In many ways, the Kentucky Derby is our favorite sporting event of the year - with its fancy clothes, tasty signature cocktail, and very short actual sporting time, there's a lot to love about this swanky affair! We've teamed up with our pals at EVITE® and vineyard vines to help you throw a Southern-style Kentucky Derby soiree.
Every good party starts with some special decorations to set the tone, so take your inspiration from the race itself and place some fresh flowers and old trophies around the room. We are all about simple DIY crafts for our theme parties, so we love the idea of taking some cheap, plastic toy horses and spraying them white or metallic for an instant glam update. Bonus points if you add a dapper bowtie to your horse!
And speaking of bowties...the Kentucky Derby is one major fashion show, so embrace this opportunity to dress up!
For the Derby, we love anything pastel or seersucker. When B and her Alabama-raised beau, T, step out for the Derby this year, he'll be sporting a full seersucker suit as a nod to his Southern roots. Accessories are also key to completing this look - gentlemen, now's the time to show off your bowtie tying skills. Ladies, you need to top it all off with a hat - the bigger, the better! For some more ideas on what to wear, vineyard vines has put together this handy Kentucky Derby style guide.
Since the actual race is only about two minutes long, you'll want some other activities to keep your guests entertained. We always love including a photo wall at all of our theme parties, so set up some props and a camera and let your guests show off their fancy attire!
Feeling crafty but a little short on time? Don't worry - Evite has created some awesome free printable circles that you can use to make an easy prize ribbon photo backdrop or even a banner to serve as the perfect partner for your photobooth.
If you have a backyard, take the party outside and set up a classic game of horseshoes!
Make sure you have a prize ready for the winner, since everyone tends to feel a little competitive on Derby Day!
Of course, a party just isn't a party without an awesome menu, and mint juleps are an absolute MUST for your signature cocktail since they are the classic Kentucky Derby sip. Add some silver cups, mint leaves, floral paper straws, and stirrers to your mint julep bar so that guests can easily serve themselves.
Since your guests will likely not be sitting for long with all the race action to keep them busy, stick with easy finger foods like fruit platters and cheese plates for your menu. You can use the same free printables from Evite to create some adorable food tents and signs.
For a sweet finish, mini cupcakes and horseshoe-shaped sugar cookies will delight your guests and keep your theme running through the party all the way to the end of the race!
For more tips, visit Evite for your ultimate Kentucky Derby party guide. How are you planning to spend the Kentucky Derby this year?