Invitation only, all-white, elegant? Diner en Blanc, the summer’s most exclusive soiree, was made for finer women! This weekend I attended the Washington DC event for the 3rd time and like previous years, it was amazing!
In case you haven’t heard, Diner en Blanc is a glamorous, all-white dinner party where the location is kept secret until the last moment. The event maintains an air of mystery and privilege because participants must either be members, invited by a guest from a previous year or join the waiting list.
Guests donned in gorgeous white attire meet up in groups at metro stations throughout the city led by team leaders who escort them to the event. Excitement is in the air as everyone speculates where the dinner party might take place.
Here is everything YOU need to know about the summer’s most glamorous annual event.
Diner en Blanc started in Paris more than 25 years ago and has grown to include more than 50 cities around the world. The inaugural Diner en Blanc DC held in 2014 had more than 1500 people in attendance. 3500 people registered for Diner en Blanc DC this year with the waiting list exceeding 10,000. The DC event is usually held in August at a metro-accessible, secret location.
So Malica, How Can I Attend in 2017?
The registration fee to attend Diner en Blanc is $45 per person and you must come with a guest. Registration is organized in phases and you can participate in one of three ways:
- Be invited by a Diner en Blanc host or Leader to register during Phase 1
- Know someone who registers during Phase 1 and ask them to sponsor you for Phase 2
- Signup for the waiting list on the Diner en Blanc website for your city and register for Phase 3
If you end up on the waiting list, monitor the Diner en Blanc website message boards or Facebook page for your city. People always cancel and you may be able to purchase tickets from someone who is unable to attend.
What Should I Wear?
Diner en Blanc is the perfect event to showcase your Finer style! Wear all white everything from head to toe but with an elegant twist of course. Think gorgeous white dresses, masks, pearls, fascinators, hats, face veils, white parasol umbrellas and gloves. Pull out all the stops! And don’t even consider wearing anything but white (no Cream, Ecru, Vanilla or Ivory). The dress code and color are crucial to the event’s ambiance and is taken very seriously.
(photo courtesy of DEB DC)
What Should I Bring?
- A white bag or picnic basket, square table and a set of white chairs, white table cloth, white cloth napkins, white dinnerware (no paper or plastic), wine glasses, bottle opener, cutlery (no plastic), white flameless candles, and a nice centerpiece.
- A trolley or luggage cart to transport your table, chairs and food. Whatever you use should be collapsible and/or fit nicely beneath your table during dinner
- A container and ice to keep your beverages chilled
- A 3 course menu (appetizer, entree and dessert) and beverage (no outside alcohol is allowed). If you want to travel light, consider purchasing wine and a catered picnic dinner in advance from Diner en Blanc for pickup at the secret location. For the past 2 years I’ve brought my own food from either Wegmans or Wholefoods and I’m doing the same this year
- Disposable wipes, hand sanitizer, bug spray, water, and a portable cell phone charger
- Trash bags for cleanup
(photo by T. Stallings)
What Should I Expect the Day Of?
- Meet your Pedestrian Leader at her/her designated location
- Take public transit to your secret location
- Upon direction from your Table Leader, quickly set-up your table and food. You will be seated directly across from your guest.
- Once everyone is settled, all guests lift and wave their white cloth napkins
- Let the dinner begin! (eat, drink, take photos and mingle)
- All guests light their sparklers to indicate opening of the dance floor
- Continue the festivities until 10pm
- At the end of the evening, guests clean-up leaving no trace of themselves after the event
(Getting photobombed by our Table Leader Allyson!)
Additional Things to Remember
- Give yourself time to prepare! Don’t wait until the last minute or you might have trouble finding all the supplies you need
- Diner en Blanc goes on rain or shine. If you sign up and don’t attend, you may be denied entry at future events
- Wear comfortable shoes and change into your elegant heels once you arrive at the secret location. Who wants to lug a table, two chairs and food across town and through a Metro station in 6 inch heels? I wore chucks this year because I wanted to be super-comfy yet still stylish.
- Practice setting up your table before the event. You don’t want to be struggling or reading table assembly instructions while everyone else is enjoying dinner
- To keep your food warm, consider using an insulated bag.
- Don’t just mingle with your guest and friends all evening, get out and meet new people
- Have a ball!