In the olden days (that is, pre-2020), picnics were simple, DIY affairs. You’d pack a blanket to throw on the ground, a few sandwiches, maybe some fruit, and something cold and possibly alcoholic to drink. Boom! Picnic done. But in the COVID era, a new kind of picnic has started popping up: the luxury picnic-for-hire. For a price, professional picnic planners will supply everything you need for a memorable and fully Instagrammable experience, from custom-made picnic tables and color-coordinated throw pillows to wildflower arrangements and real linens, glassware, china and cutlery.
In the Sacramento region, there are at least a half-dozen picnic planners, with names like Plush Picnics, Sactown Picnics and Sacramento Picnic Company. Vanessa Kronemeyer and Sheena Glover are best friends who started their picnic planning company, Picnic N’ Vibe, because they were looking for fun, outdoor things to do during the pandemic. Theirs is a full-service operation; they come to the outdoor location of your choice (generally a public park) and set up before you arrive, then return to clean up, break down and haul everything away.
They have organized everything from a romantic picnic à deux to a baby shower picnic for a crowd. Pricing starts at $140 for a basic package and goes up to $250 for a premium picnic. Optional add-ons include board games, Bluetooth speaker, floral arch, charcuterie boards and Polaroid keepsakes. Hosts supply the food and drink, but Kronemeyer and Glover will pick up from a restaurant for a small service fee.
Since they started their company in February, they’ve been busy with picnics every weekend, sometimes handling two or three a day. “A lot of girlfriends are doing it, just to get out,” says Glover. “You can have fun and enjoy yourself in a different way.”