On Friday (Nov 9), I had the pleasure of attending Dîner en Blanc, here in Miami, Florida. Dîner en Blanc, which is French for “dinner in white,” is regarded as the most coveted, secret dinner on Earth. This worldwide event happens in over 6 continents and 80 cities. Guests gather in a public place and set up an elegant dinner filled with fashion, class, and sophistication. The location of the event is a complete secret, as guests show up to a specific point and are taken to the destination via bus.
The Dîner en Blanc concept originated in Paris in 1998, when François Pasquier organized a group of friends to an elegant outdoor dinner – and had them wear all white. His son took the tradition to Montreal – and the event made its first U.S. debut in New York City in 2011. To date, around 15,000 people attend this event around the world.
The event is invite-only – and traditionally come from friends and family of people who have already participated in the past. I’m now a member, but it took over two years and waiting list of tens of thousands of people for me to finally get a chance to attend and become a member of the high-elite society of diners. There are a few rules that you must abide by when attending the event, such as you have to wear ALL white, no exceptions. No cream, no off white, no light beige – strictly WHITE. You and your guests must bring tables, chairs, table cloths, napkin cloths, centerpieces, and your dinner (you do have the option of ordering wine and packaged dinners from caterers beforehand).
Here’s how the process works:
1. Guests arrive at a location by charter bus. Your table leader then guides you to your specific location and gives you seating arrangements.
2. Once you get to your designated area, you begin setting up your table and chairs – and take a seat once set up.
3. Once everyone is set up, everyone lifts and waves a white cloth to mark the start of the dinner. This is done in unison with the entire dinner party, which can be hundreds or thousands.
4. Guests begin eating, socializing and enjoying the ambiance, which is breathtaking.
5. The highlight of the night is when everyone lights sparklers as the end of the dinner and the beginning of the celebration. Seeing everyone with sparklers while wearing all-white is a beautiful site.
6. Dance the night away!
7. When you leave, everyone needs to make that they clean up – so we can make sure that city’s public space looks the same way it did when you arrived.
Le Dîner en Blanc is a rain or shine event. Each guests’ presence is necessary and mandatory, regardless of the weather. For more information, please visit: dinerenblanc.com