The Kentucky Derby is about a little less than month away and I am excited to share another installment of “10 Tips” for hosting a fun & fabulous party based on this theme. Hosting a brunch or happy hour and supper party would be super fun for the day of, but in the case of my friend Carrie, her bridesmaids suggested this theme as the basis for her bridal shower (which was not held on the actual day) and the results were fabulous!
1. Use the invite as an opportunity to get everyone excited: Since it was a bridal shower, we decided to take a more garden party approach rather than using actual race horses on the invite (but that could be cute too!). Just like at the Derby, everyone was super excited about wearing fabulous hats to the shower and we made certain the invite conveyed that. In addition to including a hat in the drawing, we also added “Big, Beautiful Derby Hats” to the suggested attire section.
2. Cookie favors: Always my favorite favor, :), we baked and iced flower cookies on sticks to reinforce the girly garden party feel and also to add to the shower decor.
3. Mint Julep Cups: A beautiful and classic vessel… I loved the way Carrie’s friend, Kim, arranged the cookie favors for impact. They looked beautiful, fit the theme perfectly and added to the decor. Be sure to order enough julep cups for favors and mint julip serving!
4. Flowers: The Kentucky Derby is at the perfect time of year to highlight beautiful, colorful, Spring flowers! If you have a garden go out and clip some to make it more personal.
5. Round Balloons: There’s just something about the perfectly round balloon that takes balloon decorating to a more sophistocated level. I loved that Carrie’s bridesmaids used a few of these bright pink balloons around the room to add festiveness.
6. Games: Obviously viewing the Kentucky Derby is the main event, so if hosting your party on the actual day, it would be crazy to pass up forming a game around it. Betting on the winning horse is a great angle (keep your bets to a quarter to keep betting just for fun)! Giving awards on the best, biggest, most fabulous hats is another fabulous approach to a game like activity.
7. Words of Wisdom: This is something I recommend if your Kentucky Derby party is a bridal or baby shower. Place blank “Words of Wisdom” cards (inspired by the invite) next to a glass vessel and ask everyone to inscribe their advice for a happy marriage or for their best advice for new parents.
8. Did somebody say “Big, Beautiful Derby hats”?! The hats added an amazing element to this party…
9. Photo Props: As if the hats weren’t enough, just for fun I made a few signs to use as props. Posing for photos is so much more fun with a prop and it puts your subjects at ease.
10. Group shot! Some of my favorite photos of all time are group shots and I can not stress enough how happy you will be if you take the time to organize one (it does take some time and patience to gather and arrange everyone so warn your participants that you will need a few minutes). Its the kind of photo you will study and look at again and again. It will always bring you back to the fun of the day and the beauty of the moment where you all gathered together for a beautiful group smile.
I hope these “10 Tips” inspire you to host a Kentucky Derby themed party of your own. As you can see, this event inspires fun and fabulosity– all you need to do is add friends! Happy planning! Xo Dani