When couples are on the fence about hosting an exquisite, elegant wedding or throwing a big picnic-style reception, there is a way that they can have the best of both worlds.

Here we share with you some of our best tips and ideas on how to plan an elegant picnic-style wedding reception.

Outdoor Picnic Wedding Venues in San Diego

When it comes to outdoor weddings in San Diego, the venue is one of the most important elements.  In addition to a beautiful setting, there are other things to consider, too, such as parking, tent options or covered areas, restrooms, paved or grassy areas, etc.  This list should help you narrow down your lengthy wedding venue list.

Elegant Picnic Wedding Spots in San Diego

Outdoor Picnic Wedding Themes in San Diego

Each of these sophisticated and stylish themes can be pulled off at a number of outdoor San Diego venue ideas.  We have included our favorite picnic wedding menus, ideas and picnic-style reception décor with each!

Beach-themed Weddings

  • Sparklers make for a beautiful sight at the end of a beach reception.
  • Serve up dishes that incorporate fresh fruits, especially in the salads.
  • The sky, the water, the décor…we love the color blue at a beach wedding.
  • Offer your sweets table under the protection of a covered patio or veranda.

Rustic Picnic Weddings

  • Focus décor efforts on tablecloths, runners and place settings.  Burlap and natural elements such as twigs and leaves are great with this theme.
  • Apples, pears, lemons—use lots of fruit in the décor!
  • Grill up some fresh sweet corn for guests to enjoy.
  • End the meal—or end the evening—with an elegant, wrapped-with-twine dessert.

Bohemian Wedding

  • String lights…everywhere!
  • Incorporate tons of different flowers in the centerpieces and around the venue.  Wildflowers are great for this theme.
  • Offer just as many (if not, more!) vegetarian options as meat options, such as fresh salads to accompany grilled seafood or grilled vegetable dishes.
  • Backyard picnic weddings can easily be turned into a Bohemian wedding paradise.

Mediterranean Picnic Wedding

  • Have butler-passed appetizers full of fresh seafood options like oysters, crab, shrimp, scallops and clams.
  • Find a venue with a covered veranda, or incorporate some vines or leafy structures into your event design to emulate a vineyard.
  • Give guests a choice of delicious grilled salmon or racks of lamb.
  • Offer fresh, Mediterranean-style salads for guests.

Contemporary-themed Picnic Wedding

  • Patios, sun decks and rooftop venues are perfect venue spaces for contemporary receptions.
  • Consider having a signature cocktail at your wedding bar.
  • Incorporate square plates for your menu items for a more modern place setting, and serve food from square, rectangle or another unusual shape.
  • Grilled on-site street tacos and quesadillas are trendy and delicious menu options!

Vintage Carnival

  • Fun foods rule at a vintage carnival-themed wedding.
  • Use elegantly-wrapped linens in whimsical patterns.
  • Serve up delicious, freshly made and elegant burgers to guests.
  • On-site cooking and roasting is an excellent touch—think chicken and accompanying dishes!

Outdoor Wedding Tips

Outdoor weddings bring their own set of opportunities and challenges.  In order to maximize the former and minimize the latter, there are ways in which you can cut down on the hassle, stress, nerves and worries, and it all stems from this: we can help!

Don’t forget these all-important outdoor wedding necessities:

  • Picnic permit.  Outdoor events at nearly all of the listed venues require some sort of permit.  The county parks most definitely require a picnic permit.  This is something with which we can help San Diegans at any venue.
  • Personalize something.  Do you envision butler-passed hors d’oeuvres?  Personalize a large toothpick for guests to use when munching on appetizers. The options are limitless!
  • Quality service is key.  If you’re going back and forth between offering additional food options or hiring an appropriate amount of staff, we always recommend going with the staff. An under-staffed event will definitely be noticed by guests.
  • Champagne toast.  We recommend incorporating a champagne toast, no matter what the theme or venue!
  • Cover up.  We recommend incorporating some sort of “weather plan.”  That might mean an inside or tented area in which guests can sit out of the sun (rain).
  • On-site cooking.  Picnic-style weddings should be interactive, and what better way to encourage interaction than on-site cooking.  We think menus cooked on-site are an awesome way to celebrate your nuptials!