An elegant picnic on white linen with a bottle of wine and live jazz appeals so much to four Sarnia women they are inviting the community.
Kelly-Lynn Musico, Tracy Jutras, Marinka Modderman and Wendy Ghorbril hope Dinner in White Bluewater will generate enough revenue to be a self-sustaining special event in Sarnia for years to come.
They aren’t out to get rich but it’s not a charitable event either.
The first Dinner in White Bluewater will take place the evening of Thursday, July 10 at an undisclosed location.
“I’m always looking for something different to do and I’m really keen on this,” says Musico.
The concept started in Paris 25 years ago and is now held annually in 40 cities around the world for people who enjoy “the magic of an enchanted evening,” she said. Some dinners, like New York City’s, attract as many as 1,000 people.
“They limit it to 1,000 in New York but there’s a waiting list there with 31,000 names,” said Musico.
The idea is that attendees wear nothing but white. Shoes and umbrellas are the only items that are exempt from the white rule. Dinner takes place rain or shine.
Tickets cost $50 for two and must be purchased in pairs. Attendees are required to bring their own linen napkins, their own china, silverware and centrepieces – all in white.
“No paper or plastic,” said Musico. “We are trying to create a chic event, a pop up picnic. In some places, people wear fascinators and white boas, even masks.
“If you want to go to something elegant, this is it.”
Attendees bring their own picnic dinners or can order them when they register from local caterer Gourmet Café for $20 more per person. Ontario wine is available at $20 per bottle and is the only alcohol allowed. Tables, chairs and tablecloths are provided.
The $50 per couple covers the cost of a DJ, a jazz trio, the liquor and event permits, marketing and other expenses.
Ticket holders are told where to meet the day of the event. Once there, the secret picnic destination is divulged.
“Not knowing the location is part of the intrigue,” said Musico. “It’s just magical to watch hundreds of people in white approaching the tables en masse.”
At least 60 people have already registered and tickets will be sold online until July 6. Musico is hoping for 200 attendees on July 10.
“There’s a keen interest,” she said. “We have a community that’s had some tragedies in recent years. I thought, wouldn’t it be nice to do something positive together as a community?”
Any profit will be rolled into staging and promoting next year’s Dinner in White Bluewater, she said.
“My goal is for it to grow. I think it can become a way to bring tourists to Sarnia.”
For details or to register, see Dinner in White Blue Water on Facebook or visit www.eventbrite.ca/e/dinner-in-white-bluewater-tickets.
A NEW TAKE ON WEDDINGS
Speaking of getting dressed up all in white, a local business is now offering a new “quickie” wedding package that can have the happy couple and 25 guests in and out of the ceremony for $999 plus HST.
Pat Brethauer, owner of Sarnia Weddings, says the idea is based on the quickie weddings offered in Niagara Falls and Vegas.
“At wedding shows, I talk to brides who hate planning the whole, big event,” she said. “This is economical and simple.”
Brethauer has booked the Gateway Room, an upscale venue overlooking the St. Clair River, for seven dates this year. She will decorate the room, co-ordinate someone to officiate, provide bouquets and boutonnieres, a photographer and seating for 25.
“We will book up to seven weddings a day, each taking the room for an hour,” Brethauer said.
The package does not include food. The bridal couple and their guests can leave for a nice brunch or dinner out somewhere else, she said.
“Compare this to the thousands of dollars that people spend on some weddings and this is a good deal. I think it could go over well.”
Couples can contact Pat Brethauer at 519-328-2118 or go to www.sarniaweddings.com
The annual Chamber of Commerce networking cruise is coming up July 16 on the Duc d’Orleans II. Tickets are $28 each for the three-hour social business event, which has a Hawaiian theme this year. Call 519-336-2400 for details. Members and non-members welcome.
Got an interesting business story? Contact Cathy Dobson at [email protected] or call 226-932-0985.
– Cathy Dobson