Picture Perfect Picnicking

Book your next outdoor luxe event

Enjoy an elegant affair overlooking a vineyard with Rogue Picnics. ##Photo by Eleanor Tietsort
Polka Dots & Picnics can ensure you and your friends get sand between your toes. ##Photo by lahna Marie Photography
A magical marriage proposal. ##Photo by Naji Sake Photography
The Oregon Picnic Co. offers over a dozen different picnic themes. ##Photo provided by the Oregon Picnic Co.

By Michele Francisco

Socializing has suffered a big hit since the pandemic started. Experts agree being outdoors lowers the risk of spreading COVID-19, so it should come as no surprise that recently, luxury picnics have become quite popular. Whether an intimate picnic for two or a larger gathering with family and friends, companies around Oregon now offer services that include picnic setup, food and clearing away for your special event.

First, let’s start with the basics.

What is a luxury picnic? Imagine walking into a park to discover a low table set with china, silverware and flowers, surrounded by plush cushions, all atop a bohemian rug or blanket. Depending on the occasion, there might also be scattered flower petals, balloons, a celebratory banner or even a movie screen and popcorn machine.

“We created The Oregon Picnic Co. in the midst of the pandemic to bring a more intimate, open-air celebration company to our community. My sister and I have a passion for party planning, charcuterie, and all things extravagant. We are over the moon for picnics, theming, and party planning, it has been amazing to bring our passion to life,” shares Dayna Brink, co-owner of the Eugene company.

Of course, no picnic is complete without food and someone special to share it with. These companies deliver exactly what you need for a memorable picnic, from cheese and charcuterie boards to chocolate-covered strawberries and all the fixings for s’mores. While some offer themed packages, including brunch, romantic dates, tea parties and sleepovers for adults or kids, others craft each picnic specifically to their client’s needs.

After using Portland-based Polka Dots & Picnics, Dawn Fischer says, “Lauren envisioned the look and feel of what I wanted and brought it to life in the most magical way. Pure love was poured into every detail! Everything was done from start to finish with a deep understanding of what mattered most to me.”

Depending on the vibe you’re going for, many companies offer extras, including lawn and board games, tents, Mini Polaroid cameras and even Bluetooth speakers– ready to sync and play tunes from your phone. You may prefer a romantic picnic overlooking the ocean at sunset or just gathering with your gal-pals at a local winery. Because they’re portable, luxury picnics can be set up just about anywhere– even a backyard or inside your home.

Kelly Hammond, owner of Rogue Picnics, explains, “Southern Oregon is such a beautiful area with wonderful wineries and scenery, I knew this would be something new and fun for our area. I’ve also discovered how well wineries and picnics pair together, and now they are a significant number of my bookings. I love being a part of the memories people make.”

Because picnic professionals plan and set up everything, you simply invite guests to the festivities. “We are reinventing the way we gather and celebrate through luxury moments for every occasion. Marriage proposals, date nights, birthday celebrations for every age, proposals, corporate retreats, wedding receptions– any day that ends in a Y,” declares Polka Dots & Picnics managing partner, Lauren Tietsort.

Not only fun, luxury picnicking– an industry dominated by women– also supports small, locally-owned businesses. Portland-based Evergreen Picnics owner, Natalia McClure, explains “I have always loved event planning and worked a few weddings and elopements in the past, finding each experience very fulfilling. When the market for picnics opened up, it was the perfect time to jump in. Being a single mom working in finance during the week, picnics are an outlet that lets me express my creative side. I also charge reasonable rates so everyone has a chance to experience this magic.”

Celebrations come in all shapes and sizes. Since picnics can be located almost anywhere, and accommodate small gatherings of two or much larger groups, their potential is limitless. Says Brink, “Our luxe pop-up picnics are perfect for baby showers, birthday parties, romantic soirees, intimate movie nights, holidays, proposals, summer beach flings, bridal celebrations, and everything in-between. We couldn’t be more excited as our company continues to flourish, all while making people happy.”

Day by day, our communities are returning to activities they pursued before COVID-19 took possession of the planet. As time awakens from the collective lull we all experienced, Tietsort defines luxury picnic companies: “We curate memories– those Insta-worthy moments no one has the time or inventory to create but we all need– especially in the aftermath of a global pandemic when we’ve lost interpersonal connections like none of us could have imagined.”

Ready to elevate your picnics to the next level? These companies are at your service and well-equipped to create an experience to remember.

Web Design and Web Development by Buildable