Anyone that knows me knows I am the biggest fan of themed parties so when a friend suggested doing a Kentucky Derby themed party I jumped at the idea. I also love to decorate and party plan, and so the fun began…
If you are like me and have always wanted to attend the Kentucky Derby but just can’t fathom the cost, this was a great alternative and fun to see everyone dress up in their best Derby attire. If you aren’t one of the lucky ones that gets to attend the coveted Derby and rock a beautiful floral dress and elaborate hat/fascinator, why not try an at-home version instead?
What’s even more important than the race itself is all the beautiful fashion that comes with it. I have to say I’m guilty for following along every year on social media only to check out the derby style with the upmost envy!
Fascinator: Obsessions Fashion, Dress: Banana Republic
The good news is, since you will be doing a DIY version your outfit really doesn’t have to break the bank! For the ladies, you’re more than likely to find a floral or flowy dress already in your closet! The Kentucky Derby is known for its over the top hats and fascinators so having one is a must! Finding a big floppy hat or fascinator will really top off your look! A lot of my friends bought hats from the dollarstore and then glued on flowers and they looked amazing! For the gentlemen, wear a pair khakis or pastel coloured pants and throw on fun colour/print shirt, a sports jacket and of course, a bowtie and straw fedora!
My favourite accessory store (Obsessions Fashion) gifted me with this beautiful white fascinator adorned with small feather details and stunning veil.
I kept the food to a minimum so the focus would be on the fun games and everyone socializing! Of course no Derby is complete without mint juleps. I made a large jug of it using (Powdered sugar, Bourbon whiskey, Water, and Mint leaves ). Add some fun straws into mason jars or traditional julep silver cups to get the real experience! Next on the food table were mini pulled pork sliders, easy to pick up and eat. The pork was cooked in bourbon bbq sauce (bourbon whisky is the liquor of the South).
Bourbon Barrel Stout and Bourbon Whisky straight from Kentucky were the perfect touch to the bar!
AG Macarons donated this beautiful assortment of colourful French macarons that matched perfectly with the décor on the table and were to die for!
Now to the Cadillac of cakes…this 14k gold dipped cake from The Social Cupcake is seriously #cakegoals. When I was envisioning my Birthday cake this was exactly what I had in mind from top to bottom. I cannot thank the wonderful staff for making all my cake dreams come true, it made my Birthday extra special. I had also planned to have the cake match the photo booth wall. The first tier was vanilla cake with classic buttercream icing and the second layer was red velvet with cream cheese icing. I still cannot get over every single detail of this cake and how intricate these flowers are (would you believe me if I told you they were edible, you better believe it!
Once I landed on doing a Kentucky Derby themed party I started to think of décor. After googling a few images right away tons of flowers popped up and the ideas starting flowing. Thanks to Bloomingful Flowers, guests were able to capture their Derby looks infront of this stunning customized 8 foot paper flower wall. Fill a box with lots of props and extra floppy hats, etc so the guests can get creative with their pictures and have something to remember 🙂
I picked up this fake grass from Homesense it was the perfect compliment to the floral backdrop!
The illuminating circle lamp was the selfie light we didn’t know we needed in our lives.
The tissue paper flowers were so beautiful and exactly the look that I was going for a (indoor) garden party!
I carried out the flower theme with the rest of the décor, adding it to the food table along with the entrance in the front foyer.
The majority of the decor I found from Homesense or Winners. The white horse head (Winners), Green Leaf Balls (Homesense), Faux Flowers (Homesense), Stone Containers (Homesense), Plastic Trophies, Horses, Grass, , Mason Jars/Straws, Plastic White Fence (Dollarama), “Derby” Letters and Marquee Horseshoe (Michaels).
I used the hashtag “Talk Derby To Me” for the night because I love a good pun. This Lightbox by (My Cinema Lightbox) is a great decor piece that lets you get creative and express yourself with fun quotes or puns to really set the mood! The adorable faux-fur wraps for the bottles I picked up from Winners.
No Derby party is complete without horse racing! I did a simple DIY version that had guests placing bets on toy horses to win the pot of money! I bought a green plastic tablecloth from Party City and then used green tape to outline the lines of the “track”. I made 6 starting positions where each of the players horses would start. For the horses, I picked up a package of toy horses from Dollarama and spray painted them gold. You will also need 6 dice.
Each player wagers $1 (or higher if you’re feeling lucky) and then each player rolls a dice to assign a horse. Next, roll all 6 of the dice, the number on the dice corresponds with which horse gets to move (i.e 662344- the “6” horse moves two spots, the “2” and “3” horse move 1 and the “4” horse moves two spots. First horse to cross the finish lines wins the pot!
Derby themed Bingo:
I printed off a number of bingo cards that had derby-themed sayings. This was simple to do since all I had to do was print and cut and have pens out for the players! I cut one card and placed all the sayings into a hat and pulled them from there.
Unfortunately with the cold weather we couldn’t do any outdoor games so I had to improvise with horseshoes by doing it indoors. I found a small plastic ring-toss game from the dollar store and spray painted it gold. It may not have been the best game of horseshoes but it did the trick and fit the theme, which was really what it was all about!
I picked up this game from Homesense for $29.00, quick and easy installation and safe to play indoors if you have the room to spread out the boards.
Safe to say I got down and derby and horsed around all night!