Hello. My name is Annie, and I have severe FOMO. Seriously, after reading Becca’s interview with Sandy Safi, one of the brains behind Dîner En Blanc, and Ally’s recap of the New York event, I became immediately obsessed with attending. I made it my mission to score an invitation to the Washington, D.C., soiree.
Alas, I had a white dress hanging in my closet just begging to be worn once more before Labor Day. And while my dress was at the ready, I wasn’t prepared for the other requirements that come with a DEB invitation.
According to the rules of Dîner en Blanc, you have to bring everything yourself. That means everything—table, chairs, china, stemware, food, and decor. Being a DEB rookie, this overwhelmed me greatly. Seriously, where was I going to find a table and chairs? Fortunately, I wasn’t the only one feeling the pressure. Goodshuffle Rentals offered a table, chair, set, and tablecloths for pickup at our designated meeting point. Check that off the list. As we chronicled in our picnic guide, several of our favorite local restaurants and shops offered easy solutions to the challenge of transportable, gourmet food. I ordered a picnic basket of Italian sandwiches, Caesar salad, and a cheese plate from La Tomate.
As I picked up the goodies that afternoon, I dropped by Glen’s Garden Market for a few extras from some of our favorite local brands—mango ketchup from ‘Chups to add to our appetizers, and cookies from Whisked! for dessert.
By the time we arrived at the secret location, Carnegie Library in Mount Vernon Square, all I had to do was pick up a few bottles of white wine that I had reserved and, Voila! A beautiful dinner! Now, that’s the way to do it.
It was a very communal experience, dining outdoors in long rows of tables. It allows you to make friends with strangers over shared plates. The scene was simply stunning, with more than 2,000 Washingtonians looking elegant in all white.
Some people went all out, complete with ornate headdresses, flower crowns, and even a pair of angel wings. A band serenaded us through dinner, and once the sun set, a DJ took over, turning the dinner party into a dance party.
The most magical moments at DEB come as a community—when the white napkins are waved together to signal the start of dinner, when everyone lights sparklers to signal it’s time to party.
While this year’s event wasn’t by the river, it was right in the center of town, making for a magical night in the shadow of one of Washington’s most beautiful buildings. I couldn’t help but feel as if time stopped as we celebrated in our little bubble in the middle of the busy city.