Monday, May 2, 2016

Party Planner: Kentucky Derby

This post is sponsored by EVITE® and vineyard vines.

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?


  1. I really wanted to go to a derby party this year, but we have a birthday party year!! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

  2. You can't have a Kentucky Derby party without mint juleps! :) Love these ideas, I wish I was going to a Derby party! <3, Pamela Sequins & Sea Breezes

  3. look at all the fun detail. derby day is my fav! and the ribbons and the mint julep bar - yes please!

    xoxo cheshire kat

  4. I've n ever really gotten big in to the derby scene, but I can certainly get behind anything that involves fun cocktails and those treats! And also pretty dresses :)

  5. I do enjoy watching the actual race, but never thought of planning a party around it! I love all these ideas! Such a fun way to celebrate being in the full swing of spring :)

  6. What great details, I love the Julep Bar...YUM!

  7. Any excuse to dress up and drink fun cocktails is ok in my book! I love the idea of setting up horseshoes in the backyard!

  8. So many pretties! I've always wanted to go to a Derby party, I mean who doesn't love an excuse to get dressed up and enjoy fun foods and cocktails outdoors? <3
    Green Fashionista

  9. Cute ideas! A photo booth is always fun and the mint julep sounds amazing!

  10. We visited Churchill Downs last summer and had the best time. It's so beautiful there and I would totally love to see the Kentucky Derby there! But for now a fun party like this will have to do :)
    Evelina @ Fortunate House

  11. Ohh really cute ideas! I need to host something like this!

  12. How cute! I love all the ribbon props!


  13. Oh my gosh such a seriously precious party idea! Invite me along next time (;

  14. Love all these printables! Seersucker and mint juleps are the best for Kentucky Derby parties! xo, Champagne&Suburbs

  15. I love any reason to host a party and the Derby is definitely one of my favorite celebrations! Xo, Stephanie

  16. This looks like so much fun! I hope if I ever get to go to the Kentucky Derby I'll get to have a party along with it like this :)


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B & M

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