Photos Courtesy of Popovers + Peonies

Lifestyle

This Pop-Up Picnic Company’s Al Fresco Events Are Made for Social Distancing

Popovers + Peonies offers socially-distanced high teas, wine tastings, boozy brunches, and more.

In this era of social distancing and outdoor socializing, planning a safe yet stylish celebration feels nearly impossible. Birthday parties and baby showers are happening over Zoom or being canceled altogether. Enter Popovers + Peonies, an event planning service that’s now creating Instagrammable outdoor parties for clients across Dallas.

The customer chooses their outdoor venue, whether it’s a backyard or a public park. The company provides a no-contact service: employees wear masks and gloves while setting up, and the customer doesn’t need to be present until the event starts. All supplies, like décor, plates, and flatware, are sanitized thoroughly before the event, and each table is set up to ensure that guests from different households are more than six feet apart. In short, all the customer needs to do is show up with their masks and enjoy.

Popovers + Peonies was founded by three friends and UNT graduates. Paulina Szczsponik has a master’s degree in interior design, Alyssa Jones specializes in marketing for food and beverage companies, and Andrea Comeau has a background in fashion and retail photography. “[Popovers + Peonies] had been under discussion for some time,” says Szczsponik. “We decided [June] would be the perfect time to finally pull the trigger and launch.”

“[When the shelter-in-place order took effect], we noticed people embracing the simplicity of this new normal,” continues Szczsponik. “Everyone loves nostalgia, and we thought this would be a fun experience to create memories in tough times. Each family has their own table, but everyone is still able to enjoy the experience together.”

Popovers + Peonies offers several packages, including a high tea, a wine tasting, a boozy brunch, and a date night setup. Customers can also work with Popovers + Peonies to design a custom picnic.

The wine tasting is one of the most popular packages, and the team is working with a sommelier to enhance the experience further. Currently, clients are asked their wine preferences and budget and the P + P team creates a well-rounded tasting, complete with meat and cheese pairings. Each place setting includes a card with facts and tasting notes about each wine and cheese.

The high tea package is more simple. Each guest is served four classic tea sandwiches, an assortment of pastries and desserts, and tea or champagne.

While Popovers + Peonies events are focused on the picnic experience, the dreamy tablescapes are just as much of a draw for design-savvy customers. The company’s event décor is sourced from Etsy shops, local small businesses, and retailers like Anthropologie. “No picnic is ever the same twice,” says Szczsponik. “We do our best to tailor [the design] to each customer and the event they’re celebrating.”

“The response has been overwhelming in the best way,” Szczsponik continues. “Our schedule has filled up quickly. It’s unbelievable, but we are beyond grateful for the support because we’re able to do what we love.”

Anything for a little normality, done safely.

A picnic for two is $249, four is $369, and six is $499. Click here for pricing for larger groups. Fees include setup and cleanup, linens, flatware, fresh flowers, plates, cups, décor, and other necessities.

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