As we near the transition from summer to fall, it’s important to take advantage of the warm weather while we can. Before the temps cool and the leaves begin to change, host a rustic outdoor picnic with your closest friends and family! We partnered with Samantha Elizabeth to help her do just that – and give you inspiration for your own end-of-summer gathering. Whether you’re organizing an elegant bridal shower, baby shower, bachelorette party or fall dinner with your girls, we have all the secrets to making your next backyard party Instagram-worthy.
Whether you’re celebrating summer or hosting your first harvest party of the season, wood is a great foundation for any outdoor picnic. Stack recycled wood pallets to create a rustic makeshift table, then incorporate the material further with a stained cutting board or serving tray. A charcuterie spread is delicious and aesthetically pleasing, no matter the season – just replace your summer fruit with apples and cranberries for fall.
You can also use earthy elements as a base for your drinks and dessert platter. A vintage wooden chest doubles as a table when moved outside, and fits effortlessly into the rustic theme when it’s painted white and distressed. Tie in raw materials by stacking a piece of plywood and log cake tray – you can even decorate a pastry with flowers or greens from your garden. Finally, a sprig of baby’s breath is the perfect finishing touch for this set-up, whether laid next to your rosé or in a bottle-turned-vase. To update the spread for an autumn get-together, swap your blush-colored beverage for your favorite red wine or cider.
Another on-trend necessity for your next outdoor picnic comes in the form of metallic mugs and utensils. Copper, rose gold and yellow gold are having a moment, but they’re also versatile enough to use all year round. Don’t be afraid to mix and match metals, or incorporate other rustic materials into your place settings (like canvas, twine, wood, and herbs – rosemary sprouts actually are a great garnish for your napkin rings!). Serve grapefruit mules in your mugs until summer comes to an end; then switch to cinnamon apple cider or spiced punch when the leaves start to fall.
Fresh flowers are a natural centerpiece for a garden party or picnic, and will help bring a pop of color to the otherwise neutral setting. Peach, purple and yellow peonies are a perfect choice for summer, while roses, sunflowers, and heleniums look great for fall. Either place the flowers into small, clear vases or re-purpose Mason jars to stay true to your rustic theme.
For an extra cozy vibe your guests will love, create a seating area with throw pillows, blankets and rugs. Pastel blue will complement your summery accent hues well, while plaid prints will add a fall twist when autumn is in full force. Hang globe string lights to add a rustic, romantic ambiance (and to allow your party to continue long after the sun sets).
Now that you’re covered when it comes to picnic essentials, learn which color you need in your closet to transition your wardrobe from summer to fall.