How to Pack the Perfect Summer Picnic

all photos by Sarah E Dunn Photo + Design

     Nothing says summer like a picnic spread full of bright and colorful fruit,  gingham galore, and lots of snacks + light bites to share.  It's also a perfect excuse to get outside with friends and family and enjoy a meal in the sunshine or even under the stars.  I've made your picnic prep super easy by putting together a list of easy to transport picnic foods that also require zero prep so they're ready to pack straight from the grocery!  You'll also find my list of picnic essentials to help you set up the prettiest summer spread around!  Grab both of these printable lists below and then you're ready to pack away- happy picnicking!    



    Make your picnic as simple as possible by grabbing snacks and fruit at the grocery so you don't have to worry about preparing any food!  I've made it easy with my printable shopping list above.  Start with my favorite summer fruits (choose a few or all depending on the size of your crowd!).  Next up are snacks that are perfect for sharing: choose a few breads and crackers, then some cheeses, meats, and pickles, + finally a dessert of your choice (I chose a premade Blueberry pie from Trader Joe's!).  Finally throw a few drinks in like sparkling water, lemonade (I used Pellegrino canned sparkling lemonades!), and your favorite beer or wine!

Here's what you'll need to pack a picnic that's just as pretty as it is functional!:

1. Picnic blanket: I used a couple of vintage tablecloths but you can also use blankets or throws too!

2. Picnic basket:  Any type of basket will do!  I have a few vintage picnic baskets but you can also transport everything in a cooler or cooler bag or any large basket with a handle.

3.  Cutting board: Since the ground can be uneven, bring a few cutting boards or large platters for a flat and stable serving surface!

4. Flowers: Not necessary but they always make any spread prettier!

5. Vintage glasses or cups:  I grabbed some colorful vintage glasses for our drinks, but you can also use cute printed paper cups, or just grab cute bottled drinks and bypass the cups completely!

6. Silverware + napkins:  Necessary for any meal- use disposable or regular!  I grabbed some cute gingham napkins for another pop of pattern!

7. Paper or enamel plates:  Don't forget something to eat off of!  I used vintage enamel plates but you can also use cute printed paper plates or disposable plates of any kind!