Oh hello party lovers! It’s been a busy and fun summer around here, but I just had to pop in today and share our Diner en Blanc party we had a few nights ago. A Diner en Blanc has been on my party list for years now, and with my party-loving sister in town, we knew we had to throw this one together. Luckily, the rain stayed away just long enough for us to get through dinner. Even though we had to move inside for desserts (thanks to everyone for moving it all inside so quick), it still ended up being a magical evening with some of our mutual friends. Also, who doesn’t love an excuse to dress up? I sure love getting out of mom clothes every once in a while 🙂
^the lovely ladies in white. we’ve been blessed to have such good friends through the years!
One of these days I’ll hire a photographer so I can focus just on hosting. When will I learn?
What’s a Diner en Blanc?
The original Diner en Blanc was started in 1998 by a frenchman named François Pasquier. He invited a few friends to meet up at the Parc de Bagatelle. In order to find each other, he instructed them to wear all-white. Since then, Diner en Blancs have become secret-invite-only events all around the world.
For a real diner en blanc, guests show up with their own tables, chairs, and food and are bused to a secret outdoor location upon arrival. Talk about fun. For our friends, however, we wanted to make it simple, so my sister and I did all the decor and food, except the desserts. My backyard was our venue.
To simplify, we sent free invitations via Paperless Post. They had classy and simple options. The only thing I didn’t like about using their service was that unlike Evite, we weren’t able to see which guests had viewed the invitation. As much fun as creating fancy real invitations would have been, sending an electronic invitation helped us get the word out quickly and simply.
Decorating for a diner en blanc is super easy since all you need is white, white, white! White tablecloths, white dishes, and we picked up a few $5 carnation bouquets for the centerpieces. Those pared with some plants I already had and it looked classy, simply! I’m kind of obsessed with white anyway, so it was easy to pull out things I already had. I found some white chairs and benches at a yard sale and then my cute neighbor let us borrow the rest.
My dad made some white wood fences for my brother’s wedding years ago, but I knew they’d make a perfect backdrop for our dinner party. And white balloons! Balloons are a cheap an easy way to fill visual space and make a statement. The wind gave them a nice slanted look 🙂
^my sister hand-lettered all the place cards. they were lovely!
As you know, there are always a million things that go into throwing a party, especially right before it starts. To avoid as much last minute chaos as we could, we came up with a menu of items that could either be purchased or prepared in advance to cut down on last minute chaos. Of course, there were things that we were still running around doing at the last minute, but it was so helpful to have most done ahead of time.
- Peach & Basil Flatbread
- Sparkling beverages (we served a variety of these ones from World Market)
- Teriyaki chicken bowtie pasta (made the morning of)
- Artisan bread & butter (purchased)
- Seasonal fruit: watermelon skewers and grapes and strawberries (prepared the morning of)
- Crudites and dipping sauce in mini plastic cups
- An all white-dessert bar
- We asked each guest to bring something white to share and boy did we have a great variety: naked cheesecake, powdered donuts, salted caramel ice cream, yogurt-covered pretzels, meringues, homemade butter mints, creamsicle cookies, and white Reeses to name just a few.
And that’s a wrap! Ahhh, just looking at these photos makes me want to plan another for next summer. Who wants an invite?
Party Supply Sources
- Plastic goblets – Dollar Tree
- Square paper plates- Dollar Tree
- Pewter Pitcher- Old Town Imports
- Assorted green table plants and chrome planters- IKEA
- Floral crowns- H&M
- Menu stands- IKEA
- White and gold garland- Target
- White rectangle trays- Harmons