Over the course of the evening, guests experience the beauty and value of their city's public spaces by participating in the unexpected. Beyond the spectacle and elegance of the dinner itself, guests are brought together from diverse backgrounds by good taste and a love of beauty. Le Dîner en Blanc recalls the elegance and glamor of high French society, and guests engage one another, knowing that they are taking part in a truly magical event. There are no disruptions: no car traffic, no pedestrian traffic—only amazed and astonished looks from passersby observing the scene before them. And participants, like spectators, wonder whether it's all not a dream…
Nearly 30 years ago in Paris..
Launched with just a handful of friends by François Pasquier nearly 30 years ago, Le Dîner en Blanc de Paris now assembles over 10,000 guest every year, with a record 15,000 people attending the 25th anniversary in 2013. The French capital's most prestigious sites have played host the event over the years: The Pont des Arts, the Eiffel Tower, Place Vendôme, the Château de Versailles, the Esplanade de Notre-Dame, the Esplanade des Invalides, the periphery of the Place de l'Étoile, the Champs-Élysées, Place de la Concorde, Le Louvre Pyramid, Trocadéro Esplanade, and the Palais Royal Garden! The Paris police continue to tolerate this 'wild' gathering, if not perhaps even wishing they could join in!
What are the key rules of the event?
Le Dîner en Blanc® is quite different from other special events. The evening takes place in a crowded public place that was not designed for such a purpose. Dîner en Blanc must necessarily remain controlled in order to continue holding future events.
- In order to participate, guests must be a member or be sponsored by a member from the previous year, or they must sign up to official website's waiting list.
- Once confirmed, each guests' participation in the event becomes mandatory, regardless of weather conditions, as Dîner en Blanc is a rain or shine event.
- Participants arrive and then depart in unison by chartered bus or organized public transportation.
- They take all of their belongings with them at the end of the night, including leftovers and trash, and they leave the site as clean as it was upon arrival.
- A table and two white chairs.
- A picnic basket including a white tablecloth and napkins, gourmet meal items, cutlery, dishware, and glassware.
- Wine or Champagne, if allowed. Beer and hard alcohol is prohibited.
- Participants must wear white (and white only) and be dressed elegantly.
- Originality is always encouraged as long as it stays stylish and denotes taste.