It’s Diner en Blanc season! In case you’re new to the all-white craze that sweeps the city every summer, I did a little deep dive into what Diner en Blanc actually is way back in 2013 before my first DEB. I love the night because it’s such a beautiful evening out in the city, celebrating all of our gorgeous public space, meeting new people from all across the area, and just enjoying #summerinthecity.
This year, I’ve recruited several new couples to join me at DEB. As any newbie to the event can attest, it can be a bit overwhelming to figure out everything you need for year one. So in anticipation of some heavy shopping, I prepared this list of the top 19 things you should bring with you to Diner en Blanc. And, to be honest, this list is also for me, as I forgot silverware one year when everything we had prepared to eat required a fork.
I tried to pull the exact (or super similar) items that I own for DEB to give you some peace of mind. Let me know if I forgot anything in the comments, and happy shopping!
- Roll up table: The table must be square, measuring between 26-32″. Since you’re carrying it, the roll up feature is key. But, as you’ll be covering the table with a white tablecloth, this does not have to be white.
- Folding chairs: Pick two chairs that are pretty lightweight. These should be white (unless you’re using a white chair cover). If you’re buying locally, a lot of people also get the IKEA chairs, but South Philly typically sells out fast around DEB time.
- A cart: This is optional, as I’ve definitely seen couples where, usually, the guy straps everything to his back and they walk. But if you’re going with another lady, this has definitely been easiest way to transport items for me.
- Bungee cords: This comes if you’re getting the cart and helps keep your table and chairs in place while you’re rolling to the secret location.
- White plates: If you’re going with friends, pick up a set and split the cost.
- White table cloth: You’ll be putting all your bags you carried things in under the table, so keep that in mind when picking the size.
- White cloth napkins: Same as with the plates, get a pack and split with friends.
The easier to find items
- Carrying bags/picnic basket: The bags you transport items in do not need to be white. I usually use some cooler bags I can wipe down afterwards.
- Wine: Yes.
- Your dinner: If you’re going with friends, coordinate the entire meal together. I usually am responsible for cheese from DiBruno Bros, and everyone brings a small dinner dish or dessert. You won’t be starving, and there’s so much to do other than eat, so don’t go crazy.
- Wine glasses: As non-breakable as you can find. I normally wrap them up in the napkins and tablecloth.
- Serving utensils: If you bring something that requires a knife or a serving spoon for the group, make sure to throw those in.
- Silverware: Yes, you need this.
- Electric candles with batteries: We brought real candles the first year, and they blew out every 2 seconds. Electric candles look fine and save you a lot of hassle.
- Tide stick: All white everything. An obvious essential.
- Portable phone charger: There will be a lot of photo ops. Make sure your phone has space and you have a backup battery, just in case!
- A trash bag: Everyone who attends DEB is responsible for cleaning up their spot. Throw away the food and wrap the dirty plates in the trash bag to wash when you get home.
And just in case…
- Ponchos: Clear or white.
- Umbrella: DEB recommends clear or white, but after attending one year in the rain, anything really goes when you’re trying to make your way to the secret location without getting drenched.