having to worry about your guests getting sunburn. Pick a venue with a rustic barn to retreat into in the case of weather mishaps.
Here are our top three suggestions for venues that offer enchanting woodlands:
-- Bear Flag Farm - Surrounded by orchards, lavender fields and vineyards, Bear Flag Farm is an exquisite private estate which looks as though it was plucked from the French countryside.
-- Valentino Estate - Situated on 16 acres of sweeping patios, scenic lake and expansive grounds, the Valentino Estate offers endless options for guests looking to throw a picnic wedding.
-- Benton Ranch Estate - With 30 acres of usable land including picnic space under the trees, Brenton Ranch Estate also has a rustic gazebo offering additional shade and lounge space.
Beautiful Beaches - Who said picnics had to take place with grass under foot? If you love the idea of a picnic wedding but have always had our heart set on exchanging vows while gazing out over the deep blue waters, then why not combine the two? Golden sand, short dresses and strappy sandals, what more could you want... Once the picnic is over you and your guests can slip back inside your stylish waterside estate for cocktails and dancing.
Here are our top three suggestions for venues that offer awe inspiring beaches:
-- Villas Serena & Amanda - Situated on a private white sandy beach next to the tranquil waters of the Sea of Cortez perfect for a peaceful picnic wedding.
-- The Atlantic Beach Estate - Lazy palm trees, an infinite sky and panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean.
-- Bayview Mansion - Californian architecture and distinguished furnishings is abound at the 5 star luxury of the Bayview Mansion. You also have access to a large beach where you can host the picnic wedding of your dreams before retiring to the estate to bask in all the amenities it has to offer.
Eats & Treats
The Menu - One of the biggest considerations when hosting a picnic wedding is the food. Think classic picnic staples, dialed up a notch. Refreshing watermelon slices are the perfect appetizer to serve at any picnic wedding. Choose crusty bread for sandwiches as this won't get soggy and enlist the help of the trusty mason jar to store your salads in a super cute way.
Grab & Go - Another great option for your picnic wedding food is grab and go boxes or baskets which come filled with picnic inspired fare. Invite guests to take one along with a blanket before heading off to find their perfect spot to tuck into all the delights you have in store for them.
Keeping Food Fresh - When it comes to keeping the food fresh, package everything separately in either glass, glassine or paper. Packaging the food in one of the aforementioned will allow it to stay fresh for several hours leaving you with one less thing to worry about. It also lets guests eat neatly out of their hands, if this is the approach you are opting for. To keep the sun away from your food drape fabric over nearby tree branches.
Utensils - For utensils try disposable and recyclable bamboo cutlery sets. Use a piece of rustic ribbon or twine to to these to napkins and pop them into each picnic basket or on the food station if you are having more of a buffet style do.
Drinks - To make sure everyone stays well hydrated how about a lemonade stand which guests can enjoy at their whim throughout the festivities? Light and refreshing cocktails are also always a big hit, along with big ice tea filed pitchers and chilled water bottles.
Wedding Favors - Give your guests a sweet send off with miniature raspberry fruit tarts packaged in pie boxes and sealed with stickers and ribbon, or if you prefer fill each favor bag with a collection of all your favorite seasonal produce.
Game & Activities to Keep Your Guests Entertained
No picnic wedding is complete without lawn games! Kite flying, sack races, and croquet are just some of the outside games you can get your guests involved in to keep your wedding reception interactive and full of fun times. For the senior guests or those that prefer to simply chill, why not set up tables with dominoes, checkers and decks of cards. A movie on the lawn would be a fabulous way to end the evening or you could even set up a stargazing station to let guests explore the endless possibilities of the moonlit sky.
To help get you inspired here's a list of more great games you can play at your picnic wedding:
-- Hula hoops
-- Giant Jenga
-- Lawn bowling
-- Mini golf
-- Musical chairs
-- Balloon stomp
The advantage with all these games is every single one of them can also be moved indoors in a weather crisis, so while you may need a backup plan to ensure you and your guests don't get soaked in the event of a sudden downpour, you won't need to worry about also providing alternative entertainment.
Key Details You Don't Won't to Forget
If you're planning a wedding then you'll know just how crazy it can get when you're trying to juggle a million things. To make things easier for you we've put together a disaster proof checklist list of all the key details you don't won't to forget when planning your picnic wedding.
Tables & Chairs -- Bear in mind that not all your guests will be able to picnic with you so ensure you also have some beautiful tables and chairs set up aside the main picnic area.
Provide Plenty Of Blankets & Pillows -- If you want your guests to fully embrace your picnic wedding then be sure to provide a plethora of blankets and pillows that will invite them to get cozy.
Bunting & Gingham -- A picnic just isn't a picnic without bunting and gingham. Wrap your bunting around the trees, hang it from the branches, or pin in to the buffet tables and drinks stands. Use gingham for the napkins, ribbons and other little details. You could even have gingham bunting - now that's a match made in heaven!
Restrooms -- A picnic wedding is great but if you're planning to host the event in a secluded location then make sure ample restrooms facilities are nearby, if not then rent a deluxe temporary restroom.
Wet Weather Backup Plan -- Don't let unexpected weather ruin your big day. Consider renting a marquee or similar style canopy which can be utilized in the case of emergency, or alternatively look for a venue which has a barn or rustic indoor area which everything can be moved into if it rains.
Are you considering a picnic wedding? Share with us in the comments below...