Sansone's setup for a recent Valentine's Day picnic can also translate to Galentine's Day with a few personalized adjustments. Photo by Morgan McGraw Sansone.

What’s love got to do with it? Try a platonic picnic for a socially distant Galentine’s Day

For centuries, those lucky enough to find themselves in relationships by mid-February have capitalized on Valentine’s Day as a time to revel in romance, selling out fine restaurants, gorging on chocolates and filling homes with flowers, all in the name of love. But romantic love isn’t the be-all-end-all of relationships. For many people, platonic friendships take the cake when assessing the longest relationships of their lives, stemming from preschool playgrounds or high school summer camps, and persisting through distance and difficulties. Women have known this for ages (in the words of Leslie Knope: “Uteruses before duderuses…Ovaries before brovaries“), so to help lend a hand in planning a Galentine’s Day for the friends in our life, we reached out to Morgan McGraw Sansone of Red Stick Picnics for ideas on socially distant celebrations.


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“I’m actually working on a specifically Valentine’s Day picnic for the weekend, but it could totally work for a Galentine’s Day celebration, too,” says Sansone. “In this case, the customer asked for a moody take on Valentine’s Day, so I’m creating a black, gold and deep purple setup while trying to keep it classy.”

Color schemes, that is, don’t have to fall in line with the typical red-and-pink combo just because tradition says they must.

“Take Christmas, for example, with that classic red-and-green combo,” says Sansone. “When I design for a picnic, I like to do classic colors in pops, like a red-and-green nutcracker design for a charger plate, or a few pink and red roses or Valentine’s Day. Most people like a glam vibe with lots of whites and gold so the pops of color in those instances need to be subtle.”

Clients booking a picnic with Red Stick Picnics receive a full rented tablescape as part of Sansone’s services, but little extras, like a dessert cart or a Champagne wall, can add a fun touch for those looking to turn basic items like a glass or a small treat into part of the decor.

“I actually originally bought the Champagne wall for my own wedding a few weeks ago, but I figured that people would also love it for their own parties, so I started renting it out,” says Sansone.

As for food, try to keep things simple and uncomplicated.

“I usually recommend a charcuterie board-type of situation because if you’re going to be outside, there’s no way to keep food hot or cold,” says Sansone. “I love the little ‘bundtinis’ from Nothing Bundt Cakes, and I’ve been working with Bleu Table Events for charcuteries and really love them.”

For more information about Red Stick Picnics, check out the brand’s website and Instagram, as well our feature on Sanson’s kid-friendly picnic set-ups in inRegister’s February issue.