I was checking my Facebook one day (that's nothing new). One of my friends mentioned that he was going to this event. I checked the link (http://dinerenblanc.info/). It looked interesting. The pretty pictures made it look so glamorous and exciting. The event was happening in Vancouver. I read the page to learn more about it. It was going to be held at a 'secret' location. Ohhh..there's a start to the excitement. You had to sign up on their mailing list to receive an invite. The idea was that the organizers invited their friends first. If there is space, then they invite their friends and so on. If there is still space, then they go to the mailing list and invite people on there.
It's a very new concept (for us Vancouverites) for a party. It's the first time in Vancouver. It started in France and it's making its way across North America. You have to wear white. Everything head to toe has to be white. You weren't allowed off-white or ivory. This rule applied to the men and the women. You had to bring your own furniture which consists of a small square or rectangle table and two white chairs. You had the option of purchasing food from renowned chef, Dale Mackay, or bring your own food.
I signed up for the mailing list. They sent me an email letting me know that it would be $59 for two people. I was hesitate to commit myself to this party. They said the price covers the rental of the space and the entertainment. It seemed like a lot of work and effort to go to a party where I have to bring my own furniture and food and pay to attend.
My friend, J, bought four tickets to the party. It was going to be her, her husband and two friends. They knew that I wasn't up to paying for the admission fee. I was getting their furniture for them for the party. They made me an offer I couldn't refuse..jk..I could've refused it if I really wanted to. They said that they would pay my admission and I would take care of the furniture. My job now was to bring a friend. Another rule was that my friend has to be of the opposite gender (unless you are a same sex couple). I asked my friend, P, to come. He has invited me to many events and I thought he would enjoy this event. His responsibility was to bring the food. J and her husband bought two packages from Dale. P only had to bring enough food for two people.
White is not a color in my wardrobe. My adventure with this party started with finding an outfit. It had to be white and elegant. It's an elegant white party. I had a chance to go to Metrotown. I thought at a large mall it would increase my chances of finding something. Man, I was so wrong. I think I wasn't in the know of what color is in season. I should've consulted my fashionista friends about what to wear. The salespeople at the stores told me that white wasn't in season anymore. It wasn't even in the clearance section anymore. I decided on getting a dress over white pants / skirt and a white top. I found a little white dress. It was a nice dress and I'm going to take what I can get within my budget. The weather report called for rain all week for the day of the party. I needed more layers. I found a white sweater to wear over the dress and white heels. I needed more layers. I was looking for a jacket or coat. No luck. Nobody I know owns a white jacket / coat. Or maybe they just said that because they didn't want to lend it to me. Lucky me. It was sunny in the morning and warm. At the party, I was fine with the sweater I had with the dress.
There was 1200 people coming to this party. The organizers needed some kind of system to gather everyone. Because my friend is the member, she was the one who selected our team leader. The team leader gathers their group together then they head over to the location. There were different meeting points with team leaders at various points in the city. I found out that our team leader was picking her rentals of chairs at my work. I took a minute to talk to her. Our group was to meet her at Waterfront Station. She told me that there would be 5 other groups meeting at Waterfront Station. Each group consists of 50 people. I was flabbergasted. There would be 250 people congregating at Waterfront Station. We were meeting our team leader by 6:30pm. Our team leader didn't know the location until 6pm. We were meeting J and G at the station. P and I took the skytrain over to Waterfront Station. As we got off the train to take the elevator upstairs to meet everyone, there were at least 4 people that asked us what was going on. I guess us wearing white and meeting a large group of people also wearing white made an impact. We waited for awhile before our team leader lead us to the location. The 'secret' location was Jack Poole Plaza. It was within walking distance for us. It was quite the sight to see a sea of people wearing white.
We arrived at the secret location. It was blocked off by retractable guard posts and two security guards. We didn't have to show our ticket. We just walked in. Their instruction was to only let people in who was wearing white. Once we got in, our team leader had to let us know where to set up our tables. There were little markers on the ground to guide them. We stopped at a point where we thought it was our row. Our team leader walked away from us. We started setting up our tables and chairs. As we finished, she came back and let us know that we were in the wrong spot. We had to dismantle and move it to the new spot. Once in our new spot, we set up our table. We put on two layers of linen. We had paper placemats. We set up our plates, cutlery and glassware.When everyone waved their white linen napkins, it was time to eat. It was a big moment for us. We got to see what was in our bought dinner from Top Chef, Dale Mackay. In the box, which was for one person, there was olives, grapes, cheese, figs, sausage, bread, pasta salad and panna cotta. My friend, P, brought cheeses, meats and bread, chicken and salad and he made fruit panna cotta. We ate and ate and ate. We were quite full. Our neighbours on my left brought sushi. Our neighbours on my right brought salad and salmon and spinach orzo.
After we finished eating, we got to light our sparklers. That signifies the opening of the dance floor. Throughout the night there was soothing background music. When dinner finished, there was live entertainment. They played French jazz. At one point they played some flamenco music with some flamenco dancing. Some people danced on the dance floor, some people danced where ever they wanted. We were done by 10ish. It was a good time to leave. I heard that the party ended at about 11pm. If we left the same time as everyone else, we would have to deal with the large crowd.
Overall it was quite the experience. It was really neat to see the sea of people wearing white. It tested our ability to manage our group logistically. I had to think about how to transport 4 chairs and a table and a basket of food. It was a challenge finding the table. I was lucky and borrowed the folding table from my friend. My co worker had a dolly which I can transport my furniture. Next year, I will sit it out. Maybe in my black outfit and watch the next group of people fumble with their furniture and food.