Finer Living

All White Everything: A Finer Woman’s Guide to Diner en Blanc

Diner En Blanc DC
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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.

History
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:

  1. Be invited by a Diner en Blanc host or Leader to register during Phase 1
  2. Know someone who registers during Phase 1 and ask them to sponsor you for Phase 2
  3. 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.

Diner en Blanc Clothes

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.

All White Everything: A Finer Woman's Essential Guide to Diner en Blanc
(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

Diner en Blanc

(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

Diner en Blanc Photo Bomb

(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!
Malica Fleming
Malica is the Founder & Blogger-in-Chief of Finer Women Rising, a lifestyle blog that fuses her passion for sisterhood, style and tech. When she’s not blogging, Malica meticulously balances the roles of wife, mom, mentor, UX Designer & Zumba instructor. Think that’s enough? Follow her on instagram @finerwmnrising
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14 Comments
  • anglatette glymph Oct 11,2016 at 1:08 pm

    I heard about this event and registered for the 2017 event in Washington, DC; I am so hoping to be apart of such a fabulous event and your tips will surely come in handy!

  • Ketina Oct 5,2016 at 7:56 pm

    I am attending the Diner En Blanc as a first timer this year and your guide/tips has been the best I’ve read so far! Thank you!

    • Malica Fleming Oct 5,2016 at 9:26 pm

      I’m so happy you found the tips useful – have a wonderful time at Diner en Blanc and take lots of photos!

  • Leilani Johnson-Ross Sep 24,2016 at 12:10 am

    Thank you Soror. I am registered and attending San Diego event this year. Helpful tips!

    • Malica Fleming Sep 27,2016 at 9:29 am

      You are very welcome – have a wonderful time at the San Diego Diner en Blanc!

  • Kym Elder Aug 31,2016 at 12:17 am

    Thanks so much for the add and great tips….this year, I had a special event at work (Happy birthday, Natl Park Service) and declined the offer to attend not understanding all of the rules/suggestions for future invites. I am hopeful, I will be invited again next year but what is the website address for signing up for the DC diner next year..

    • Malica Fleming Sep 2,2016 at 9:03 am

      You’re very welcome Kym! The website for the DC Diner en Blanc is washington.dinerenblanc.info 🙂

  • Tori Aug 30,2016 at 1:44 pm

    Thanks for the tips Soror! My sister invited me this year to ATL one and I didn’t know what to expect.

    • Malica Fleming Aug 30,2016 at 2:03 pm

      You’re welcome Soror Tori! Let me know how the event goes in Atlanta – would love to attend one day!

  • Sharlene Aug 30,2016 at 1:42 pm

    I would love to attend the event in New York City. Is that possible? How can I be added to the list.

    • Malica Fleming Aug 30,2016 at 2:06 pm

      Hi Sharlene! The first step would be to visit the Dîner en Blanc – New York website at newyork.dinerenblanc.info to get on the waiting list. I would also ask around and peruse your networks to see if there is anyone you know who might be willing to sponsor you. Lastly, check out the Diner en Blanc – New York Facebook page (www.facebook.com/DinerEnBlanc.newyork/) to see if anyone is selling tickets or can no longer attend. Best of luck to you Sis!

  • Charlana Aug 29,2016 at 8:10 am

    Lovely!

  • Shanti Aug 28,2016 at 11:27 am

    Great tips Soror. I’ve been considering signing up for the wait list here in Atlanta for the past year, but never knew exactly how to prep for it.

    • Malica Fleming Aug 29,2016 at 6:41 am

      You’re welcome Soror and you should definitely sign up – let me know how it goes in Atlanta!

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