Curious spectators lined the perimeter of Romare Bearden Park in uptown Charlotte to catch a glimpse of the city’s first Dîner en Blanc event on Aug. 11. Charlotte buzzed with anticipation and excitement in the days leading up to the secret pop-up dinner, which had been sold out for weeks. The upscale picnic-style concept was based on the 30-year-old Parisian tradition with strictly enforced “all white everything” attire and décor requirements. Although Bearden Park is probably as open as you can get in Charlotte, the “secret” location was officially revealed only less than an hour before start time.
As a newbie to this type of event, I was ready to see if it lived up to the hype. Here are four things I experienced at the inaugural Dîner en Blanc.
1) Long entry line but worth the wait
Entry lines curved around Romare Bearden Park from Church Street to Poplar Street with more than 1,000 elegantly dressed guests in a sea of white carrying picnic baskets, tables, chairs and an array of gorgeous flowers, feathers and adornments.
2) Even five minutes of rain was chic
The uptown skyline provided the perfect Instagram-worthy backdrop. But 45 minutes into the event, clouds crept in and, as if on cue, hundreds of trendy umbrellas popped up to shield attendees from a quick rain shower.
3) It was all about the details
Not to disappoint our chic Parisian counterparts, Charlotte guests looked amazing! From feathered headpieces to pearl detailing and floor-length gowns, Dîner en Blanc was as much of a fashion show as it was a dinner.
4) The mood easily switched from Maxwell to Migos
Although elegantly dressed, attendees showed that they came to party! Live music courtesy of The Terence Young Experience set the mood during dinner as guests broke out their best two-step routines. Later in the evening, the band came through with its rendition of Prince’s classic “Purple Rain” as the crowd belted out the lyrics under the moonlight.
The party closed out with a late-night set from DJ Shogun as the crowd danced to trap music, old school hip-hop and, of course, the Electric Slide.
From the fashion to the food and good vibes, Dîner en Blanc was a picture-perfect experience. See more highlights on Qcitymetro’s Instagram stories.
Planning for Dîner en Blanc 2019 is underway. Register at charlotte.dinerenblanc.com to get on next year’s waiting list.
Nakisha Washington is a style contributor who mixes prints and professionals. She’s a millennial development coach, content creator and lover of all things stylish!