What is Le Dîner en Blanc, DEB?
When I told one of my dearest French girlfriends, Aurelie, that I was going to Dîner en Blanc in Dallas, she replied “Oh là là, how did you get invited to this special secret, élégant, mystérieux, and chic événement? In Paris, this annual event has been at special places such as Versailles and the Eiffel Tower. The place is secret up to the end; you get on a bus and are driven to the secret location. You bring your own food, table, and glass but it has to be a real plate, glass, and candélabre. The drink is champagne, not wine…”
Aurelie’s reply is a good start in describing Dîner en Blanc, The World’s Largest Dinner Party.
No joke, it can be difficult to land yourself an invitation. I was ecstatic and humbled that WiseMommies was invited to cover this Soirée(evening party) with extra thanks to Katherine Rose Watson and Moët & Chandon.
See below for a “how to” get on the waitlist for your own invitation.
Le Dîner en Blanc Dallas, TX, DEBD:
Big D, Dallas, was privileged to host its 2nd annual Dîner en Blanc in Dallas, DEBD, in 2016. It was amazing to walk around watching everyone set up, the extent some went to decorate their tables was unbelievable and captivating honestly. After all, the night ends with fireworks and who doesn’t love fireworks high in the sky outlining a special location and signifying an unforgettable evening. Some sponsors such as Southwest Airlines, Apothic Wine and DFW Mercedes-Benz Dealers were also there with goodies and entertainment.
As They Say in Real-estate, It’s All About Location, Location, Location:
Maybe the coolest element to Le Dîner en Blanc is location, location, location. In Dallas, DEBD, was set up at the Continental Avenue Bridge in 2015, City Hall Plaza in 2016, and TBA for 2017. Every city has their own special location for the Soirée.
The Magic of Le Dîner en Blanc:
I’m not really sure what I expected from this venue. For sure, I was intrigued and the closer it came time to attend the sillier with excitement I got. Seriously, my Instagram alone was blowing up with before pictures. I was beside myself with the whole secrecy and cryptic mystery the night would behold, and my world of wonder was not disappointed. It was like tasting something sweet and salty at the same time, experiencing Easter and Thanksgiving as one; I experienced the culture and people of Europeans and Americans, Parisians, and Dallasites at the same time. It was a moment when all was right with the world. People from all over the world, America, but mostly Dallasites, all strangers, going to great lengths to come together for a beautiful evening of dinner, drinking, dancing, meeting, and more. And that little extra effort that strangers must make together makes this soirée extraordinary.
The Perspective of French Attending Le Dîner en Blanc in Dallas:
While walking around, I ran into several friends such as Stacey Barrett, long time sorority/college friend who married a Frenchman, lived in Paris while I was living in Germany and was eating with a teacher from the Dallas International School and her French husband. I observed their food and wine which was proper French cheese boards with cheese and all. My husband and I also spent some time hanging out with them and I questioned them on their take of the event.
The following is quoted from them:
“People always seem to say about DEB that it looks fun but seems like a lot of work. It is a lot of work, but it reflects the French mentality that dining with friends is more about the experience and event itself than the actual nourishment. I personally enjoy looking around after everyone is set up and enjoying their meals and appreciate how every person there has put in a grand effort so that collectively we can enjoy an amazing, unique experience. I find the whole evening very fulfilling.”
A Concept Promoting Ethics and Values:
In the youtube video showing the beginning and development of Le Dîner en Blanc to how and why it’s grown internationally, it states that it’s a concept promoting ethics and values. I couldn’t agree more after attending the event; Secrecy, Effort, Elegance, Joie de vivre, Heritage and more, Manners, Face-to-Face-Socialization, Creativity, Spontaneity, Openness, and more.
Is it a Flash Mob Event?
No, it’s not a flash mob. If anything it’s more of a smart mob as many attendees, such as myself, were only disclosed of the location via mobile phone just hours before the event. Diners are clueless of the location until the very last moment when they are sitting in the bus that is driving them to Le Dîner en Blanc location. Also, a smart mob is thought to have more of an enduring presence and Dîner en Blanc is just that!
Speaking of Smart:
I love the definition of smart in British English. Smart: Something done quickly/fast and/or wearing attractive clothes with the appearance that one took the time to look tidy/neat. To attend Dîner en Blanc one must dress smartly and set up/tear down in a somewhat smartly pace.
White! That’s it. You can let your personality shine through for how fashionable, original or unique you decide to dress up your white but everything must be white. From purses to hats, shoes to belts, and the main outfit, it must be white. No ivory, no off-white, no beige. After all, Dîner en Blanc translates to Dinner in White. White originally so that everyone attending this secret Soirée would find one another. Everything in white gave me the feeling that everything was clean, pure, beautiful and new; no baggage brought to the dinner table but real conversation in an exquisite setting.
How to attend?You have to be invited to attend, so get yourself on the waitlist.
#1 Get on the waiting list. When tickets go on sale, you will get an email notification.
#2 Three to four weeks before the event, end of September, but still TBA, keep watch on the facebook Diner en Blanc for ticket info.
#3 Be ready to buy tickets quickly. If you decide you want to attend and sign up, as soon as you get an invitation, follow the directions too quickly sign-up.
After you put your name on the waitlist, wait for an email giving you more information and details as well as an invitation code to register with.
There are three phases for registration.
Phase One: Is for members only so they get first dibs to the event.
Phase Two: By invitation from a friend who is a member.
Phase Three: Wait List sign-ups, but remember to be quick to grab that spot and finish signing up as soon as you get the invitation in your email inbox.
Le Dîner en Blanc Origin:
In the 80’s, Froncois Pasquier, a Frenchman, planned an outdoor dinner party in Paris. Attendees were asked to dine in elegance and proper etiquette with one another over good food, champagne and to wear formal white. He did not reveal the location of his dinner party until the last minute. The wearing of white helped attendees invited to see each other when coming together at the secret location.
Le Dîner en Blanc, International:
Nearly thirty years later, Le Dîner en Blanc is still held annually in Paris and in 2012 Dîner en Blanc, DEB, went international, crossing continents in popularity with a Soirée in over 70 cities worldwide. This event is so beloved that it now has fans following its Soirée state to state, country to country.
Have you attended Dîner en Blanc? If so, where? And what did you think?