The World’s Largest Secret Dinner Party: Le Diner en Blanc

Imagine all of your friends, dressed in white, setting up a elegant impromptu picnic in the middle of downtown. Now multiply that by oh, a hundred or so and you get Dîner en Blanc. I am fortunate enough to be both volunteering for and attending the awe-inspiring event this year in Chicago, and can’t wait to share all the details with you! My blog will be almost taken over by Dîner en Blanc inspiration, DIY projects, tablescapes, and of course, fashion for the next few weeks. Be forewarned.

Diner en Blanc Paris at the Louvre
Dîner en Blanc at the Louvre- photo compliments of Out and About in Paris

If you haven’t heard of Dîner en Blanc, let me give you a little background. In 1988, François Pasquier returned to Paris after a few years abroad. He wanted to plan a get together with friends, but the number of guests was so huge that he told everyone to meet at the Bois de Boulogne and to dress in white, so they could find each other.

Diner en Blanc at the Eiffel Tower
Dîner en Blanc Paris at the Eiffel Tower

How do you get invited? Since the first event started with a group of friends, the same goes with modern day invites. The invites are a “pyramide amicale,” a friendly pyramid in which friends invite their friends and the list grows. This year, we are aiming for 1,200-1,300 attendees in Chicago. Paris has grown to over 15,000- crazy! You can get on the wait list, though by registering on their site here. The location is a mystery until the final moment, with groups convening throughout the city and taking public transportation or walking to the surprise dining destination. Here are some photos from the Dîner en Blanc Chicago last year at the Pioneer Court Plaza, located between the WGN, Chicago Tribune and Wrigley Building on Michigan Ave:

Diner en Blanc Chicago 2013 Pioneer Court Plaza
Photo courtesy of Jake Sartorius Photography
Diner en Blanc Chicago 2013 Sparklers
Photo courtesy of Jake Sartorius Photography
Diner en Blanc Chicago 2013 table decor
Photo courtesy of Jake Sartorius Photography
Diner en Blanc Chicago 2013 napkin twirl
Photo courtesy of Jake Sartorius Photography

The guidelines? Wear white, bring white picnic accoutrements, eat, drink and have the time of your life with your closest friends. Yes, there are more guidelines but really, that is the essence. To find out more information, visit the Dîner en Blanc Chicago page here.

Check out this video trailer for the Dîner en Blanc documentary to get a feel for the real deal:

Stay tuned for details on this fête fantastique.



  1. Anna S.
    July 30, 2014 / 3:27 pm

    How do you volunteer for the event? I'd definitely be interested!

  2. July 31, 2014 / 12:32 am

    Hi Anna! I think they are all set with volunteers this year, but drop me an e-mail at cheryljhanson at yahoo dot com and I will give you the contact info for the person in charge of volunteers. If not this year, get on the volunteer list for next year! Great perks!