If you happened to find yourself in the Financial District on Monday (or, actually, anywhere in the city), you may have wondered why hordes of people, impeccably dressed in white, were lugging around tables, chairs, and picnic baskets. Via subways, sidewalks, and finally, sea, over six thousand attendees made their way to New York's 8th Annual Dîner en Blanc - the world's favorite secret dinner party.
The pop-up tradition, which just celebrated its 30th anniversary in Paris (where it all started) takes place in 80 cities across the globe. Guests, decked out en blanc, are led to a spectacular location - which remains a secret until they arrive. Once there, they set up their tables, plates, and cutlery, then wine and dine on their elegant spreads. Of course, it wouldn't be a real soiree without music, dancing, selfies, and in our most recent case, a proposal.
Held this year on Governors Island, New York's event went down with a full view of the Manhattan skyline as its backdrop. And though the surprise setting couldn't have been more gorgeous, it made for less than smooth sailing - quite literally. Strong winds, high tides, and rough waters caused some delays in getting guests to the island from Battery Park, despite the fact that organizers chartered four ferries for the occasion.
Christine Tripoli, one of this year's New York organizers and co-hosts, explained, "Our event has grown year after year - and we have extraordinary demand. We were seeking a location that was both iconic and could accommodate more people. It's always challenging getting thousands of people to any location... Ultimately, we can't control weather and [people's] safety was of utmost importance. We just kept the party going longer."
Indeed, party-goers braved the bumpy boat ride for what turned out to be a more than magical night. Especially for Washington D.C. native Jasmine, whose beau Joel teamed up with The Knot to plan an epic proposal on stage. Thankfully, she said yes.
Even Iron Chef and Michelin Star recipient restaurateur Marc Forgione got in on the action this year, creating four special picnic baskets that guests were able to order ahead. From a New York-themed meal complete with Black and White Cookie to an all-white spread fit for the evening, Chef Forgione got as creative with the food as most people got with their fashion.
So, what's so great about the invite-only event (which currently has a 50,000-person wait list in NYC)? For Tripoli, it's the crowd. "What I really love about it is that people of all backgrounds [attend], and we have a true cross section of New York City coming together for one night in celebration," she said. "I think that's the most beautiful part of Diner en Blanc. You walk around and just see people's creativity and people's enthusiasm and people's excitement. And we really see New York's diversity."
Click through for a stunning look at the scene!
[Photo by Jane Kratochvil]