Dîner en Blanc is the largest and most exclusive dinner party in the world and last week in New York City, I attended.
I first found out about the famous Dîner en Blanc through a friend of mine when she wrote about it in a travel group that I am involved in. I was very curious to know what it was all about, so I headed to their website and I was immediately intrigued by a secret dinner party that thousands of people would attend around the world. Since Dîner en Blanc began in Paris over 25 years ago, it has spread to five continents, and over 35 cities around the world.
How To Get In To Diner en Blanc:
Due to the huge popularity of Dîner en Blanc (45 thousand people registered in New York alone), the event has become somewhat exclusive and limited to only a few thousand people per event. To even the consideration process of being invited, one has to go to either know a member or go to the website and register to join the waiting list for the city (or cities) of your preference. I put my name on the waiting list in January 2013 and did not receive an invitation until a little over a week before the event occurred in September 2013 (to put that in perspective, that is 8 months long!)
Once you receive an invitation code, you must immediately click on the link submitted to you via email and hope that thousands of other people who got invitation are not also competing for the remaining spots for the dinner. When I first put in my invitation code, I kept getting a ‘maximum capacity reached’ error on the site for thirty minutes before I gave up. About an hour later, I received word that the site was not overloaded anymore and that invitation codes were being accepted again. I immediately ran to my computer, clicked on the link in my email, paid the membership and dining fees, added my guest and was on my way!
Preparation for Diner en Blanc:
When attending Dîner en Blanc, it is important to know that you must provide everything yourself, including all tables, chairs, linens, utensils, and dinnerware. No plastic is allowed and everything must be white. For more specific details on what is required, visit the DEB FAQ page.
Day of the Event
My meeting place was right outside of Hunter College. When I arrived there, classes were still in session on the campus and people kept stopping to stare, take pictures of, and question all of us that were starting to converge dressed in white from head to toe.
After arriving to my meeting point, I checked in with my group leader, waited for my guest to arrive, and then I was given an address at which to meet my group in case we got separated. Everything was still a complete secret up to this point and people started to speculate where we might be heading based on the address we had been given. After being given directions on where we were headed to next, everyone wearing white with tables, chairs, and food in tow, headed down to the subway and boarded the 6 train bound for 42 street Grand Central station.
Let The Festivities Begin!
After we arrived at meeting spot two, we waited for a few minutes before we started heading down 42 street from Fifth Avenue. At that point, it was apparent that we were heading to Bryant Park. We turned into Bryant Park and immediately we were surrounded by a sea of white. Thousands of attendees were covering the grounds and onlookers were staring and taking pictures. We made our way down to where we had to unload our items and began preparing for our meal. I went to wait on line for our food and wine and then carried it back to our table. We opened it up and began enjoying the delicious food while we were surrounded by other people happily chatting, dancing to the music, and waiving their napkins in the air.
The night was amazing and filled with great people, great music, bubbles, confetti, photographers, great food, good wine, and of course the best thing of all: the magic of dining in Bryant Park. Check out more pictures from this fabulous event!