* This post is part of a Diner En Blanc series! Check out all of the posts here
So last summer while stalking the Instagram pages of the Blood Sweat and Heels cast, I saw several of them attended a pop up dinner. Everyone was dressed in fabulous all white outfits. They brought their own food, alcohol, and table decorations. I was immediately smitten with this idea because I absolutely love experiences that are centered around food or meals with friends.  I just figured I would have to make a trip to NYC to partake.  Welp after browsing on Zagat one afternoon, I found out that someone deemed Houston worthy enough to host, what is actually called Diner En Blanc.  So I embarked on the Diner En Blanc: The Preparations. 

I am a researcher by nature, must be the History BA and law degree, so I immediately hit google to find out everything about this diner en blanc concept.  It started 25 years ago by a man in Paris who wanted to picnic at the Eiffel Tower with a group of friends and family. They wore head to toe white to easily spot each other.  Well it’s grown beyond friends to a meeting of 1,000 plus strangers at locations around the world, who come together to share a meal in beautiful places in the host city.

What I THOUGHT

So after my research, this is what I THOUGHT the event would entail

  • We meet at a pre-established drop off point then the pile into a chartered bus with all of our supplies to head to a surprise location for the dinner.  In cooler greener cities, they use mass transit, but Houston ain’t that cool yet.
  • We wear our fabulous white outfits including big floppy white hats or even fascinators.
  • Wine of my choice. I like the cheap stuff, don’t judge me.
  • Picnic appropriate foods, like cheese, crackers, or prosciutto. Plus a cupcake, because I love cupcakes.
  • White linens and table decorations
  • And  table for two with one of my favorite girlfriends!

What it ACTUALLY Entails

Boy was I wrong! Now this may not be the case for all of the diner en blanc events around the world! After forking over a fee, I learned that the Houston event requires all of the below!

  • Bring my OWN table table that is within the dimensions of 24 and 30 inches. i.e. a card table. But make sure it can easily be hauled because YOU have to carry it. 
  • Bring my OWN white chairs. Who has white chairs?? 
  • Food of your choice. But you are encouraged to have several courses. 
  • A picnic basket that is supposed to be spray painted white. HA!
  • White plates, that can NOT be disposable plates.  Even though this is a picnic.  
  • All white linens, including white linen napkins for the ceremonial napkin wave at the beginning of the evening.  I have no qualms with this.
  • An “elegant” white outfit. They want you dressed for the Opera. 
  • Wine that can ONLY be purchased through the diner en blanc online store.  Wine that goes for $20 in said online store but 8 bucks at my local Target. 
  • No glass whatsoever or real candles. Yes plastic, non-disposable glasses and electric votives for an elegant event.
  • A dolly or cart to haul all this stuff three blocks from the drop off point. I guess I can reuse it.
  • Clear ponchos and/or an umbrella, because rain is in the forecast.  This event is rain or shine and they have already rescheduled it once because of Houston flooding. 
  • Table decorations.  I’ll probably grab some white flowers at Trader Joes and call it a day.
  • Oh and a $45 fee, presumably for the charter bus that shuttles you to the undisclosed location and whatever entertainment they include.
  • A WHITE trash brag to dispose of your own items.  At that point does it really matter if it’s white or not?
  • AND I am sure I am missing something.

The Takeaway

I hate to sound so negative about this event, but there is just SO much work that goes into this.  I say all this to say that this event isn’t as simple as it appears. Consider yourself warned!  There is a lot of planning involved and it can be pricy!  Unless you are a person who just happens to have all of the above random things you are going to end up shelling out some funds.

My mother happened to have a white linens and a picnic basket that I’m gladly borrowing.  I have plenty of white wardrobe options, but I needed a new white blouse, yes need, don’t argue this point.  My crate and barrel plates do not travel well, so I purchased some picnic type plates from Target and white linen napkins.  I am using my own silverware and praying I don’t lose any!  I had to buy a dolly from the container store ($40) to haul all of this stuff.  AND I am currently scrambling to find a place I can rent tables and chairs from by Sunday.  I hope that this event lives up to the hype and I can write an exciting post come Monday, but until then… 🙁

picstitch 3

My prep stuff, still more things needed though! 

Update

Diner En Blanc List

1) Foldable Table or Option 2 |2) Fancy Picnic Basket with plates and glasses | 3) Simpler Picnic Basket | 4) Luggage Cart to haul everything | 5) Cake stand | 6)  Tiered Dessert Stand | 7) Charcuterie Board or Option 2 | 8) Fancy Plastic Plates so you don’t break your good ones! (bring silverware from home though) | 9) Flameless Candles | 10) Foldable Chairs | 11) Vase, just add white hydrangeas or roses | 12) Drink Container for water or other drinks | 13) Shatterproof Wine Glasses | 14) Pintuck Table Cloth or a cheaper simple option | 15) Cloth Napkins | 16) Eiffel Tower Centerpiece more Eiffel Tower decorations!  | 17) Silver Charger Plates

* For the visual folks check out my diner en blanc board on my blackgirlswhobrunch Pinterest page.  Also read my review  from after the event*