Diner en Blanc Albuquerque
(If you want everything to know about Diner en Blanc in one place, make sure to check out my book The Unofficial Guide to Diner en Blanc. I’ve also complied a list of Amazon.com links for everything you might need for Diner en Blanc for those that don’t like to spend all day shopping.)
Hello my Party Peeps!!!!
This years Diner en Blanc Albuquerque was celebrated with 1200 of our closest friends and sold out with two weeks left until the event.
As you know from the post I wrote last year, Diner en Blanc was a bucket list item and has now become one of my VERY favorite, must do events. So this year we attended our second in Albuquerque (hopefully we will make it to some other cities later in life!).
So where last years post was really heavy on tips and tricks, this years post is going to be mainly eye candy. I really tried to capture as much as possible on film this year, and since it was earlier in the year this year then last year, we were able to get multiple shots with ample lighting.
(Looking for more DEB inspiration? Check out my blog post here for 2016’s event.)
A few notes before we get started.
1. The hosts this year killed it! Like dead dead. It was awesome. I think a small part of it going so well was because we knew what to expect this year, but a HUGE part was done behind the scenes (by the hosts and their teams) in making sure everything ran smoothly. Probably the only bad part was trying to find our bus at the end of the night.
2. There were are a few addendum’s I’m going to make to last years post that I realized I missed and I would say would be great to add to the tips and tricks.
1. If you happen to be in the media tent, pack some cash to tip the bartender. I totally didn’t know they were going to have drinks for us and felt terrible we didn’t have any cash.
2. If you are taking a bus, take cash to tip the driver. Again…totally felt bad about that…
3. Pack “picture” shoes (for the beginning of the night) and dance shoes (for the end and packing up).
4. Get your photos done at the photo booth as early as possible or you’ll miss out…boo.
5. Remember you have to pack up at the end of the night. Have a Designated Driver assigned before the night begins and make sure you don’t drink so much you can’t gather your stuff together at the end of the night (we were okay, but I saw a few people floundering).
6. Find your portable phone charger a week beforehand or buy a new one. It sucked being limited on my battery life…
7. Do take business cards with you! This is a great networking event!!!
3. I’m crazy and brought my cray to the en Blanc. You DO NOT have to take all kinds of crazy items with you to have fun at DEB. A table, chairs, linen and plates with a picnic dinner and something to drink, and a good attitude are about the only things you need to have a good time. BUT it’s okay if you want to get your cray on. Embrace it. Whether in fashion or table design be you and have fun!
Make sure you load up everything the night before so you aren’t scrambling around at the last minute! (Except food obviously- no one wants food poisoning while at a white party!)
Make sure you add color with your makeup. Last year I didn’t do a good job at that and was washed out…
We had two tables (for four of us) so this looks like a lot, but divide it by half and it would have been enough for a couple. I wish we had a second dolly though. It would have made life nice.
Here we are waiting to get on the bus. I LOVE that we all rode in charter buses this year. (It was a little rough having the school buses last year).
Me and my man on the bus waiting to head to the secret location
The “Cool Bus” you guys…because if Kyle deems it, it is so!
I don’t have any photos of us arriving at the location or set up…but I do have video! Keep an eye out for a video with tips, tricks and different parts of set up!
And now…drum roll please!!!
Why yes, my husband did build a fold up arbor to tame my cray. This really happened people.
He’s the man. If he can’t do it, no one can! (Well, I’m sure someone could, but I love him and think he’s great!)
We needed to have a little bit of Paris in the 505. So I bought these mini Eiffel Towers. Aren’t they amazing?!
Originally I was going to scatter the vases over the space of the arbor, but a friend recommended making a chandelier instead. I LOVE how it turned out! Thanks Shane!
Another shot of the chandelier.
Marquee letters are H-O-T-T hot right now. So I totally thought we needed them in our table design. We each had our initial on the back of our chair. Funnily enough, our initials were SHGR- Shu-gar. Get it?
Dinner is always started with the twirling of the napkins!
And now for the food!!! For appetizers we had meats, cheeses, crackers, chocolate and grapes.
For dinner we did cold foods since the weather was so warm. It was perfect! (Don’t forget to bring your own water! There won’t be any for sale at the event and you WILL want it!). We dined on peaches, rosemary chicken salad with a dijon butter and pretzel rolls, pasta salad, peaches and asparagus.
During dinner we were treated to the WOW factor with a visit from the Ballet Reparatory Theatre of NM.
Finally, for dessert we ate Berry Chantilly from Whole Foods. THE BEST. EVER. Seriously people. Do yourself and go get some. It’s amazing. Buy extra fruit to eat with it. You can thank me later.
And now for the Tabletop lit up!!! Don’t forget to add lighting because you might need it once it gets dark! It also makes finding your spot easier. We had lights under the table, on the table, on the arbor, in the chandelier and on the chair backers.
Now for a tour of the event around the Hispanic Cultural Center (our secret location!).
This is what we were greeted by when we arrived. An amazingly large step and repeat! THANK YOU to the sponsors!!
The Balloon Forest Picture Booth.
I wish we had gotten our photo done early on. Since we didn’t, we missed our chance. Make sure and take advantage of short lines!
Our great DJ Patrick Baldonado!
Picnic bag pick up from the caterers, Slate Street Cafe.
Wine from the sponsor Vara Wine.
The VIP/Media tent. I was privileged enough to be invited in. There were drinks and food offered as well as the opportunity to mingle with the hosts and our Mayor, Richard Berry and his wife Maria.
Yeah, I totally got that photo…
I loved the touch of the luminarias. It’s totally a New Mexico thing.
The fountain. I just thought it was pretty and wanted to include it…
Because cool people need a Cool Bus leader. We definitely had ours!
After we were done eating we lit sparklers. You guys. I said it last year and I will say it again. These are the biggest freaking sparklers you have ever seen in your life. FOR REAL. Unfortunately ours wouldn’t stay lit, but it was still fun and totally beautiful!!!
Okay, so after the sparklers it’s time to boogey down all night all night (or 11 anyway…). One thing I realized this year was to have a pair of cute shoes for pictures and dinner, and take an extra pair for dancing! After wearing heels all night I was SO glad I had packed my sandals. Packing up and searching for our bus was a heck of a lot easier with my feet not in pain!
We also took time to take pictures together since we missed the photo booth…
THANK YOU for stopping by! I hope you get the chance to experience Diner en Blanc someday and I hope my posts help you prepare!
And a huge shout out and thanks to the hosts, Cat Hanna, Tyler Trodden, and David Stroud. They did an amazing job!!!
And last but not least, my favorite outfit of the night…Prince Charming. You guys…he had it down to the boots! For real!!! Wish I had remembered to get a photo of the entire outfit.
PS- A note on the bathrooms. We were able to use the bathrooms inside of the Hispanic Cultural Center. It was divine! Just in case you were wondering about that…