Birmingham goes full-on chic this weekend as it hosts its inaugural Le Dîner en Blanc on Saturday, October 5. Here’s what you should know about this highly-anticipated, pop-up party of the year.
The event may be sold out, but there’s still so much to know and an after party for ALL! So read on.
The History of Le Dîner en Blanc
Le Dîner en Blanc originally launched in Paris in 1988 by François Pasquier and a handful of friends. Upon returning from a long stay abroad, Pasquier had the idea to gather friends for a picnic. As the number of guests grew, he decided to hold the dinner in a public space and ask everyone to dress in all white to easily recognize one another.
This impromptu gathering of friends ended up exploding into what is now a worldwide sensation. Today, the event is held in 80 cities and 30 countries around the world. Some include: Paris, New York, Hong Kong, Montreal and Buenos Aires.
Now, it’s Birmingham’s turn to partake in this posh event. And with 900 guests signed up to attend, it’s going to be spectacular!
Who will Be Hosting Birmingham’s Very First Le Dîner en Blanc?
To head up an event of this magnitude, the host(s) must be passionate and devoted to the city of Birmingham.
Leading the reigns of Le Dîner en Blanc is Jasmine Allen, owner of Destination Birmingham—Birmingham’s only destination management company.
Allen first heard about Le Dîner en Blanc through family members. After some research, she knew this event was “So Birmingham.” So she dove into action. She endured the long and tedious process of applying for a contract to have the next Le Dîner en Blanc be in our very own Magic City. Her wish was granted.
“This is an international contract for the city of Birmingham. To showcase and create a new dialogue about our city. These types of events not only provide entertainment and culture, but also boost tourism and help push the City of Birmingham as the go-to destination location in the South.”Jasmine Allen, owner, Destination Birmingham
The Most Exciting Part!
One of the most exciting elements surrounding Le Dîner en Blanc is the location. Where is it? Well, actually, we don’t know. The destination of the event is kept a secret from participants until the very last moment before the celebration begins.
Talk about a unique and thrilling way to build anticipation. I’m waiting on the edge of my seat!
You’re probably wondering, how do guests attend an event if they don’t know where it is. Here’s how it works.
In order to participate, guests had to go online and become a Dîner en Blanc member in order to purchase tickets.
Each guest was then given a choice of five different places to meet in Birmingham. Two spots were Alabama Power, Colonial Plaza.
On the day of the event, guests will go to their designated location and meet their Table Leader who will walk them to the secret destination.
Where do you think Le Dîner en Blanc’s mystery destination will be? With so many incredible spots around the Magic City, the possibilities are endless!
The Rules of the Party
Unlike many special events, there are a few rules guests must abide by in order to attend, including:
- Dress head-to-toe in white. (Elegance should be the main focus.)
- Originality is encouraged as long as it stays stylish and tasteful.
- A portable table and two white chairs.
- A picnic basket, white tablecloth and napkins, cutlery, dishwater and glassware.
- A delicious meal. (But only if you didn’t sign up for the catered menu.)
Drinks are complimentary.
Are You Attending Le Dîner en Blanc? How Lucky Are You!
Here are three things Destination Birmingham says you should put on your checklist as the countdown drops to the big event:
- Read your information letters.
- Check the Dîner En Blanc – Birmingham Facebook page for any and all event updates.
- Speak with your Table Leader to final details.
But according to Allen, the most important thing of all is, “To have fun!”
Miss the Event? Attend the After Party.
If you missed your chance to attend Le Dîner en Blanc, you can still get a taste of the event at the after party. Yep, everyone’s invited to enjoy music, cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and more.
Where will it be? Unlike the main event, the after party’s location will not be kept so hush hush.
Location: The Tutwiler Bar & Grill. 2021 Park Pl., Birmingham, AL 35203
Time: 9:30PM-Midnight (or late)
Cost: $10 for DEB members; $20 for non-DEB members.