DERBY DAY is just a few weeks away! If you can’t make it to Churchill Downs, you can get into the Derby spirit with some TWINSPIRATION! The Kentucky Derby is so much more than “two minutes in sports.” The Derby combines horse racing, fabulous fashion, indulgent food and refreshing mint juleps.
Focus on these elements to create your beautiful tablescape:
- Color Palette – Select a striking color scheme. Last year, we picked a festive color palette of red, white and blue with hints of yellow.
- Digital Printables – Spruce up the buffet table with whimsical Derby themed signs and food tents. Etsy and Hostess with the Mostess feature a large selection of predesigned printables. Trust us, it is easier to leave the design work to the professionals. We incorporated this adorable collection from Hostess with the Mostess last year.
- Frames – Display Derby signs in inexpensive frames from Michaels.
- Flowers – Incorporate gorgeous flowers! Arrangements can be as simple as a single flower in a bud vase or a large bouquet. Since the Derby is also known as “Run for the Roses,” we suggest adding roses. If you are on a tight budget, you can create roses from tissue paper.
- Horses – Since this is a horserace, purchase plastic horses from Amazon and spray paint them to match your color palette. Last year, year we painted our horses gold.
- Glassware – Add Southern charm to glassware with Southern Belle hat and Dapper Gentlemen bow-tie wine markers or colorful straws with Derby drink flags.
The Derby is all about southern food, but feel free to add some whimsical items like we did.
- Derby Cheese Hat
- Fried Chicken
- Hot Browns
- Mac and Cheese
- Pesto Bow Tie Pasta
- Blueberry Tart
- Bourbon Truffles
- Pecan Pie
- Sticky Toffee Pudding
MINT JULEPS are the official drink of the Derby. We recommend making a few batches of cocktails in pitchers before guests arrive, so that you aren’t spending that much time making drinks during the party. Since bourbon may not be for everyone, we recommend these alternative Derby libations:
The Dress Code
Dressing up is part of the fun of a Derby party. Think dresses and festive hats or fascinators for the ladies as well as bow-ties and fedoras for the gentlemen.
For entertainment during the Derby, consider awards for:
- Best Dressed Southern Gentlemen/Southern Belle
- Best Derby Hat/Fascinator
Good luck planing your Derby party and remember to check out our Instagram for more tips as we get closer to Derby Day. We are co-hosting a fabulous party with Sons and Daughters. If you are in NYC and want to join us, you can buy tickets here.
“No horse can go as fast as the money you bet on him.”—Nate Collier