Dinner parties are my favorite kind of parties, so I jumped at the opportunity to attend Fort Lauderdale’s Inaugural Dîner en Blanc on February 16, 2019! This unique dining event wishes to promote friendship and elegance, while setting a new standard for chic outdoor events. Built by friends and for friends, Le Dîner en Blanc is a very special event, and it is certainly different from any dinner party I’ve ever attended before.
Creator François Pasquier launched the first Dîner en Blanc de Paris 30 years ago, and he continues to bring more than 10,000 people together each year in some of the French capital’s most prestigious sites. Over the years, the event has certainly grown in both attendance and recognition. Past locations in Paris have included Pont de Arts, the Champs-Élysée, and the garden of the Palais Royal. Just last year, Le Dîner en Blanc de Paris celebrated its 30th anniversary by gathering over 15,000 guests at Place des Invalides, in front of the Eiffel Tower!
What exactly happens at Le Dîner en Blanc? After registering for the event a couple weeks in advance, I was told via email that the location of the event would be revealed to me just a few hours before which was quite exciting! As a media guest, I drove myself there, however, many guests can board buses to transport them to the secret location on the day of. We are given strict instructions to keep the location a secret until the start of the event at 4 pm. I really enjoyed the mystique, and so did the other 800 guests.
One of the main rules is to dress in all white (from head to toe) which is strictly enforced, and this really helps to create a beautiful atmosphere of togetherness and elegance. During the first hour, you find your assigned place and start setting up tables, chairs, food, and drinks. After all, this is a picnic so people bring their own supplies. Dîner en Blanc wants guests to experience the beauty and value of their city’s public spaces, and we absolutely did just that. Our location was revealed to be Esplanade Park which provided a lovely waterfront setting for this fun event along Fort Lauderdale’s scenic Riverwalk Park. They have a capacity for up to 2,000 guests, therefore, everyone had plenty of room.
Over the course of the evening, friends, family, and strangers all enjoyed participating in the unexpected, while appreciating the elegance of the dinner itself. I really loved how so many guests were brought together from diverse backgrounds by a love of good taste, beauty, and fun. It really is no surprise that the popularity of Le Dîner en Blanc has spread to more than 80 cities around the world, including New York, Sydney, Shanghai, London, Johannesburg, Singapore, Toronto, now Fort Lauderdale, and many more. I am very much looking forward to the next one in Florida, and hope to attend internationally one day!