Kentucky Derby Party Ideas

One thing I've learned about Southern Ladies - they know how to party - In Style!  And so, when my friend and party planner extraordinaire, Joy Burns, told me about a Kentucky Derby party she was throwing for friend's 40th birthday, I volunteered to take some pre-party photos so I could share them with all of you, I mean all y'all!  (That's plural for y'all)

Look at these perfectly themed glasses she had printed.
They read, "Lucky in Life * Julie's 40th Birthday".

These glasses will be perfect for Mint Juleps, 
the official drink of the Kentucky Derby!

Wine glasses are complete with jewel studded "lucky" silver horseshoe charms
tied with natural raffia.

Here's a look at her amazing southern-themed buffet menu:


Mint Juleps
Arnie Palmers

Crudites with French Onion Dip
Assorted Fruit and Cheese Platter

Finger Sandwiches:  
Pimento Cheese
Cucumber and Cream Cheese

Spinach and Strawberry Salad
BBQ Pork Sliders
Shrimp and Grits served in Martini Glasses
 BBQ Spareribs
Sweet Potato Chips

Decorated Cupcakes
Derby Pie

For those of you not familiar with the ways of The South, Derby Pie was created in 1950 by the Melrose Inn in Prospect, Kentucky as a specialty pastry.  The original Derby Pie's recipe has never been published, but it's key ingredients include chocolate, bourbon and walnuts - not pecans as are found in some recipes.  If you click the link above, you can find a similar recipe by Emeril Lagasse.

This "Run For the Roses" themed party just wouldn't be complete without 
LOTS AND LOTS of red roses!

These roses in a southern silver vase were elegantly displayed in the betting room where guests were invited to place a friendly wager if they wished.

Outside, tables were dressed to the nine's with formal white linens 
topped with tea-length natural linen toppers.

Look how the rose stems are camouflaged with a
black satin ribbon and a natural burlap wrap.

Here's a glimpse at her show stopping food styling.
This cheese platter looked amazing!

Continuing the rose theme were these large arrangements on the fireplace mantel.

These simple buds in the foyer were perhaps my favorite.

Guests arrived in Black and White dresses and hats, ready to surprise the birthday girl!

By paying attention to details and playing out a theme in a big way,
you, too, can have a picture perfect party!


What a fun party and what beautiful decorations!
Unknown said…
I absolutely love the Kentucky Derby and I love the red roses everywhere. Plus the black and white dresses sounds like so much fun.
This looks like such a fun party!
Thank you so much for sharing this @ {nifty thrifty sunday} last week as well!
Vanessa @ {nifty thrifty things}
This comment has been removed by the author.
Love these decorations! So simple and elegant. The horseshoe drink charms are a great touch.
ShannonF said…
Racheal I love the rose centerpeices. Do you know what size of vase was used?
zerry ht said…
Gratitude for sharing these Kentucky Derby Party ideas. I am so inspired with these ideas. I also have to find a suitable LA venue for my husband’s 30th birthday bash. I would like to use this theme for his party but it will be great if you can share venue recommendations.

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