Dîner en Blanc Calgary

Last week we attended our first-ever Dîner en Blanc. We’d always heard great things about the global event and admired all the beautiful photos of party-goers from afar, so we were very excited to learn that we made it through the waiting list and were IN for #DEBCgy


Given that it was our first time attending DEB,  we were pretty intimidated by the strict rules laid out on the website, and scoured the city to find the perfect white items (because who wants to get kicked out of a party for wearing off-white or ivory?). The task of trying to find a white picnic basket or a square table between 24-32 inches did become rather draining, so we were not impressed when we arrived at the event and realized that not many people followed the rules to a T (rectangle tables and ivory outfits galore!). Note: the organization sold picnic baskets and tables/chairs, but at $150 each, that was too much to shell out on top of the dinner.

Diner en Blanc Calgary Peace Bridge
Photo credit: Kelly Hofer

The event ended up being fun, but the poor organization/lack of communication almost spoiled it for us.  For example:

  • We were told to arrive at the meeting location at 4:45 but the bus didn’t leave until after 5:45.
  • Once we arrived at the location, we had no idea where to go, and found ourselves standing around trying to find our table leader, who was nowhere in sight
  • We asked volunteers for clarification on where to go, and they kept telling us to go to our table row, which wasn’t listed on our tickets, receipts, or emails
  • There weren’t any announcements letting everyone know they could start grabbing meals to start eating, or when everyone should light their sparklers.

Here are some tips we’re taking with us to future DEB events.

Diner en Blanc Calgary
Photo credit: Kelly Hofer

1) Bring your own food

The food at the event was provided by The Nash and it was tasty, but the options were quite limited and not exactly what we would have chosen.  There was also no butter provided, which likely isn’t a huge deal for most, but when you love bread, it is. We noticed that most of the event attendees had brought their own food, and we found ourselves salivating over all the wonderful array of cheeses, olives and deliciousness in sight. Next year: charcuterie board!

Vegetarian Meal with mushroom quiche
Pork meal with a garden salad from The Nash
Pork meal with a garden salad
Raspberry Mousse


2) Wear shoes that work well for walking on the grass

The secret location isn’t revealed until you’re there, so you need to ensure whatever you’re wearing works with the location. Lawn friendly shoes are recommended as many times (including this year), the location is in a park.

3) Ask key questions in advance (note, this information should be provided by the organizers but since they did not, we now know what to ask for)

  • What is our seating number?
  • Where is our seating section?
  • What is the contact information of our table leader?

Overall, we ended up having a great time at the event, and our photo on the DEB Facebook page proves it. The Huffington Post also included this photo, and a recap of the event, which you can read here.

Diner en Blanc Calgary
Photo credit: Kelly Hofer
Diner en Blanc Calgary
Photo credit: Kelly Hofer

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