Luxury, Instagrammable picnics are gearing up to be the summer’s hottest trend. Popularized thanks to the pandemic and a need for social distancing, these stylish outdoor events have proven that they have staying power. Memphis alone boasts more than ten luxury picnic companies, including Bluff City Picnics.

An offshoot of the popular event planning company Ashley Lang Events, Bluff City Picnics offers a comfortable yet elegant way to gather with loved ones, friends, or family in a way that takes the stress off your plate. Co-founder and creative director Mallory Lester, 37, explains how Bluff City Picnics was born and how they’re setting themselves apart from their competitors in the high-end picnic space.

Mallory founded Ashley Lang Events with her best friend, Jordan Scarleski, in 2017. What started as a side hustle grew into a successful full-time career. They were featured in The Knot’s Best of Weddings 2021 and received a couples choice award from Wedding Wire just two years after their business began. The duo has planned and executed countless weddings and parties over the last five years.

Ashley Lang Events expanded its services to include Bluff City Picnics when they purchased the business from a bridal client who founded it during the pandemic. “We wanted to keep the same brand but make it a more high-end, elevated experience,” Mallory explains.

Bluff City Picnics relaunched under Mallory and Jordan’s expert eyes in March 2022, and they have already made it their mission to set themselves apart from their competitors. Thanks to their connections with many established vendors in Memphis, they can take personalized picnics to the next level with select caterers, florists, photographers − you name it.

“Being able to outsource to people who specialize in those areas allows us to amp up what our picnics can offer,” says Mallory.

While Mallory and her business partner have their hands full with planning weddings and big events, taking on Bluff City Picnics was a no-brainer. “We brought picnics on because we produce such huge weddings that sometimes we miss doing smaller, more intimate events,” Mallory explains. “It’s nice getting to spend time on little details and having such a contrast to what we do every day.”

So, how does setting up a picnic with Bluff City Picnics work? On their website, you get to build your own picnic design, choosing from various luscious florals, stunning tableware and glassware, and your table design. They even offer personalized add-ons like custom-painted bottles, photography, a bounce house set up, and more. And if you aren’t sure where to start, the website offers hand-drawn suggestions for designing your table based on your guests’ and personal preferences.

Bluff City Picnics is definitely one to watch in the luxury picnic space. Check out their website at Follow along on their journey and stay tuned for an exciting giveaway coming soon on Instagram @bluffcitypicnics.

By Lucy Modzelewski
Photo by Ashley Lang Events