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A Bedazzled Beard and a Sailboat Centerpiece are Just the Start of the Creativity at Dîner en Blanc 2016

More than 3,000 guests attended a Diner en Blanc at Henry Bacon Park by the Lincoln Memorial. Photo by Jeff Elkins

Since its inception in France in the 80s, the pop-up picnic Dîner en Blanc has spread to over 70 cities around the globe. DC has hosted its own Dîner en Blanc for the past three years, and each time, hundreds have gathered in all-white apparel at the secret location, bringing their best in terms of creative costumes and off-the-charts tablescapes.

This year’s event took place at Henry Bacon park, steps away from the Lincoln Memorial, and saw more than 3,500 attendees with white outfits and dinner spreads. Here’s some of the most creative looks and tablescapes we spotted.

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April Holden (left) donned a feather hairpiece made by a friend and carnival costume designer, Rawle Permanand (not pictured), who flew in from Trinidad to custom design the piece for her.
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Heidi Minora and Jacqueline Batistini’s outfits were among the most creative spotted in Henry Beacon Park. “We’ve come to the past dinners in DC, but this year we wanted to be as weird as possible. We spent all year preparing for this,” said Minora, left. “She ordered her skirt from France. My skirt and shoes have LED lights on them. She went for a Lady Gaga look, and I went for Britney [Spears].”
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Chris Ashton also decided to get a bit more creative after having attended past DC Diner en Blancs. He bedazzled his beard and insisted that, “Yes, there’s a beard under here.”
Orit Tamir and Adi Maizlin, two friends from Israel decided to return to this year's Diner en Blanc after enjoying it the previous year.
Orit Tamir and Adi Maizlin, two friends from Israel decided to return to this year’s Diner en Blanc after enjoying it the previous year.
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A group of friends decided to get together to not only partake in the festivities, but also share a message through their clothing. “Black Lives Matter” was printed on their shirts.
Flower crowns, pearls, bows, and hats were some of the most popular decorations that put a twist on the all-white outfits.
Jacquelyn Ann Irby wanted to look good and feel comfortable during her first Diner en Blanc. She bought a pair of plain white sneakers and had her niece decorate them with pearls.
Elegant headpieces and hats made the all-white outfits pop.
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Morgana Alba and Shaun Dull were hired entertainment that evening. Their stilts made them tower about 10 feet in the air.
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Among the plentiful food people had prepared, decorations also adorned the tables. One couple created a Lincoln Memorial from a thrifted piece, not knowing that the dinner would be held steps away from the hot tourist spot.
The couple bought a statue of Lincoln and placed it inside their thrifted piece for an extra DC touch.
Some groups were inspired by the beauty found in nature to create their centerpieces.
Creating an elegant decorative piece for the table was as easy as spray painting branches from a tree.
A centerpiece of ivory florals fountained over guests as they dug into their meals.
This nautical-inspired centerpiece was easily spotted from far away, even in the vast sea of white.
It took a group effort to set up this crystal chandelier and lace curtain overlay.
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This group enjoyed their dinner under this towering centerpieces.
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Some guests even felt inspired to decorate their chairs. Draped curtains and fabrics weren’t the only decorations that graced some chairs–this one shows a reindeer.
When the sun set the candles and lanterns gracing the tables were finally visible.
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Even into the night, guests came prepared to keep their white decorations shining through the sunset.
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At the end of the allotted dinner time, guests lit up the park with sparklers and cheers to begin dancing. An hour and a half later, guests began to pick up their belongings. Some made their way home, while others headed to the after-party at Exiles Bar on U St.

Jennifer Ortiz
Editorial Fellow