Attending the Kentucky Derby is on my bucket list, so it surprises even myself that I have never hosted a Derby Party. This ended on May 1, 2021 when The Hubby and I threw our very first (and now annual!) Derby Party. Our guests came dressed to impress and the afternoon was spent socializing, taking photos, eating, drinking, and of course watching the horses RUN!
Instead of using Evite, I decided to create a simple invitation in PowerPoint, converted it to a .jpg and then texted each of my guests. I use Microsoft OneNote quite a bit at work, so decided to keep my guest count, menu, supplies needed list, etc. all in OneNote. Leading up to the event I also created some messages in the Notes app that I could easily text to each one of the guests with information about how to bet on TwinSpires.com, the fact that we were having a best dressed contest, to learn about the horses, etc.
I wanted to prepare everything for the event so did some serious Pinterest searching for the best (and easy to prep ahead…cause that’s how I roll) dishes for Derby Day. I found some amazing recipes and used some of my own – thank you SO much to the sites who provided such delicious ideas!
Last but not least…the cookies! O.M.G. My friend Kristin from Simon Says Cookies made da BOMB cookies for this party! Not only were they beautiful, they were also DELISH!
I had a full bar, a fridge full of beer and seltzers, and of COURSE, Mint Juleps! I found this batch recipe from Wild Open Eats which was perfect! I included a board of simple instructions and most of our guests enjoyed their first (and likely not last) Mint Julep! I also bought bags of ice from Sonic – who doesn’t love Sonic ice???
Knowing our friends would DELIVER on the fashion, I decided to do a little bit of research on a great photo backdrop and found Kayla’s Decor who used this “grass” backdrop , added red roses along with “Derby Day” – it was PERFECT! Our guests loved it – so many photos! I knew The Hubby wouldn’t last long in his suit – that’s why he is in a Polo for the Gents group picture. Here are a few of the images!
Of course we had a contest for Best Dressed. I found this voting package and immediately put it in my cart! Winners were awarded too! LaMarca splits for Most Fabulous Hat and Best Dressed Lady, 375 ML of Evan Williams Kentucky Bourbon for our Best Dressed Gent, and the Best Dressed Couple received a bottle of Borrasca Rose.
THE GROUP PICS!!!
I mean…how could we not???
Just before the race, of our Gents and The Hubby decided to collect bets for payouts. Every couple who wanted in (everyone!) paid $20 for a number they drew out of the hat and that’s the horse they cheered on! We gave prizes for Win, Place, and Show. Our friend Derek was a big winner throughout the day as he drew Medina Spirit’s number!
We had an amazing day and I literally CANNOT wait until our 2nd Annual Derby Party in 2022! Cheers!