One of my favorite times of year is when the Kentucky Derby rolls around. I’ve always been mesmerized by the celebrity of it all. The bright dresses, the big hats, oh, and of course the horses! When I became engaged and began planning my bachelorette party with my girls (yes, that’s right- I helped plan my own bachelorette party. I am a planner after all.), I knew I wanted to go to The Derby. When we arrived I finally saw what all the hoopla was about!
This year I was asked to collaborate with A Classic Party Rental, in Indianapolis, IN, to help design three tablescapes for their showroom, to be on display for the months of April, May, and June. I knew as soon as they asked what I wanted the theme to be- Derby inspired table designs. I just needed the perfect team of vendors to help bring my designs to life. I reached out to Kaitlin Robinson, Founder and Designer of Athena Street Creative for all my paper goods. I knew her eye for detail and love of color would be the perfect fit for what I had in mind. Stephen Brooks, Paper Florist and Owner of The Paper Peony, was just what I needed for flowers since the designs would be up for three months and I wouldn’t be able to use real flowers. I chose Vanilla Bean Bakery for the Derby themed cookies that adorned the party table. Chloe Luka Photography rounded out the vendor team. I love her fine art photo style and I knew I wanted the photos to be bright and airy.
I approached each table as if they were separate events. The idea for the pink and green table came from wanting the bridal brunch to feel like a garden party. I opted to use more delicate colors, with little pops of brighter colors in the floral design. Athena Street created recipe cards to adorn each place setting. A treat for the bride-to-be to walk away with after the bridal shower. Each horseshoe donned a placecard for each guest. She also designed an invitation suite to go along with the table design. The boxwood placemats added the finishing touches to tie in the garden feel. I purchased them from Pier 1 Imports.
The second table represented a Derby party with both men and women guests. I wanted it to be bright and fun so I opted for a seafoam green striped table cloth, more understated glassware, vibrant flowers, and bright paper goods. Each placesetting was complete with a betting card, a horseshoe cookie, and a mint julep- the official drink of the Derby, which made the table feel like it was right in the Grandstand.
The last table symbolized a Derby inspired wedding reception. I wanted it to feel rich and luxurious so I opted for white and gold rather than bright colors. I wanted it to feel very modern so I used a geometric, gold candleholder from Crate and Barrel. I used it as the focal point, rather than a floral arrangement. We decided to use single white stems in wine glasses for the flowers. Very seamless and minimal. We topped off each placesetting with a gold horse, to tie in our Race for the Roses.
While you may not be able to go to the Kentucky Derby this year, you can at least feel like you’re there with a little Derby party of your own. If you’re looking for more pictures of the Derby Inspired Tablescapes, head on over to A Classic Party Rental’s Blog.