beyond the big day: a summer popsicle picnic

[Picnic blanket by Beaux Arts Photographie , Soda Bottles by Oh Happy Day , Truck by Beaux Arts Photographie , Sandwich image unknown, Popsicle by Gia Canali , Lanterns by Oriental Trading Company , Bubbles image uknown, Food table by Beaux Arts Photographie ]

One of my favorite weddings on Once Wed is of Nancy + Ethan photographed by the talented Kirsten Ellis of Beaux Arts Photographie . Instead of having a huge formal reception, Nancy and Ethan asked their friends and family to bring picnic style food and everyone sat on blankets in the grass with all the beautiful paper cranes hanging on the tree limbs above. I love the idea of doing something so relaxed for such an important day and just sitting and talking with the people that mean the most to you. This idea inspired us to do a shoot that was filled with color, laughter, and fun for the the whole family and even friends. –

I had the pleasure of working with Ashley Meaders and Jesse Chamberlin of The Flashdance again and we had a lot of fun. – Emily

Here’s a little more from Ashley about how to create this colorful popsicle picnic on a budget. We made DIY custom invites in the shape of popsicles that are super easy to recreate. All you have to do is draw your artwork in a desktop publishing program on your computer, print it out on a heavy cardstock, and then cut it out into the shape of a popsicle. (You can always hand drawn something for a more personal touch.) Hot glue on a popsicle stick and your finished! Put the finished invitations in envelopes to mail off or you can always hand deliver.

It’s easy to take an old picnic basket and reline the inside by getting a yard of fabric. I just used a hot glue gun to add this fun madras pattern to a picnic basket we found at the local antique market. With the left over fabric, we cut into strips and then used it to tie around the fork and napkin. Something as simple and cheap like kraft paper can be used to add just that extra finishing touch. We used a little on the napkins and around the sandwiches. Throw in some chips, berries, and colorful sodas for a simple and cost effective meal.

CLICK HERE for the rest of the popsicle picnic post and all 20 photos after the jump!!

To add a little bit of color to the picnic, we found these great lanterns from the Oriental Trading Company . For just a few bucks, you can transform a simple picnic into a fun outdoor party, and it’s super easy to hang! All you have to do is tie all the lanterns to one central string and then have two people to pull the string from either side until you get it high enough. We were able to put these lanterns up in 15 minutes!

Summer is always better when you have a popsicle, and nobody makes better pops than the King of Pops! {} Steven, our local ATL pops guru, creates delicious handmade popsicles with an emphasis on local and organic ingredients. Yum!

We stopped by our local party store to pick up some inexpensive hoola hoops, bubble wands, and confetti poppers for our friends and family to play with during our afternoon picnic.

Event Design & Styling by Ashley Meaders of The Flashdance

Photography by Jesse Chamberlin of Our Labor of Love

Popsicles by King of Pops

  1. Kristina says:

    hey! that’s my Early Bronco up there in the picture!! (Mine is red though)

  2. alix says:

    oh how i wish it wasn’t raining here in spain right now…. beautiful ideas and pictures, brought some sun into my dull day :)

  3. SO many fun ideas! I totally want to have a picnic now!

  4. amy osaba says:

    Stinkin cute. Just adorable, Ashley. You re a rockstar! Xoxo

  5. jeNNi4 says:

    Love, love, love this. Here’s to a great summer!

  6. This just put together all the scraps of ideas in my head for a wedding reception! This is EXACTLY what I want. Yes! Mucho mucho thanks for the incredible inspiration.

  7. Dustin Blake says:

    Nice work to everyone involved! Amazing images!

  8. WeddingXpert says:

    Haha those popsicle fans are so cute! Pops are perfect for summer because they’re sweet, cool, and colorful. Perfect little treat to jazz up any get together.

  9. Anna says:

    Wow, so vibrant, positive and imaginative. Thank you for the surge of great mood :)))

  10. THE PICNIC BASKET. Oh my goodness, the picnic basket.

    These are just gorgeous photos.

  11. jessica says:

    this looks so cute! i love it. so inspiring. makes me want to go on a picnic.

  12. Leah says:

    Such great ideas! Love this

  13. caroline says:

    Now this is how I would like to spend every day of summer or how I would like to celebrate my birthday. These photos are incredible I love all the colors.

  14. Tessa says:

    Where did the bunny come from? I’ve got a pet bunny, but I would have never though to incorporate her into a party.

  15. Hillary says:

    What’s the deal with the bunnies?! Did you rent them?

  16. Emily says:

    The bunny actually belongs to my sister, Hannah. Our other friend, Heidi, was supposed to bring her duck which she rescued this past spring. Unfortunately, we had to change the shoot date due to rain and they were unable to make it. So, it was just the bunny, but we still loved having her there and the kids loved playing with it.



  17. Erica says:

    Cute party! Looks like so much fun, and I might be able to actually pull it off!

    (Fun Fact: “Popsicle” is a trademarked name, like Kleenex and Xerox- it has entered the vernacular. I don’t work for Unilever’s competition at all. )

  18. This is summer to me – popsicles, bubbles, hula hoops. Thank you for showing how chic it can be done on a small budget. Love, love, love the invitation!!

  19. holly says:

    what brand was the disposable utensils? Ive been looking for a more stylish ecofriendly recyclable flatware for events. i cant wait to hear what it is. thanks!

  20. torka says:

    amazing photos!!!

  21. EVE Events says:

    So so so much fun!! Love the invites! Totally screams summer!

  22. Hilary says:

    I am going on my first picnic of the summer tonight in Hollywood Cemetary, should be fun!

  23. Alice says:

    I love the first image of all the different colour bottles – although I am always suspicious of blue drinks.

  24. this looks like the perfect summer fiesta… I just have to wait for summer to come back now!

  25. geek+nerd says:

    Ahh – this gathering is so adorable!

  26. Jenn says:

    What kinds of soda pop did you use? I love the bright colours. I’m always looking for fun new drinks, especially if they are made with real cane sugar.

  27. Kelly says:

    Ha! When I saw “Atlanta” and “popsicles” I just knew it had to be King of Pops. I’d have a party for no reason just to have them cater it. Also love those paper straws.

  28. Carolyn says:

    Gorgeous, gorgeous photos…now I am hungry for popsicles!

  29. Matilda says:

    Love all the pics!

  30. Love the colours, the sunlight… this is a great post!

  31. christina says:

    This is amazing! I love everything. I think the flatware and the straws are both from Anthropologie. :)

  32. Elisa says:

    Anyone know how I can get one of those awesome multi-colored umbrellas (Like the one on the King of Pops cart)?

  33. My (& my daughter’s) dream picnic. Will definitely recreate:).

  34. Christie says:

    Love this picnic!! I got some great ideas from you! Check out my picnics (in Charleston, SC and Rock Hill, SC) at and Love this site!

  35. Alli says:

    Can you give a little more information about how you made the picnic basket lining? I think I have that very same basket that I got at a garage sale, and I would love to re-line it! Thank you!

  36. tiffany says:

    HI! So I borrowed the idea of the popsicle fans for party invites… FYI if you plan on doing this as well, DONT! The US postal service will not deliver these invitations with wood popsicle sticks attached. ugh… trust me it’s not worth the hassle, heartache and cost!
    stick with the fan idea!

  37. tiffany says:

    oh yes… inside envelopes. stamped. and returned. almost all of them. the ones that were delivered were delivered in shredded pieces of envelopes because when the sticks go through the conveyor belts at the post office they slice through the envelopes. just wanted to share my bad experience before anyone else found themselves in the same disaster! definitely hand deliver these ones!

    1. grace says:


      i’m so sorry to hear that! we tested this and didn’t have any problem- i’ll see if we can do another test round with a few envelope types and see what happens- maybe certain types will work better than others. so sorry to hear that :(


  38. web hosting says:

    awesome photos,nice collection of pics.i Love all pic thanks

  39. Lamb says:

    I’m so happy that I’ve found your blog! Your photos are so addictive :)

    FYI, any party that promised time with bunnies would have me there in a heartbeat!

    If you get a chance tonight, I’d love for you to link this up to my Not “Baaad” blog hop. There’s a weekly award for the best post!

  40. I love that yall featured King of Pops! Steven is friend of mine and he’s been all over the foodie blogs, but I never thought I’d see him pop up here on design sponge! So amazing!! Fabulous photo shoot!


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