#DeBHacks: Tips and Tricks for a Successful Dîner en Blanc Philadelphia

Wow. This year brings Dîner en Blanc Philadelphia to it’s fourth year, and so far we’ve livened up Logan Square, rejoiced on JFK, and boogied on Broad Street. While we’re all anxious to find out where we’ll be celebrating August 20th, 2015, there are a few things we DO know. Sure, you can check out most of them on the Official FAQ Page. But, we’ve collected a handful of tips and tricks over the past three years that might not qualify as “official”, but have certainly saved us a few spills, blisters, hangovers, and turn-style traffic jams along the way!
  1. Less is More Sure, the past winners of Dîner en Blanc’s Most Elegant Table competition have gone above and beyond when it comes to table settings. But for most of us… We’re doing our best to haul our tables, chairs, eats, and drinks without spilling anything on our white frocks! With maximum 32×32 inches of space to work with, consider the concept “Less is More.”Instead of loading your table with different serving dishes, why not use your vertical space to hold your meal and dessert like this resourceful duo did?
    Photo credit to Alessandra Nicole

    Photo credit to Alessandra Nicole

    Your meal is just one small portion of your evening, so pack light and save yourself some energy for dancing!

  2. ABC: Always Be Closing Charging Let’s face it, you’re gonna want to be snapping photos, texting your friends, taking videos, Instagramming, and Tindering Tweeting all night.
    This guy gets it (Photo credit to Carmen Von Wrangell!)

    This guy gets it (Photo credit to Carmen Von Wrangell!)

    Make sure your phone is charged for the evening AND if you’re snap happy and sapping data and energy, consider a portable charger (this one even comes in silvery white!)

  3. Tote-ally About the Totes Sure, they look like your friends. But you just try wheeling your roller cart through the turn-style on one of Philly’s subway lines (or don’t, trust us.) Totes are your friend.
    For instance, nab one of these insulated #DEBPHL bags! Free with catering, sold at the DEB Popup Shop August 5th at Williams-Sonoma!

    For instance, nab one of these insulated #DEBPHL bags! Free with catering, sold at the DEB Popup Shop August 5th at Williams-Sonoma!

    Really, anything that you can carry on your back and arms is going to serve you well come August 20th, 2015 Remember: Less is More!


    These folks get it! (Photo Credit to the Private Paparazzi)

    And just keep in mind, you’ll eat and drink your food and beverage, making it that much lighter on the way home!

  4. It’s a Marathon, Not A Sprint
    Photo credit to Alessandra Nicole

    Photo credit to Alessandra Nicole

    Keep in mind, the night has only just begun when you sit down for dinner. Sure, there’s dessert. There’s also exploring, dancing, and finding all your friends to snap photos with (see Point 2). Don’t burn out too early! We recommend: –Flats for the ladies – if you choose to wear heels, sneak some white Solemates in your purse! –Leave your headquarters – Once you’ve eaten, take some time stroll around and explore. As is the case every year, the DEBPHL team has lots of surprises up their sleeves, and we want you to see them all! –HYDRATE! And not just with wine. Bring water. Drink water. Be happy .

  5. Trash Bags are NOT Trashy
    That CVS Bag is a good start!

    That CVS Bag is a good start! (Credit to the Private Paparazzi)

    Take however many trash bags you think you need. Add 1-2 more. White trash bags are ubiquitous at Dîner en Blanc. They can be used for everything from the typical (trash!) to the less typical: –Insulation for your glass or porcelain -Way to keep dirty dishes and linens separate -Last minute rain coverage for your hair or outfit Really, really cheap purse Just use your imagination. But also: use your trash bags! In order to keep this event going year after year, the picnic participants do a great job of leaving the space the way we left it.

  6. Expect the Unexpected
    Always a wise investment

    Always a wise investment

    It’s a giant party in Philadelphia where everyone is wearing white. Murphy’s Law will be in full effect. You’re gonna see spills (hazards of red wine!). You’re gonna burn your table cloth with your sparkler. A button could break, or a zipper. It might rain. Do your best to be prepared for anything:

    -Bring binder clips to hold down your table cloth on a windy night. 

    -Keep your candles in a hurricane glass in order to avoid blow outs.

    -Stemless wine glasses are a great way to minimize spills.

    -Pack a small “DEB Emergency Kit”: Contents: Tide-to-go Pen, safety pins, bandaids, gum/mints (we have had a handful of love connections made at DEBs in the past, better be ready!)

    Poncho and umbrella: Best way to ensure that it will NOT rain? Every single person bringing clear or white ponchos and umbrellas. Seriously, works like a charm.

This list is not exhaustive. HOWEVER, we’d love to hear your best tips and tricks for this magical evening! Comment here, OR Tweet @DEBphl with your #DeBHacks to be featured on this blog post!!

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