(Just really quick, if you want to see pictures from Diner en Blanc 2015, click here. There are also some additional tips in this post. Event photos and tips and tricks from 2014 can be found here. But if you want everything in one place, make sure to check out my book. 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.).
Last week I had the pleasure of attending Diner en Blanc Albuquerque for the third consecutive year. It. Was. Fantastic. Let’s just say that if you want to win every time, have a Gospel Choir perform during dinner. I mean, hello? Gospel. Choir. I don’t think I need to say anything more about it.
Before we dive into all the glorious pictures for the night, I want to take a moment and thank the hosts of the event, Cat Hanna, Taylor Trodden and David Matt Stroud. You all worked so hard over the last year to make this event happen, so THANK YOU.
Unfortunately David wasn’t around to get a photo with as well, but I was so pleased to run into Cat and Taylor in the VIP lounge!
I also want to thank all of the sponsors, volunteers and vendors for making the night magic. Diner en Blanc is such a special event and one that I look forward to attending every year. It wouldn’t be possible without all of you!
In the tradition of my Diner en Blanc recap, I wanted to throw out a few new tips for this year (how I manage to find more every year is beyond me, but they are there…so…yeah.
1. If you are planning on drinking alcohol at the event, be sure and properly hydrate during the day. Water. Drink it. A lot of it. It is your friend. If you are anything like me, the day of DEB is usually packed full with getting ready, pulling stuff together last minute and a thousand other tiny things that you didn’t realize you needed to do. You definitely want to make sure you have had a lot of water.
2. Wrapping your items in saran wrap/cellophane can make things a lot easier to get around (We got that tip from our DEB Albuquerque team).
3. Another tip from DEB ABQ- Label EVERYTHING. Seriously. It’s chaos you guys. Chaos of the best kind, but still chaos. If you label your tables and chairs with masking tape you won’t regret it at the end of the night when someone who’s been drinking tries to mistakenly take your chairs.
4. Use your linen to wrap your dishes so they don’t break (you can you other packing material such as bubble wrap if you want, but the linen are already coming with you so why not use them to help protect your breakables?
Looking for more tips and tricks for Diner en Blanc? You can find them in my ebook, “The Unofficial Guide to Diner en Blanc“. I also have a few blog posts from previous events that you can check out here and here.
If you are looking for a visual guide of items you need for Diner en Blanc, go here.
Without further ado, I give you Diner en Blanc 2016!
The night started out with us meeting at our designated location. Greg and I actually won a ride in a BMW from our sponsors Sandia BMW (thank you!). We had already loaded our stuff onto the bus when our driver and his wife found us. They were both super sweet and he actually told me he researched which cars they had to see which had the biggest trunk so they could fit all or our stuff in it. Seriously, SO sweet and thoughtful.
On the ride we jammed to some good music (Chainsmokers anyone?) and waited anxiously to see if our guess for the secret location was right. I’m excited to say that for the first time in 3 years I was right! It was at the Botanical Gardens and it was GLORIOUS. It is so beautiful there, I was really excited.
Since we arrived separately from our bus (and our stuff was on the bus) we weren’t able to set up right away, so I walked around a little bit and took some “before” pictures.
People started filing in and working out where to set up their tables. This year the table lines were marked with grass posts with the names of each bus leader at the front.
As usual, set up was chaos, but it all worked out! We were able to get our table set up, get our food and drinks and get some photos before the napkin wave.
This year I decided to do a Cinderella theme for our table. Since I didn’t want Greg to have to make me a carriage (see babe, I’m a good wife!), I decided to add sheers to the arbor he made last year to make it feel a little bit like a “carriage” interior. It was an interpretation…but I was SO pleased with how it came out. We used a glass pumpkin for the centerpiece, found some white mice and cheese salt and pepper shakers, and of course, had a glass slipper to add to the table decor. I also had some custom clock face chair backers made and I LOVE how they turned out. We also went with a tulle skirt this year. It seemed fitting for Cinderella.
You guys, I cannot stress this enough. Lighting is everything. EVERYTHING. Once it gets dark the venue doesn’t always have the best lighting, so you want to make sure you have enough with you to be able to see your dinner partner as well as get photos.
Unfortunately I didn’t get a good napkin twirl photo this year, so just imagine that here.
So one of the great things about having Kyle (hi Kyle!) as our bus leader is he is a professional photographer. He graciously agreed to allow me to post some of his photos on my blog for you all to get some more eye candy. Be sure to check out his Facebook page and give him a “like”!
This year we opted to buy from the mystery chef. The menu looked good and we were interested in experiencing purchasing our food through the online store rather then bringing our own. I will say, it was definitely nice not to have to pack anything food wise this year!
I know I mentioned this before, but it bears repeating. This year the “WOW” factor was a local Gospel Choir. You guys. I CANNOT tell you how excited this made me. I literally got chills while they sang “Seasons of Love.” It was incredible. I want to have them sing every year.
After dinner we lit the sparklers to signify the beginning of the dance party. That’s always fun. And I didn’t hear any stories this year about people setting their chairs on fire, so YAY!
The dance party was a lot of fun with DJ Baldonado once again at the helm. Unfortunately we didn’t get much time to dance, but we had fun with the little bit of time we did have! Fun fact: there were Go Go dancers on the stage during the dance portion! I loved it!
Keep an eye out for some more blog posts coming your way in the next week or two. I have a LOT to say about after dark wear. How fun are these gloves and glasses our fearless bus leader Kyle wore! I died. DIED. I love it and it inspired me for when we attended Diner en Blanc in Dallas!
So I totally missed a lot of the fashion this year because of time, but I had to include these guys because their wine glasses were awesome.
A note about the bathrooms: Since DEB was at the Botanical Gardens, they had the bathrooms available for attendees. I didn’t need to use them so I wasn’t able to check them out for you, but I have used them on previous visits and they are very nice.