This past Saturday night, the world’s largest secret dinner party manifested itself in Washington, D.C. To those who were invited last year or snagged a ticket within the first few minutes of registration, it was not something done spur-of-the-moment, but planned weeks in advance. The menu, the all-white outfits, the centerpieces…yet the location kept secret until the very last minute.
I had tried to snag a ticket to this coveted event (mind you, the wait list was rumored to be over 10,000 long) but failed to make it through the registration process. However, a few days before the party, my friend Bree asked if I wanted to go with her! I honestly could not say yes fast enough.
This left us with three days to develop a strategy. Who would bring the chairs, and who would grab the flowers? What would we eat and how many cheeses are too many (answer: THERE IS NO LIMIT.) And most importantly, what would we wear?
Since time was an issue and spending hours shopping wasn’t an option, I quickly called upon the experts at Rent the Runway in Georgetown for their assistance. Over a quick lunch break, I was able to pop in, try on their selection of white dresses in store, and even reserved the prettiest pair of dangly earrings for the occasion! I didn’t make a reservation, but the staff was still incredibly helpful. Even though they take walk-ins, I found myself wanting to have someone there waiting to evaluate my every look, so I would definitely recommend making a reservation. The $25 fee covers a 45-minute appointment and someone dedicated to helping you find the perfect outfit for your special day or big event. The woman helping me even gave me the best tips for my specific event, like suggesting a cotton to keep cool and giving me her honest opinion (which was literally the most helpful thing ever for someone as indecisive as myself.)
Since I had checked out Rent the Runway online beforehand, it was a fairly quick process once I arrived in the store. An assistant pulled multiple looks for me, but I landed on the MOST gorgeous Monique Lhuillier cocktail dress. Lace, of course. Monique’s signature look. It arrived at my doorstep Friday, just in time for Saturday’s festivities!
Saturday, Bree and I booked appointments at Drybar so it would be one less thing to worry about. We had our pretty little picnic to prepare, after all! We tried the Bethesda location and had the best time. Our visit was filled to the brim with champagne, 27 Dresses, and the best scalp massage of all time. At $40 for the whole experience, it’s my go-to for fancy events and dinners in the city.
After getting pampered, we placed the prettiest flowers from UrbanStems into white vases (another time-saving option that looked like we’d spent hours arranging!) We threw on our party dresses and met our group at the Dupont Metro to begin our journey.
Still not knowing exactly where to go, we hopped on the metro. You think the metro is a hot mess on a regular day? Think again. You haven’t seen hot mess until you’ve seen 5,000 people carrying flowers, tables and chairs try to balance on the rickety rail cars. I feel like I got a good enough arm workout to last me a lifetime.
As we arrived at Carnegie Library, thousands of Washingtonians dressed to the nines in their white gowns and tuxedos, fancy feathered hats and the most opulent centerpieces, made their way to their pre-assigned spots to setup. It was like something out of a movie.
Once everyone was set up, we all waved our white napkins in the air (as one casually does) to signal the start to the evening. We dug into our cheese platter, french bread and zucchini pasta immediately thereafter. No shame in the game folks.
Wanting to save our fruit tart and Georgetown Cupcakes for dessert, we made our way to the dance floor where we threw our elbows around to the sick beats of the DJ at the top of the stairs. And people watched. Did I mention how incredible the people watching was?! Better than at the airport.
We finished off the night with our tasty treats and zero regrets. Until next year, Diner en Blanc.