Diner en Blanc for the budget conscious

Here's how to do Diner en Blanc on a budget. | Provided

Diner en Blanc is without a doubt the hottest party of the year in Philadelphia. On August 17, it makes its grand return to a super secret location with a record number of 5,200 people in attendance — all dressed head to toe in white.

If you’ve followed the event on social media in years past, it exudes elegance which to some, translates to expensive. When preparing your own picnic basket for Diner en Blanc however, you don’t need to spend a fortune to be fabulous. Here are a few pro tips on how to do Diner en Blanc on a budget.

Get Thrifty 

For Diner en Blanc, mostly everything on your table has to be white — including your china and the tablecloth. What’s more, you’ll need wine glasses and silverware. Before splurging on new stuff, head over to Philly Aids Thrift in Queen Village and buy it all second-hand. There you’ll find hundreds of white plates, wine glasses and silverware to choose from. You can easily do it all for under $20. What’s more, proceeds from your purchase go to local AIDS organizations.  Philly AIDS Thrift, 710 S. 5th St., phillyaidsthrift.com


When you go to Diner en Blanc, it’s important that you do a little something to make your table festive. Deciding on a theme and successfully executing it makes the event all the more fun. To stay within budget, head over to the flagship  A.C. Moore location on Broad Street and find everything from silver candlestick holders, inexpensive white candles and a whole aisle filled with artificial flowers to make your own floral arrangements.  We even found DEB lights that were on sale for $5. A.C. Moore, 100 S. Broad St., acmoore.com

Drink local

You’ve got your fancy wine glasses and now you need the wine! Diner en Blanc allows you to bring one bottle of red or white for the event and while you could easily pick the cheapest bottle of wine you can find, why not opt for something local and within budget? Chaddsford Winery has an extensive collection of reds and whites to choose from and most are available at local Fine Wine & Good Spirits locations, just in case you’re short on time for a trip to the winery. Cheers! Chaddsford Winery, 632 Baltimore Pike, Chaddsford, chaddsford.com

All-in-one food stop

Some people love to cook up their own food for Diner en Blanc but for the busy working professional, there’s just no time for that. Stay on budget without driving yourself crazy by going to Whole Foods Market on South Street for your food. Find everything from cheese boards to fresh baked breads to pre-made salads and desserts. For our meal, we decided on grilled salmon over couscous with southern fried chicken, pasta salad, deviled eggs and marinated cauliflower. We even grabbed some iced La Colombe coffee to go along with our desserts and to give us energy for dancing the night away. Whole Foods Market, 929 South St., wholefoodsmarket.com

A touch of Paris

Just saying that outloud sounds pricey, right? But it doesn’t have to be! Your meal wouldn’t be complete without some French delicacies to pay homage to the city where Diner en Blanc began — Paris. Lucky for us, Delice et Chocolat in Ardmore is a recently opened French pastry shop with delectable treats for all budgets. Buy some white French macarons as well as a high-style white cake made by acclaimed French pastry chef Antoine Amrani, who owns the shop with his brother Joseph. Bon appetit! Delice et Chocolat, 7 Station Rd., Ardmore, deliceetchocolat.com

Wondering how all of these elements come together? The article’s main image was taken at Race Street Pier and features all of our purchases. 

So how do you say in budget for Diner en Blanc? Tell us in the comments below. 

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