Aesthetic picnic: person holding a glass of wine

Picnics are the perfect way to celebrate everything from birthdays and anniversaries to the change of the seasons. With the right touches, you can create a sophisticated spread or a casual yet photo-ready repast to match the mood of your celebration. 

To take your picnic party to the next level, we’ve put together this list of aesthetic picnic ideas that’ll have you and your guests feeling like you’re living in a real-life photoshoot

Aesthetic Picnic: 13 Ideas for a Dreamy Celebration

Aesthetic picnic: charcuterie board and a bottle of wine

When a plain ol’ picnic just won’t do, it’s time to plan an aesthetic picnic. Think of this as the glammed-up version of a traditional picnic. It’s the type of spread you see on social media sites like TikTok and Instagram. Each detail is beautifully curated to create a whimsical aesthetic and dreamy vibe.

If you’re looking for picnic party ideas that go way behind gingham, you’ve come to the right place. Here, you’ll find tips and ideas for elevating your spread to create an aesthetic picnic that rivals the creations of even the most famed influencers.

1. Scope Out the Location

Aesthetic picnic by the sea

Since this picnic is all about aesthetics, you’ll want to find a spot with a great view or a vibrant color palette. Popular spots include lakeshores, verdant parks, and fields with wildflowers. Be mindful of the environment and opt for sustainable, eco-friendly picnic practices. For instance, avoid trampling on flowers, stay off private property, and consider how you can leave the place better than you found it. 

2. Choose a Stunning Picnic Basket

No picnic is complete without a picnic basket for the party fare. Go for a cottagecore aesthetic with a rustic wicker basket or opt for a modern take with a foldable, insulated picnic bag. For more glamor, look for picnic baskets with satin or silk liners. You can also DIY your own basket on the cheap by picking one up from a thrift shop and using a glue gun to add a liner or decorative elements.

3. Cozy Up With a Gorgeous Picnic Blanket

Set the scene for a cozy and magical picnic with a soft throw. Use a chunky knit blanket made of merino wool for a natural look or pack a colorful throw with florals for farmhouse style. For the perfect picnic, look for blankets that have fringe, pom poms, or other style elements that add visual interest and serve as part of your backdrop.

4. Add Soft Features

Picnics are all about being cozy and comfortable. Set out a few throws to keep guests warm if it’s chilly and opt for sitting pillows to make the scene comfier. For a cute picnic with winter vibes, use faux fur throws and textured pillows. For a fall fete, look for accents in gem hues like emerald, ruby, and sapphire.

5. Create a Vibrant Charcuterie Board

Charcuterie board and 2 glasses of wine

Charcuterie boards are trending — and they’re a must for your aesthetic picnic. From fall designs with pumpkins to spring takes loaded with fruit, they’re an easy way to glam up a picnic spread.

Start by choosing a stunning cheese board for the display. Acacia wood designs offer a warm look and live edge styles lend a natural look. For a truly luxurious picnic, opt for a marble cheese board

Load up the board with fruits, cold cuts, nuts, olives, dips, and cheese. Mix and match shapes to create an intricate design. There’s no shortage of ideas on Pinterest and Better Homes and Gardens if you get stuck. Be sure to include cheese slicers and dipping spoons so your picnic date can easily grab what they want.

6. Select Finger-Friendly Food Items

For an aesthetic picnic, you want to make sure the foods you serve aren’t too messy — after all, this isn’t a backyard BBQ! Instead, look for easy-to-eat finger foods like sliced veggies and fresh fruit. Soft cheese like brie work well on seasoned crackers and hard cheeses are easy to eat without a lot of mess.

Other picnic foods like finger sandwiches and aesthetic foods like pastries are always a good choice. Don’t forget the refreshments. Lemonade, champagne, and wine are all right at home at an aesthetic picnic.

7. Upgrade Your Servingware

Person pouring wine into a wine glass

For a luxury picnic, paper plates simply won’t do. Also, skip the plastic forks and knives and opt for real cutlery. Use reusable drinkware like mason jars for a farmer’s market vibe or break out the wine glasses for an elevated experience. Skip the paper napkins and use cloth napkins for a luxurious feel. The good news is that your picnic will not only look more photo-ready but it’ll also be more eco-friendly. 

8. Select a Color Scheme

When creating an aesthetic picnic, feel free to choose classic color palettes like red and white. Incorporate a gingham tablecloth into your picnic set for this traditional look. You can also play it up and add a modern take. For a beach picnic, consider mermaid-themed colors like turquoise, amethyst, and magenta.

9. Set Up Your Photoshoot

You’ve spent all this time planning so many details, so make sure you stage your photoshoot before things get messy. Flat lays always look good but have fun snapping photos from different angles — and with your picnic guests! If you want to be truly over-the-top, hire a professional photographer to take photos of the day or create a DIY backdrop with photo props.

10. Add a Sophisticated Parasol

We all love an outdoor picnic on a summer day, but the sun’s rays and heat can be a hazard. Prepare for hot weather and don’t forget the parasols. You can set up a large tent for the whole picnic space or choose smaller individual umbrellas. For a cottagecore picnic, parasols with lace accents are a great choice. You can also choose colorful umbrellas or patterned designs to fit your aesthetic.

11. Decorate With Flowers

Aesthetic picnic with flowers and candles

Add elegance to your aesthetic picnic by using fresh flowers in your decor. You can make flower crowns for guests or set out a vase of fresh-cut magnolias, sunflowers, and daisies. Roses are an excellent choice for a romantic, boho mood while tulips and hydrangeas add a cheerful vibe.

12. Choose a Playlist

Create a relaxing scene by curating a playlist for your aesthetic picnic. Stick to softer tunes that create a mellow ambiance — yacht rock, anyone? You can search for a picnic playlist on Spotify or put together a playlist of your favorite songs.

13. Send Guests Home With Party Favors

Show guests how much you appreciate them joining your special picnic by sending them home with party favors. You can order monogrammed water bottles, totes, and sunscreen bottles. These also double as photo props during the picnic. Other ideas include blankets or mini jars of jam and honey with mini baguettes.

Invite Guests to Your Aesthetic Picnic

Ready to share the fun? Invite a few of your favorite people to join your picture-perfect picnic with one of these fully customizable picnic invitation designs.

Picnic Basket Invitation

Picnic Basket Invitation

Design: Make and Tell

This gorgeous invite is perfect for any summer picnic. It features a manicured hand holding a picnic basket overflowing with treats like fresh fruit and wine.

Chic Picnic Invitation

Chic Picnic Invitation

Design: Sarah Deters Illustration

This stunning invitation design features a vibrant picnic blanket highlighted by sunlight filtering through a shaded canopy. Customize the design by changing the color palette and updating the typography to meet the mood of your aesthetic picnic.

Perfect Picnic Invitation

Perfect Picnic Invitation

Design: frau brandt

Use this whimsical invitation to invite guests to a stylish outdoor picnic. Featuring romantic script and a dreamy illustration, it’s ideal for an aesthetic picnic for two or a picnic party for a bridal shower.

Plan a Picture-Perfect Picnic

It’s picnic time! With these aesthetic picnic ideas, you’re sure to host the most gorgeous picnic your friends (and followers) have ever seen. Send them digital invitations with Greenvelope and they’ll be eagerly awaiting the sunny day celebration. You can easily customize the design to make it fit a modern, beachy, or cottagecore aesthetic.

Want more tips for planning an outdoor celebration? Continue browsing our Stationers blog where you’ll find ideas for outdoor parties from picnics and barbecues to pool bashes and more.