The much anticipated all white extravaganza made its way back to the Nation's Capital over the weekend. And I finally had the opportunity to attend.
The mastermind behind Diner en Blanc, the do-it-yourself elegant dinner party that attracts well over 15,000 people each year, is Francois Pasquier. He thought of this idea over 27 years ago in his hometown of Paris. Now, Diner en Blanc has extended to major cities and countries all over the world! Washington, DC finally got hip last year when it took place at the Yards Park. This year it took place at the Carnegie Library at Mt. Vernon Square.
Seeing photos from my sister and a couple of blogger friends (like Brea) who attended last year's festivities gave me a serious case of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). Their tips really prepared me for this go around. However, what I didn't anticipate was me being without a +1 until the very last minute! Thankfully, my fellow BLM member, Marquita, came through in the clutch.
|The table setup next to us definitely stole the show.|
It was done by Wendy Lloyd, the pretty lady who's adjusting the piece in the photo.
The group were interrupted so many times by people wanting to take a photo of their centerpiece.
Fun Fact: Wendy also decorated the after party venue at the Marriott Marquis Hotel.
Check out her website: Balloons Over Maryland
- It's strictly invitation only. First dibs goes to those that attended a previous Diner en Blanc, which is Phase 1. If tickets are still available, Phase 2 begins. Finally, if tickets are still open for taking, there's a Phase 3. To be sure to get into either Phase 2 or Phase 3, you must register online to claim a spot. In the case of last year during its inaugural here in DC, after registering online for a spot, a link was provided with a code and the exact time to log-in with said code. From there, it's first come, first serve until it's sold out. And it sold out within minutes! Now you know why I wasn't able to attend.
- No single tickets sold! It's mandatory to buy two tickets. Why? Because Francois believes it's best to attend and enjoy Diner en Blanc with a partner. Having an empty seat opposite of you isn't an option.
- Here's where the *ahem* fun part begins. Everything that's needed for a dinner, y'know, the table, chairs, dinnerware, food, beverages, decorations...well, it becomes you and your partner's responsibility. That's right. You'll have to drag all of these items with you and set it up yourself. How the hell is that fun?!, you may ask
or not. Think of it this way: you get to set up your area however you see fit. Be it simple or outrageous, it's your call. Oh and you only have 10 minutes to set up. See, fun.
- If you like convenience, Diner en Blanc does provide a website where you can rent the tables and chairs. It must be picked up at the designated spot near the venue on that day. Also, there was a site to buy catered food and champagne/wine, also to be picked up. Nope, it won't be served to you.
- Speaking of champagne/wine/alcohol, outside drinks were prohibited. If you wanted to get turnt, it was best to purchase in advance. Unfortunately, no drinks were sold at the event.
- It's expected that all furniture and dinnerware has to be white. No cream, no ivory, no beige. White. However, if it's not white, then be prepared to cover it with something white.
- Given the massive crowd, we had to select a meeting place where we met up with other attendees in our group before heading to the secret location. We had no idea where the location was until that very day when our leader informed us. So be prepared for some walking. What I did was wear flats to the venue then changed to my more appropriate shoes, in this case, metallic wedges.
|My last minute look.|
I know, I know.
Dress is from Avenue. Kimono from Forever 21.
*view more photos here
Would I attend next year? But, of course. I understand why such an event gets a side-eye from people. It's all a bit...much. And I'm sure some of my friends got tired of me saying, "But it's about the experience." But it is about the experience. Trust me. Once there, you'll immediately forget about all of the time and money spent to prepare for Diner en Blanc. Because it'll be truly worth it.