Diner En Blanc is a “secret” dinner party that takes place once a year in NYC and other cities throughout the world. The pop up dinner party originated in Paris France, over 25 years ago with a few close friends gathering in a public place for dinner, and has grown into a worldwide phenomenon with each event now hosting several thousand guests. For the past several years, Diner En Blanc has been hosted in New York City.
If you’ve scored tickets to this illustrious event, on the day-of, you’ll meet your guide at a predetermined location where you will be taken to the final location. With thousands of people attending, this is a meticulously coordinated and tight-lipped process. The chic picnic was held at Lincoln Center, Bryant Park, Battery Park and Pier 26 in the past. While attendees of the event, won’t know the location until they are led right to it, rumor has it that this years attendees should bring white flip flops and avoid heels on the trek over to the location. Does that mean it’s a rocky or sandy location? Who knows!
When: Usually Held in July or August
Where: Top Secret
Registration: Click Here
If you’re planning on attending, make the day SO much easier with a table that rolls up into a bag. These sell out quickly once the date of the event is announced.
Rules of Diner En Blanc
While getting tickets to the event can prove difficult, participating takes a fair amount of prep work as well. Guests must wear all white, from head to toe, which even includes shoes and hair pieces. Unique attire is encouraged, but it must be chic and debonair – no tees and jeans at this event! In addition to putting together an amazing outfit, attendees also need to bring their own white square table for 2, picnic basket, 2 white folding chairs, white table cloth, and dining ware that is made of real glass. You can pack your own picnic dinner or purchase food through select vendors when you claim your ticket. Unfortunately, all alcohol must be purchased through the Diner En Blanc organization due to NY State law. However, we predict that the sale of white flasks might spike over the next week or two even though there will be strict fines – we don’t recommend this 😉
How to Get Tickets
1) Join the Waiting List & Get Lucky
One option for getting tickets is to sign up on the ticket waiting list, however this should be a last resort as invitations are handed out in 3 rounds. In the first round of invites, previous attendees and volunteers receive their invites. Both the volunteers and previous attendees are allowed to invite a guest and these invitations are handed out in round 2. Anyone that recieves an invite in round 1 and round 2 is guaranteed a spot as long as they RSVP in a timely manner. Lastly, in round 3, all of the remaining tickets will be offered up to those on the waiting list, which is notorious for filling up in mere minutes since thousands are on the waiting list.
2) Get a Past Attendee to Recommend You
The easiest way to attend the event is to know a friend that went previously and is a member of Diner En Blanc. They can “recommend” you, which means that you’ll get an invite in round 2 of the invitations. As long as your RSVP within 24 hours you should be good to go! It’s important to know that each member of Diner En Blanc only gets to recommend one person, so maybe bribe them with some drinks or incredible cooking skills to make the chic picnic extra tasty.
3) Volunteer as a Table Leader – This is Your Best Best!
If you don’t know anyone who has attended the event previously, and don’t trust your luck via the waiting list, you can also volunteer to be a table leader. Table leaders are responsible for being the “expert” on Diner En Blanc for the assigned tables in their group. On the day of the event the table leaders will meet their group at a predetermined location, take attendance and wait for the location details. Essentially the volunteers are the Diner En Blanc tour guides. Most of the responsibility is just answering questions and prepping everyone so that everything runs smoothly the day of the event. Volunteers get to attend for free and can hand out 3 invitations which is an incredible deal. There is an in-person volunteer meeting that is held each year which you must attend to become a volunteer! Sign up as a volunteer now, even if the event is far away so that you’ll be in the loop and get the initial volunteer email.
Diner En Blanc Costs
The price of attending the event is fairly minimal costing $35 per person, plus a $5 membership fee which covers the event permits, security and entertainment. Guests can bring their own food, but wine must be purchased online in advance. The cost of wine has not yet been revealed, but the cost on average was $23 per bottle.
Depending on how many of these items you already own, the cost of the event could rise quickly. Unless it’s date-night and you’re an old-school gentleman, don’t forget that you will likely share the cost of the table/chair purchase with your guest which will make the night much more affordable. These are the necessary items:
- White Table
- 2 White Folding Chairs
- White Tablecloth
- Picnic Basket
- White Outfit
- Rolling Cart (to transport everything)
If you don’t feel like scouring the flea markets, craigslist or garage sales, there are some affordable options that you can order online. Below is our roundup of cheap white tables, chairs, tablecloths and picnic baskets.
Chic Picnic Baskets