How to Plan a Romantic Backyard Picnic for Two How you can plan and execute more than just a picnic in your own backyard. BY MARY CHATMAN
A warm summer evening is the perfect time to snuggle up with your spouse under a blanket of stars.
“ Use fresh flowers, candle votives, and pillar candles to create a warm and inviting centerpiece for your table.”
There’s still time to enjoy a warm summer night of romance with a romantic, relaxing, evening backyard picnic for two. No distractions and no interruptions—just you, your honey bun, and a blanket of stars above. Keep things simple, focus on romance, enjoy each other and a delicious meal together. Here’s how to get started.
Just like an outdoor picnic at the park, preparing for the perfect romantic backyard picnic requires planning. What essentials will you need? What time do you want to get started? What sort of theme (if any) and food will your picnic center around? Have fun and be creative. A Hawaiian luau, fiesta, Mardi Gras, western, safari or a beach theme are just a few fun ideas. If you’re not in the mood for a themed picnic, you may just want to pack a picnic basket as though you are headed to a local park. The best part, all you’ll have to do is step outside your back door and let the fun begin!
Use your imagination, the possibilities are endless. Determine your budget for food and beverage, activities and decorating. Try not to go overboard, and remember, it’s all about the romance, and the main ingredients are you and your sweetie.
Picking the perfect backyard location is essential to your outdoor experience. If you have a backyard, lanai or deck, make the most of your private outdoor setting on a pleasant night. Consider continuing your date night into the early morning hours to watch the sunrise. If you are feeling adventurous, bring sleeping bags and set up a tent and pretend you're camping. You will need a blanket to sit on and another just to snuggle under as you talk and wait for the stars to come out for little star gazing.
Be sure to have essentials on hand like bug spray, a flashlight and trash bag so you don’t have to be distracted by running in and out of the house. Will you need a table or will you just use blankets? Chaise lounge chairs work as well. Is there an electrical outlet in the area out back for a portable speaker system? Select your romantic music ahead of time so all you have to do is push a button. If there is no electrical outlet, be sure to load up the player with fresh batteries.
Food and Beverage
French baguette slices; spinach dip; fresh strawberries and grapes with a dipping cream of some sort; fresh figs; a simple platter with a variety of cheese like brie, gouda, cheddar and fruit is visually stunning as well as delicious. I love prosciutto-wrapped asparagus and cold shrimp cocktail with a sauce. You can also drop by your local grocer and pick up a loaf of French bread, some sort of ready-made salad, a rotisserie chicken and a bottle of wine. Choose something that will have minimal preparation and clean up; you want to focus on having your sumptuous meal and sipping your glass of wine or champagne while relaxing and most of all, enjoying each others company.
Set the mood for your party with candles or lanterns. Hanging lanterns will create a pretty summer scene. Use fresh flowers, candle votives, and pillar candles to create a warm and inviting centerpiece for your table. Don’t forget to throw in several Citronella candles to help keep the bugs away. Assorted colors and fragrances will help set the mood for a fun and festive party.
No activities needed for this romantic evening for two. Our lives are full of activities on a daily basis. I suggest you reserve the time for enjoying a delicious meal, listening to music, or simply the crickets and night frogs. Most importantly, it’s a perfect way to take time out for talking, reconnecting, and renewing.
What to Wear
Wear something comfortable like shorts and a tank top for ladies and for men, shorts and a t-shirt. Ladies, if you want to dress up a little and still be comfortable, wear a comfy short dress or sundress. You’ll want to have easy access later on when the fire ignites!
The Element of Surprise
Think of something special to do that invokes spontaneity into your romantic picnic, making it all the more enjoyable and memorable. Hide a small gift in an obvious place for your spouse to find. We all love surprises! You are also creating memories to reflect on that will last a lifetime.
Remember, the beauty of planning a backyard picnic at home will allow you to combine sweet romance with the familiarity and comfort of your own home. A picnic at home also saves you from lugging around food and drink, trying to find a secluded location, and gives you the ability to concentrate on what’s most important...each other. Talk about raise the roof and have some fun! You don’t need Lionel Richie to get it started, just think–there is no roof, you can be as frisky as you want, and when the flames of passion ignite, you won’t need the fire department!
Mary Chatman is a romantic decorating specialist and founder of Love Life Designs, LLC, a romantic decorating and design firm facilitating Atlanta, Los Angeles and New York City. Mary is also a romance and marriage advocate. She has been featured on CBS Better Mornings, Good Day Atlanta, and Every Day with Marcus and Lisa. Mary is also a relationship and romance writer for blackbride.com. For more information about Love Life Designs, LLC or to add romance to your abode, visit www.lovelifedesignsllc.com .