Tips for a great Dîner en Blanc experience

I’ve never met a theme I didn’t like. I’m always down for a great party, but one with a fun dress code? Even better! I’ve now been to three Dîner en Blanc’s in Edmonton so I feel like I have a good handle on what to expect and how to make it a great night.

If you’ve never heard of Dîner en Blanc before here is a bit of history. The event was started in Paris, 31 years ago when a Frenchman invited a group of people to an elegant picnic and asked them to all dress in white so that they could easily find each other. Now, the event is held in 80 cities in 30 countries around the world.

This year, Edmonton’s event was held on the field at Commonwealth Stadium, where our professional football team plays. Unfortunately, the weather was not on our side. It rained so hard. And not a quick, light shower. It was a torrential downpour, with thunder and lightning and wind. It was a gong show, but you know what, we still had such a fun time. Attitude is everything (refer to tip 4) and our group had a great one.

If you’re getting ready for your first Dîner en Blanc here are five tips to make it a great experience.

1. Make sure you wear white. I know, sounds obvious, that’s the dress code, but there are always people who show up in cream or have another colour on their dress. You stick out like a sore thumb, so look for an outfit that’s all white. Also, it’s a dressy event, so leave the white jeans and sneakers at home.

2. Have fun with your accessories. I love to wear flower crowns, so that’s my go-to for this event, but I’ve seen people in fascinators, white wigs, tutus and boas. It’s not everyday you get to have so much fun with your outfit, so don’t waste the opportunity! Also, ladies, please wear flats. Sometimes the event is held in the grass, sometimes you have a 15 minute walk to get there, regardless you’ll be so much more comfortable in flat shoes.

3. Prepare for the weather. I’ve been rained on at two out of the three events I’ve been to. Like I mentioned above, it torrentially poured on us this year, so I’m so happy I had my clear poncho and umbrella with me. Yup, you read that right, even your rain gear needs to be clear or white, so make sure you’re prepared in advance.

4. Go into it with a great attitude. I’m not going to lie, this event is a lot of work and planning. They’re also always held outdoors rain or shine. Obviously weather isn’t something you can control, but your attitude is. We got totally rained out but had such a fun time this year. I was with fun people, we had wine and dessert (we made sure to grab both when we sprinted for some cover) what more do you need!

5. Pack light. You have to pack your whole life for this event (kidding, sort of), so obviously you can only pack so light between your table, chairs, linens, food and decor, however be smart where you can. Bring collapsible table and chairs and small but attractive decor (flameless candles, flowers etc). This is even easier the larger your group. We had a group of 6 going this year and divided up responsibilities so everyone was bringing something.

Hope this helps prepare you for your first Dîner en Blanc experience. It’s really such a fun event, you just have to make sure you put in the pre-planning work. If you have any other questions about the event, or some tips of your own please share them in the comments!

À votre santé!

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