In the beginning of October, I began planning my sweet 16 party, and was completely stumped for what to do. I didn’t want something crazy, like some people do for their sweet sixteen (where it’s literally a wedding), but I did want something a little bit more special than just pizza and games. So after spending a good entire day scouring Pinterest, I decided on doing a bohemian dinner picnic party. It looked absolutely beautiful and dreamy and just the type of special yet peaceful thing that I was looking for. I originally planned on having it outside, but with freezing temperatures and predicted snow, (and correctly so) we ended up moving it inside. The evening turned out really well and everything came together beautifully.
So what exactly is a “dinner picnic”? Well, it’s like a formal picnic – usually compiled of a pretty table set up, plenty of food, and lots of pillows. A picnic party is also perfect for almost any occasion including a bridal shower, baby shower, birthday, date night, etc. It’s a fun and unique idea for any type of gathering or party!
I decided to do a boho/rustic/ fall themed dinner and it turned out so much better than I thought it would! I filled the table with dried flowers, fairy lights, pumpkins, charcuterie boards, and candles, and more. The table was simply just four pallet boards stacked on top of each other and to add some color and coziness there were bright throw pillows surrounding it – it was so lovely!
Honestly, I barely knew what I was doing when buying the supplies and setting up, but with lots of help from Pinterest pictures and family advice, it all came together perfectly and was such a fun and dreamy experience! It happened to be snowing outside too, creating a sparkling white view through each of our windows. That paired with the warmth and brightness inside, there was truly a lovely atmosphere inside!
How to create your own….
Hopefully you’re super intrigued by now (if not in love) and are wondering where to start so that you can make your own little dinner picnic! Thankfully, it’s actually a lot more simple than you might think, and you can be pretty frugal in creating it too. Here’s a few steps to helping you create your own dreamy, formal (or not so formal) picnic!
1. Pick Your Style
I decided on a rustic/bohemian/ fall theme, and created that by the wood pallet boards, neutral fall colors (with some bright pops), and different textures and designs. When deciding what theme/ style you are going to make your picnic, consider the following questions: What occasion is this for? Who is this for? What color theme will it have? Will it be simple or all out? Questions like these (and your own preferred taste) will easily help you find out what type of theme you will have, as well as going through Pinterest and finding some ideas.
Once you have picked a color theme, occasion, overall theme, and design elements, you can start thinking about some more practical to-dos to make it a reality!
2. Decide on Location + Atmosphere
Decide on where you’ll set up and enjoy your dinner picnic – whether outside or inside. If outside, picking a place under trees, near a garden, or with a view are always the go-to, but make sure the temperature and atmosphere will be comfortable for guests and easy to set up. (e.g. I planned on having mine under fall trees and/or a booth tent over it with fairy lights strung up).
If inside, make sure there is a roomy, nice spot to set up, have ease to the kitchen, and simply has a nice atmosphere and view to sit in. I chose our bright, airy dining room that has beautiful window views and also easy access to the kitchen.
3. Brainstorm Needs and Buy Supplies
Now that you know your taste + theme and where you’ll be setting up, now you’ll need to do some brainstorming of what you need to set up. This is going to be just about everything – food, serving dishes, table set up items, decor, furniture, etc. Take a minute to look back at those Pinterest pics and the things that are on their table set up, as well as my pictures I have, and then make a big ol’ list of everything you’ll need.
I bought most everything that we didn’t have on Amazon (decor, set up, etc.) and then I just went to our local grocery store for the charcuterie board ingredients. Some great places to find these items are the mentioned ones above as well as local boutiques, farmer’s market, and maybe even an antique store.
4. Prepare Supplies, Food, and More.
Once you have all of your supplies and ingredients, a little prep work the day before will be really helpful for when you are setting up the next day. I baked the desserts, filled pillow covers, bought ingredients, cleaned the house and set out the supplies. Mentally setting up and reviewing will also help things to flow together easily the next day!
5. Put it all Together!
On the day of, set up your picnic with everything that you’ve gotten. Begin with the furniture, then start on the table set up (my favorite part). I looked at a lot of pictures for inspiration for this part, and then set up the table according to that and my own taste. Just have fun with it and enjoy using your creative side!
A couple hours before guests start arriving, you can start setting up the food items. Again, Pinterest was a huge help with my charcuterie boards, as well as my sister Nicci who graciously, (and skillfully, I must say) set them up for me. We then added these beauties to the table set up, which really completed it and made it even more lovely. I also had apple cider ready in a crock pot with cups out, dessert ready and set aside, and got the kitchen cleaned up.
Once your dreamy set up is complete, wait for your guests and enjoy your time! I hope that this has benefited and inspired you in creating your own dinner picnic party!
Decor + Items Featured in Pictures
I was not able to directly link to the exact product for everything, but most everything is exactly the one I used! These lists are just in case you wanted to find where I got an exact product in my pictures, and are not affiliate links or commission earning.
- Orange velvet pillow covers with tassles
- Macrame Pillow covers
- Plain Canvas pillow covers
- Yellow Round pillow – Urban Outfitters, no longer available
- Faux Pumpkins
- Round swivel cheese board with knives
- Small Rectangle Charcuterie Boards with Marble
- Large Canvas (for sitting on)
- White Flower Pitcher
- Glass Bottles
- Tealight Beeswax Candles
- Fairy Lights
- Cream and Gold Plastic Plates
- Dried Flowers
Charcuterie Board Ingredients
Feel free to customize your ingredient list based on your own taste, ingredient availability, and budget. The list below of food we bought cost about $140 for a meal of about 10 people, with leftovers. Although these ingredients can tend to be kind of pricey, you still want to get the highest quality options of them, since the taste and presentation will be way worth it!
- Fancy olives
- Fig spread
- Boursin Cheese
- Goat Cheese
- Smoked gouda
- Homemade pesto flatbread (recipe linked, but I just added pesto on top before baking)
- Summer sausage
- Stone ground dijon mustard
- Sahale nut mix
- Artichoke dip
- Sourdough artisan crackers
- Artisan flatbread crackers
- Apple cider
- Sparkling water
I hope that you enjoyed this post and are now inspired to go and host your own picnic party! Have you seen this idea before? Will you ever try this out? Let me know you thoughts + questions in the comments below!