Inaugural Diner en Blanc Dallas

Katie-Rose Watson at DIner en Blanc Dallas
The Rose Table at Diner en Blanc Dallas | Photo Credit: Catherine Downes for D Magazine

Any excuse to wear a fascinator and a cape dress, I love. On September 17th, Dallas was treated to its first Diner en Blanc experience and I was lucky enough to have a front row seat. As you know, I work in PR when I’m not cooking and I had the honor of promoting the inaugural Diner en Blanc Dallas. Tough, gig right? You know what they say: if you love what you do, you never have to work a day in your life!

Diner en Blanc Fireworks
Diner en Blanc Dallas Fireworks by Pyrotex | Photo Credit: Justin Yoder Studios

Dîner en Blanc began in Paris in the 1980s when François Pasquier decided to host a pop-up picnic to reconnect with friends after being abroad for several years. He asked them to dress in head-to-toe white to easily recognize one another. Since it was a picnic, guests brought their own food and flatware. The next year, friends invited friends and year after year the event grew. Today nearly 15,000 people participate each year in Paris.

Diner en Blanc Dallas
Iconic Napkin Wave | Photo Credit: K&S Photography

It was the founder’s son though who actually founded the organization Dîner en Blanc International. Now the phenomenon takes place in over sixty cities around the globe! Karen Raehpour, Rachael Kissel, and Marti Fox are the three local meeting and event planners who pulled off the event of the season here in Dallas.

When Rachael first told me about Dîner en Blanc, I knew instantly this was something I wanted to be part of. Y’all know how much The Rose Table promotes taking time to enjoy a good meal and that’s exactly what Dîner en Blanc does: it lets a city slow down and enjoy a meal with friends at an iconic location.

Diner en Blanc Dallas
Photo Credit: K&S Photography

Hearing about it is entirely different from experiencing it though. Over the past four months I have seen countless photography and videography from Dîner en Blanc events around the world and I was still blown away by the glamour and magic of Diner en Blanc Dallas. The fashion alone was awe-inspiring. The amount of work that people put into their tables and their food was fantastic. The color scheme, while strict to some, is characteristic of the event and is absolutely breathtaking in person.

Diner en Blanc Dallas
With media friends | Photo Credit: Timeless Treasures Photography by Alisa Albers

A big part of Dîner en Blanc is the mystery of it all. The location of the event is kept secret until the busses pull right up to it. I breathed a high of relief when 6:30 pm rolled around the location had not been leaked. We did it! We pulled it off. I wish I had a beautiful table of my own to show you but I worked the event as Diner en Blanc Dallas’ publicist and I can honestly say: Diner en Blanc Dallas was one of the best nights of my life.

Diner en Blanc Dallas - Katie-Rose Watson
In “publicist mode” | Photo Credit: HarryPhoto

1,600 guests attended the first Diner en Blanc Dallas on the Continental Avenue Pedestrian Bridge, located right next to the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge with breathtaking views of the Dallas skyline. They brought with them tables, chairs, linens, plates, glasses, and food (they also had the option to pre-purchase a Wolfgang Puck basket) and settled in for an epic evening under the stars.

Photo Credit: Sarah Winsted
Photo Credit: Timeless Treasures Photography by Alisa Albers

Watch the napkin wave in action:

After dinner, dancing commenced. The DJ had the whole bridge moving and shaking. I was in the media lounge working for most of the night but I did have an opportunity to walk the bridge at one point and I shot this quick video to give you a sense of the event:

Diner en Blanc Dallas was hands down the coolest, chicest event I’ve ever been to. Let’s do it again in 2016, shall we?

Diner en Blanc Dallas PR
Spreading My Wings | Photo Credit: Demetria D Guillory, Dallas Black

Here’s a few personal photos from the evening:

With Chef Audrey McGinnis of Every Girl Gourmet
With Chef Audrey McGinnis of Every Girl Gourmet
With Natalie Keinan of The Fashion Hour
Diner en Blanc Dallas team
With the Diner en Blanc Dallas team
Diner en Blanc Dallas PR
The Diner en Blanc Dallas Team
Dessert with a view
Diner en Blanc Dallas PR
Waiting on the Continental Avenue Pedestrian bridge to break the location news!
Marco Jacobs lipstick review
My Marc Jacobs lipstick didn’t budge all night!
Diner en Blanc Dallas PR
My cape dress
Diner en Blanc Dallas PR
With my dear friend Dawn

Watch the incredible fireworks show, provided by Pyrotex:

Cheers to next year’s Diner en Blanc Dallas!

The Rose Table
@therosetable
Don’t forget to “like” The Rose Table on Facebook!

Diner en Blanc Fireworks Diner en Blanc Dallas Lighting up the Night | Photo Credit: K & S Photography

Learn more about Diner en Blanc Dallas from D Magazine, The Dallas Morning NewsCulture Map Dallas and NBC.

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