Every year I vow to myself that I'm going to throw a fabulous, over-the-top, big-hat worthy Kentucky Derby party (because really, I just want to wear the hat) and this year I finally got inspired to throw a little something together...
I love a little dose of preppy style every now and then, so what better excuse for a stripes, ribbons, seersucker, and roses?
Here are the elements. Gifts for guests are tucked into striped boxes topped by golden jockeys (that we spray painted!). Table numbers mimic the gates at the track - pick your number wisely! Mint Juleps are a must, but we put a little twist on ours... And then of course there are traditional Derby snacks: benedictine and cucumber sandwiches stuffed with parsley, and maple bourbon pecans set on individual plates.
The set up was inspired by these super fun harlequin print (just like the jockeys wear!) paper dishes. I found ribbon to match the colors, and did a simple DIY with these wood numbers and a little paint to coordinate as well!
So what's with the numbers, you ask? Well, I placed them next to a plate, so each guest would get their own snack and pick a number at the same time. (There are 20 horses in the Derby so make your guest list to match!)
When the race begins - everyone has their number. Whoever's horse wins, gets a prize at the end!
Or... you can have some good old fashioned fun with a little game like this one - set them around the party and let your guests compete according to their number!
I like the subtle stripe motif too - you can see it in the straws, gift boxes, seersucker tablecloth, and the numbers... but it's not even close to overwhelming! Just a nice common thread to tie the theme together even more.
And then, of course, there must be a mint julep! But ours isn't just any julep - we created a boozy granita for guests to sip on or spoon, and it's insanely delicious and refreshing. (Recipe tomorrow!).
Parting gifts for every guests always top off the celebrations. What you put in them is up to you!
Is anyone hosting a party this year? I do hope you'll use some of these elements!
images by meghan klein for coco+kelley // styling by cassandra lavalle