My intro to Le Dîner en Blanc was when I moved to Atlanta and was having a conversation with my girl JM. “I’ve been trying for years to attend Dîner en Blanc and I’ve never been able to get in” she said. And then proceeded to look at me like I had two heads when I responded with “Dîner en who?” lol. Well, me being the good luck charm that I am, she made it in last year and I went as her guest. We had such a blast and I was so looking forward to this year’s! Unfortunately, the organization and location this year left a lot to be desired, but we made the most of it. I also lost my phone which had a bunch of photos I was gonna use for this post :(, but we’ll focus on the positives!
Today I’ll be sharing everything Le Dîner en blanc with you, including some photos from the two I’ve attended so far in Atlanta.
First, what is Le Dîner en Blanc?
According to Wikipedia, the Dîner en Blanc concept began in Paris in 1988 when Frenchman François Pasquier invited a group of friends to an elegant outdoor dinner at Bois de Boulogne, asking them to dress in white so they could find each other.
In a nutshell, it’s an event where thousands dress in white and gather for an evening of dining, fun, dancing, laughter and new friendships. The caveats? You bring your own tables, chairs and picnic basket. The location is usually a city landmark, remains a secret until you get there. You can read more on the Dîner en Blanc website here.
How do I register to attend Le Dîner en Blanc?
There are a few ways to attend, but the main ones are below. Registration happens in three phases:
1- You attended as a member previously and have kept up with your dues. You get to register in Phase I
2- You get sponsored by a member, and you get to register in Phase II. You also have the option to become a member at this point and will be eligible to register in Phase I for upcoming years. Note that there are limited spots and if you don’t click on the link to get in line on time, the spots might fill up before it gets to your turn.
3- You sign up on the Dîner en Blanc website for the city you’re interested in, and you will be notified when Phase III registration opens. Same rule about member eligibility and limited spots above apply.
4- You attend as a guest since each person who registers to attend is required to bring one guest
5- You volunteer to host, have inside connections with a host or table leader lol, are a media partner, etc.
But Belle, it all sounds complicated. You could say that and I agree, but that’s part of what makes it so much fun.
What do I wear to Le Dîner en Blanc?
Once you’re in and your registration is secured, it’s time to plan your outfit. The dress code is white and nothing but white, except for accessories which can be metallic. Fascinators or other headpieces are highly encouraged as they really add that extra touch. I created a whole page with loads of option for what to wear to Dîner en blanc. You can check it out here. Unfortunately, most clothing items online that are labeled ‘white’ are actually off white so keep that in mind. My outfit this year was definitely off white but I didn’t have time to get a different outfit.
What else do I need to bring?
My biggest tip is to pack light. Everyone wants to go all out with their table decor but, remember you’ll have to lug everything so keep that in mind. You can get loads of inspiration from Pinterest or Instagram.
- A portable square table 26″ to 32″
- 2 white portable chairs
- A white table cloth
- Dinner (or you can order when you register if your city offers it) + Dessert
- Water & wine (if your venue allows outside alcohol)
- All dinnerware (including plates, silverware, glasses, etc.). No plastic!
- White napkins
- Table decor (Simple or over the top. You choose). No open flames!
- White trash bags
- Paper napkins and/or wipes to clean up spills
- For ladies – Flats to wear while you setup (before you change into your heels)
- A cart to lug all this around
- A fun and open attitude to go with the flow and have a great time (This came in VERY handy this year lol)
What happens on the day of the dinner?
When you register, you’re assigned a pick up location along with a squad and table leader. On the day of the event, you meet at your designated pick up point, pack your dinner supplies into the bus, and get transported to the secret location. It’s also fun trying to guess the secret location as the bus makes its way there.
Once you arrive, you unload the bus, head over to your designated spot and set up. Dinner commences with the ceremonial waving of the napkin, and that’s when the real fun begins. After dinner, put on your party shoes and prepare to DANCE DANCE DANCE. We had an amazing DJ last year and danced till we couldn’t feel our feet; we didn’t want to leave. When it’s all over, you pack everything up and hop on your bus to get transported back to your pickup spot.
And thats it! If it’s in your city, you should definitely check it out. Even though this year was disappointing for me, I’d be willing to give it another shot.
Have you ever been to Le Dîner en Blanc? Is it something you would be interested in? If you have any questions or thoughts, share in the comments below!
Thanks for reading and have a fantastic week!