The Chic BBQ Picnic

Pic Nic Chic!

When it comes to Corporate Summer BBQ’s, Swank’s Country-Chic Picnic on Randall’s Island was a splendid affair for employers, employees and thier families.  Taking cues from classic Americana and the colorful character of the old state fair – Swank took the often slapped-together notion of BBQ food in a basket and elevated it to a daylong celebration of summer and bare-foot leisure in the sun.

Each guest received their own individual picnic basket – avoiding the inevitable and awkward moment when one person gets the last sad sandwich at the bottom of the pile.


In fact, all amenities were individualized, from personal rolled blankets, to party favors like richly-hued fans and summer-bright sunglasses for the kids.

The personalized touch is a welcome detail in a communal gathering, and no detail here was overlooked.
Buttercup colored ribbons tied up gingham napkins with a classic bow.  The pie station featured a traditional assortment – apple, strawberry rhubarb – announced with hand-lettered chalk on slate. The old-fashioned ice cream cart offered pure Americana in the guise of ice cream sandwiches, and was paired with gourmet, spiked snow-cones for the elders in the bunch.

From the lawn tent – festooned with red white and blue bunting – to the pony rides and candy necklaces, the humble picnic, in the able hands of Swank’s design team, became a true event, worthy of the season and of the storied histories of the American summer at large.  Happy Fourth of July!


Maya Kalman, Event Design Expert & CEO of Swank Productions Maya Kalman is the Founder & CEO of SWANK Productions, a luxury wedding planning, event design and event production company in New York City. Known for her beyond-the-box designs and undying passion for creating extraordinary event experiences, Maya risen to become one of the most well known wedding and event planners in New York City. She has been a featured expert on TNT, NBC Today Show, MTV, Martha Stewart, Food Network, Geraldo Live and many more, and has planned and designed weddings, corporate events and parties for some of the top companies, brands and personalities around the world.
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Picnic Treat

We have a wonderful client that does an end of summer event for their employees and their families every year. This year we knew we had to be economical (the budget had been slashed by two thirds from last year – ouch!!) But we knew it had to be chic no matter what! So we decided to do a new take on the typical company picnic and create an “Old Time (Country Chic) Americana Picnic”
(thank you to Martha Stewart for showing evevryone that country can be chic!)
To set the tone… a perfect venue with outdoor and indoor space(with the weather we’ve had this year!…hello rain plan!)

Guests were greeted at the tent with small individual picnic baskets.

Each picnic basket filled with a checkered blanket and tons of fun toys for everyone

We decorated the interior of the tent to have a warm and fun old time Americana country fair feel.

Complete with a beautiful yummy pie station

An empty grass area was turned into comfy cool seating areas for guests to eat and chill out

Inexpensive Decor Details like wrapping silverware in bandannas – make a “standard company picnic” into a CHIC gathering of family and friends.

Even a standard BBQ menu can be chic and inviting!

And don’t forget how awesome it is to have PONY RIDES – everyone loves a pony!

Here’s to making your next picnic-bbq a chic and fun day for everyone!