Hosting Tips

How to Picnic Like an Event Planner

By Camille Styles
A gorgeous summer picnic with Calder Clark Studios

There are few things I love more than gathering friends for lunch al fresco in the summertime —  even a simple spread of cheese and crackers feels elevated when it’s on a pretty picnic blanket spread out in the grass. Here to show us how to make our picnics Instagram-worthy on the fly is Charleston-based event planner Calder Clark, who we’ve long admired for the fresh, modern take she brings to classic Southern entertaining. Click through the slides for the gorgeous picnic she threw to celebrate a girlfriend’s engagement, and read her tips on pulling it off so effortlessly.

*design by Calder Clark, photos by Caitlin Colcolough, food by Cru Catering

Inspiration behind this picnic:

A dear friend got engaged and we wanted to toast to her happiness. Eschewing the formality of a luncheon in her honor, we thought a picnic would be a lighthearted and easy way to celebrate her news. Inspired to keep it simple, a giant kantha throw, beautiful blooms, light noshes and ice cold champagne made for the perfect girls gathering.

On the menu:

Nothing beats a charcuterie board paired with a simple lemon buttercream cake. Pitch perfect.

How to create a simple + delicious cheese & charcuterie board:

The best boards are all about creating texture and contrast. Crunchy French bread, spicy soppresatta, and pillowy Burrata all play nicely with each other . . . and are just heavenly when paired with a touch of honey, a tangy olive, and tart ground mustard.

What’s on tap:

This is a group of girls (like most!) who love their grapes. French champagne to kick off the picnic was followed by copious amounts of chilled rosé for its mellow notes and gorgeous color.

Essential items to pack for a picnic (besides the bubbly):

  • An antique quilt
  • Giant sunnies
  • Picnic basket full of light fare

3 tips for making your picnic Instagram-worthy:

  • Think aerially.
  • Mix shapes (the femininity of round and the masculinity of square)
  • Blend textures (a cottony blanket against the grain of wood)

Sources for your gorgeous serving pieces, blankets, plates, and bowls:

  • Kantha throw: Celadon
  • Charcuterie board: antique bread board; try 1stdibs or eBay
  • Fringe napkins, picnic basket, and sun hat: World Market
  • Pillows: Target + Home Goods
  • Plates, bowls, + flatware: West Elm
  • Glassware: Roost Dainty Flutes

Favorite spot to spread out a picnic blanket this summer:

I’ve already snapped up a bunch of Turkish T fringed roundies, and can’t wait to spend our summer weekends on Sullivan’s Island with our babies in tow.

*thanks Calder! follow her on Instagram here.