After two dreadful years of being waitlisted, I finally attended this year’s Dîner en Blanc Vancouver!
Okay, maybe not as dreadful as it sounds since I completely forgot I even signed up for the waitlist, oops.
If you haven’t heard of this chic Parisian dinner frenzy, it is basically an upscale, white-themed picnic where guests are invited exclusively by word of mouth (or you can sign up to be on the waitlist like I did). The idea originated from Frenchman François Pasquier when he organized a picnic with his friends and suggested everyone to dress in white for the ease of finding one another. This phenomenon soon spread across the world and became a well-kept not so secret, secret tradition.
This year being Vancouver’s 5th year hosting Dîner en Blanc, the event took place on Thursday, August 18th at Concorde Pacific Place with over 6,000 attendees.
How to Attend
Registration for the event opens in three phases:
- Phase 1: Close friends of the organization and leaders and members of the previous year
- Phase 2: Friends recommended during the Phase 1 registration process
- Phase 3: Guests who have signed up for the waitlist
Like I said, you get invited by word of mouth. Either you know someone who is organizing the dinner or you know someone who has been invited in previous years and can bring you along as a guest or “recommend” aka sponsor you to join the event where you can then bring another guest of your choice. Now the number of participants have grown significantly over the years hence why there are extremely limited spots in the Phase 3 registration. If you are unable to register in Phases 1 or 2, you may just have to wait upwards 1-2 years.
How It Works
Once you have secured a registration spot, you then get to pick which table leader’s group you’d like to join based on transportation types/meet up points. Again, this is a very exclusive event and part of the fun is to not know the actual location of the dinner until you meet up with your table leader and they lead you to the designated venue.
I work in Downtown so I chose the closest location to me that was still available, which was the Pedestrian option at Waterfront Station. If you and your pals would all like to sit together, make sure to sign up for the same table leader!
After you have selected a table leader, you can then proceed with food and drink options. If you’re bringing your own food, simply skip this step but do remember that guests aren’t allowed to their own wine so order your wine on the DEB site beforehand.
Prior the event, make sure to print out your invoice as proof of purchase and bring it along to show your table leader.
To be honest, when I first saw that we had to pay $74 for two just for attending the event, I thought it was ridiculous. We are essentially bringing our own table and chairs, perhaps bringing our own food as well so getting charged an entrance fee just seemed bizarre. But after having attended the dinner, I absolutely loved it so no complaints there.
On the actual day, arrive to your designated meeting spot at the said time and check in with your leader to get your DEB wristband and food/drink tickets if you have ordered any as well as sparklers and off you go!
Once you have arrived at the venue, feel free to set up your table and chairs and proceed to pick up your food and wine (if you have ordered any).
Table decor on point thanks to Pinterest inspiration.
The Napkin Wave
By the time we finally got everything together, we were
starving famished. After you set up your space and before starting your dinner, you are to wait for the cue for the “Napkin Wave” which is when all guests twirl their white napkins in the air as a signal for the official commencement of DEB. We just couldn’t wait so we actually started our appetizers before then. We weren’t the only ones either but if you do wish to stick to the event’s actual rundown, snack a bit before dinner because you will be hungry after lugging table and chairs around.
The Sparkler Moment
Lighting up the sparklers was no doubt the highlight of the evening. Words cannot describe how magical this moment was. As mentioned above, you get sparklers from your table leader upon arrival so they are provided, but you can of course bring extras as well.
Having to bring your own table and chairs – especially ones that have to adhere to specific size guidelines as per instructed by DEB – may sound like a big hassle. A lot of my friends found that to be a big turn off factor for attending, and trust me, it isn’t easy to carry all that shit and walk around in heels and what not. I definitely recommend having a couple male guests on the team to do all the heavy lifting. In fact, the more the merrier. Attending in a big group of friends is actually, in my opinion, better because everyone shares the responsibility, which makes the workload a lot less stressful on each individual. It is also perfectly fine to wear sneakers and change into heels when you arrive at the final destination. DEB has quite a few rules but when you’re really at the event, there are so many people I mean who’s paying attention? Sure they say dress strictly white, no creams, but hell I saw creams, I saw nudes, just follow the general guidelines and don’t stress too much about the details. It truly is an extraordinary experience and my friend and I both enjoyed an amazing time. Oh and yes, the food was good! We couldn’t bother to pack our own appetizers and entrées hence we went with the meal options DEB had provided. The portions were a little small but I was pleasantly surprised. Needless to say, I would for sure be back again next year!
Please note that not all photos were taken by me, as they are from the official 2016 Dîner en Blanc Vancouver Facebook page. See you in the next post!
Looks like an amazing time!
Thanks so much, Taylor. We did enjoy a fabulous time <3
Looks like you had a blast! Thanks for sharing xo, sharon
We definitely did! Thanks for stopping by <3
Wow, this event sounds so VIP and luxe and difficult to get into, although that being said, amazing that you got to experience this spectacular event! Everything looks so pretty and the details are just stunning. What a beautiful setting! Gorgeous photos and great detailed review. You looked amazing as well. xoxo, Christine
Hey Christine, I’m always so delighted to read your comments. And yes, it was super exclusive and I am so thrilled to have been able to participate in this magical night. Have a great day!
This looks like such a fun event! I have always wanted to go
Hi Laura, you most certainly should if you ever get a chance to! We had an unforgettable evening!
Wow!! This event looks so chic and like so much fun!! You also look amazing in white! Hope you had a wonderful night! Xx Susanne – http://bagatyou.com
Hi Susanne, thank you so much you’re such a babe. I most certainly did have an amazing evening that day.
I have never heard of this event. What a blast! Your photos are stupendous. Really they are so fabulous. I do agree it sounds like having a larger group to share the heavy lifting is a good plan.
Thank you so much, Sue! Although I must say not all photos are mine hahaa. Thanks for stopping by again and have a great week!
What a beautiful event. Looks like you had fun 🙂
Hi Ashley, it was a delightful experience and we had a phenomenal night 😀
What a lovely photos ʕ•́ᴥ•̀ʔっ
* Le blog de la Licorne *
Thank you so much, Gabrielle. Have a lovely day (づ ◕‿◕ )づ
Such a cool party!!!! I love the white!
Hey Daria, I love white too but it gets dirty too easily. Thanks for stopping by!
This white dinner is so pretty! Hope you had a lot of fun!
Hi Violette, it was like a fairytale dream. Thanks for stopping by <3
This looks absolutely amazing!! Can never go wrong with all white 🙂
Can never go wrong with all white until you spill red wine on it hahaa.
Wow, looks like a superb event! We have it in Luxembourg as well but unfortunately I have never gone.
Hi Anouk, you should give it a shot if you ever get a chance to. You certainly wont’ regret it 🙂
The photos of this party remind me of some Gossip girl’s parties and scenes…
So sophisticate and dreamy
Oh my gosh, you are so right, Zorica! The white definitely made it very dream-like.
Everything looks so amazing. Beautiful pictures. You look stunning .
Rita | http://www.styleroundtheclock.com
Hey Rita, thank you so much for your kind words. Have a great day!
Such a fun and gorgeous event. I am in love with your blog<3
Thank you, Jacquelyn. Glad to know that you’ve enjoyed my posts <3
I was at this too!!! It was my first time going and I had so much fun! Your photos are absolutely beautiful 🙂
Hey Christina, that’s awesome! Glad to finally hear from someone who has also attended the event. Thank you so much for your kind compliments and I hope you enjoyed the dinner just as much as I did. Have a great day! <3
ooh i’ve always wanted to go to one of these! looks like you had a great time
Hey Sher, I had a fabulous night. Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!
Wow it sounds so intense but well organized! I’ve never been to anything like this before and I’d absolutely love to experience this, at least once. Beautiful photos！ <3
Hey Flo, it was quite an experience for us. A lot of major cities host this dinner now so perhaps there’s one near you or wherever else you will be travelling to during your next adventure! 🙂
Love your photos here! You have quite the photography skills. Mind I ask what camera gear you are using to do all of these shots? It looks like you had an amazing time and I had never even heard of an all white dining event before. Looks fun!
Cathy | http://www.thetrekkingcat.com
Hi Cathy, I actually got a new Fujifilm camera recently but these were shot on my old, broken Nikon D3200. Not all photos are mine though, some are from the official Facebook event page. Have a great week!