I’m sure you’ve probably seen pictures blowing up your social media timelines of fly people rocking all white with wine glasses in their hands, toasting to the good life around this time each year. Is it a wedding? Is it a party? No to the nuptials (if you wear white to a wedding, shame on you!) and heck yes to the party.
Created nearly 30 years ago by François Pasquier in Paris, Dîner en Blanc has grown to be one of the world’s largest traveling dinner parties that grows in popularity year by year. What started out as an invite only soiree, now is a super-exclusive experience that you can only participate in if you purchase a membership yourself or are sponsored by an existing member.
I personally never knew anything about Diner en Blanc until a year or two ago when I saw a friend of mine posting pictures of it on Facebook. Of course I was intrigued: beautiful people of all colors wearing all white looking godly, good food, good drank and music… I needed parts. Luckily for me, an invite crept up in my inbox this year and I made sure to make my way back to the Windy City to finally take part in this elusive night. When it all was said and done, I was fully aware of what to do and what not to do.
DO Plan out your outfit beforehand
We all know that white is one of thee hardest colors to shop for. So keep your eyes open for stylish steals. This is one of those events where it’s all about you, play up your personal style or step completely out of the box… just make sure it’s WHITE (no off-white, no beige, no cream). In true procrastinator’s fashion, I was lucky enough to stumble across a cute white pencil dress for $20 the morning of (but please don’t be like me, no guarantees) Don’t forget, be mindful of the weather because this does take place outdoors so try to find a nice cover up just in case, ladies.
DON’T Just Wear Heels
Just don’t. From what I experienced, there will be a good amount of walking from the meetup spot to the actual event location so make sure to wear a pair of nice flats to wear for the short trek and pack your cute heels in your bag to pull out for the photo ops once you get there. But believe me, you’ll probably only be wearing them for a few minutes and switch back into your flats once the dancing starts up later on in the night.
DO be prepared for wind
My hair was flying all over the place given we were right next to the lake. No matter where you may attend your Diner en Blanc, make sure to pack a hair tie and a few bobby pins so you can make a quick transition if you do choose to let your tresses fly at the beginning.
DON’T Be Late
Or at least try not to be. Diner en Blanc operates on secrecy, that’s what makes it so fun because you have no idea where you’ll end up. You’ll most likely be assigned a group leader who will coordinate your table location and lead your group to where the dinner will take place. Be sure to have your phone charged up leading up to the night because you never know, your meeting spot may change (mine did a smooth hour and a half before we all were scheduled to meet) and your group WILL leave you. Make sure to stay plugged in with your group so they can guide you to the dinner location just in case your uber decides to make the wrong turn for the third time.
DO Be Creative
Depending on what your set up is with your group, you’ll be able to coordinate with your table who’s bringing what. I forgot to mention before, this is a dinner party that just provides the experience, YOU provide everything else. This means you bring your own table, chairs, linen, food, wine, plates, cups, etc. As I gazed around, I could tell how much guests love this event because they truly plan to the T. Beautiful centerpieces and place settings… it was great. Make sure to have fun and be a helping hand to your table host because lugging around everything your table requires is not fun. Big thanks to my friends at Lincoln Motor Company who took care of everything for my group’s table, it was amazing.
Try not to. Uber and Lyft are your best friends. Parking is scarce and depending on how much wine you consume throughout the night, you don’t need to be behind anybody’s wheel. Play it safe and save yourself the trouble.
DO Have One of the Best Nights of Your Life
When I tell you, I had a BALL. Diner en Blanc makes it a point to choose locations with breathtaking views; the view we had with the Chicago skyline right behind us was completely beautiful. Between that, the traditions like the napkin wave at the beginning of dinner and the sparkler lighting to signal the opening of the dance floor, it was a super fun and super cool experience. The crowd was totally diverse, I could tell there was some big movers and shakers sprinkled throughout the tables but the fact that we were all able to come together in the name of classy fun and be on the same level, I appreciated it. I definitely hope I can go next year.
For more info about Diner en Blanc and to see if it happens in your city or a city nearby, make sure to visit the official website. Another big thanks to Lincoln Motor Company for their hospitality, I made sure to snap a few pics in front of their new Navigator that I could only wish was mine. One day :)