Throw a Kentucky Derby Themed Bridal Shower !
If there is one thing you can take to the bank, it is that Kentuckians are always looking for a way to celebrate with a Derby Party, even when it's nowhere near Derby day! My sisters and I were all born and raised in Kentucky, so when my sister got engaged we decided that a Kentucky Derby themed bridal shower was a winning idea! Although the party wouldn't actually be on the real day of the race, we incorporated our theme in our food, decorations and games to create an authentic downhome get together. We started by sending out invitations requesting guests attend in traditional derby attire, and that means a really BIG HAT! The bigger, louder, and more ornate the hat the higher the prestige on Derby day, so don't be afraid to take it over the top! Fashion is just one of the many bright spots of this particular theme. We chose a red, purple and gold color scheme for our shower, but bright colors echo the vibrant racing silks worn by jockeys during horse races, so you can choose any color combination you'd like. We also chose the official flower of the Kentucky Derby, the red rose, as our floral statement using them in centerpieces and decor. I also was able to acquire several horses from my daughters' (incredibly extensive) horse figurine collection to use alongside photographs of the engaged couple, with the flowers for table centerpieces. We made flags cut from plastic tablecloths (dollar store) and party ribbon that read things like "Lucky in Love," "Run for the Roses", and "And They're Off!"
For our "Watering Hole" we used purple buckets (dollar store) to chill red and white wine, bottled watera and canned drinks as well as crushed Ice. One essential element to every Derby Party the traditional drink of the Kentucky Derby, The Mint Julep. There are several versions of this recipe but here is the one we used:
3-4 fresh mint leaves
2 ounces Kentucky Bourbon
2 tablespoons simple syrup
Ideally, Mint Juleps are served in chilled sterling silver cups, and the mint would be crushed into the glass and crushed ice added followed by the other ingredients.
Simple Syrup Recipe:
Boil two cups of water and two cups of sugar over medium high heat for three minutes until thick, chill before use. (I added mint to mine!)
Derby Party Menu
We wanted the menu to have a lot of authentic Kentucky dishes, some family favorites as well as my sisters favorite local food from here in Jacksonville, Florida.
Sliced Homegrown Tomatoes
Relish Tray- okra, beans, olives and pickles
Baked Brie in Croissant with Red and Green Apples and Grapes
Fried Chicken (Chik-Fil-A platter)
Veggie Cups with Vidalia Onion Dressing
Cucumbers and Onions in Vinegar
Meat and Cheese Tray
White Mousse Cake with "Roses"
Philly's Finest (A local favorite)- Philly Cheesesteaks
(A Kentucky favorite to serve in place of these would be the traditional Kentucky Hot Brown sandwich, or Benedictine Sandwiches. Either would be a delicious Derby party addition. )
Make your Own Signature Platter using Sharpie Markers!
My sister has been collecting plates for years, so I thought it would be neat to put a unique spin on the "signature picture frame" idea so that she could remember this day and all of her friends and family that would attend! Suprisingly, I had never tried this craft before but had heard a lot about it.
To create this platter I needed:
A large ceramic plate (Big Lots $10!)
Colored Sharpie Permanent Markers
(I was able to get a new set with 12 colors for $10 at Michaels' Craft store, 6$ with my 40% coupon that they will email you regularly if you sign up.) I hear there are special "ceramic" Sharpies also made just for this type of craft, but have yet to find them.
That's it! I drew my design out (on a CLEAN surface- white vinegar works great) with a pencil and then went over the pencil with the color sharpie I needed. Please NOTE: Sharpies will blend together if they touch, which is pretty cool when you want to blend orange, brown, and yellow into a golden horseshoe. It is Less cool when you get black all in your yellow flags while filling them in so do your black details last. I also "designed" Amanda and Tony their own racing silks to personalize it. They're last name is Videll- so that's what the "V" represents. There are templates for blank racing silks are all over the internet, I just traced one right off my computer screen and then cut it into a little stencil. If you make a mistake with your Sharpies, don't panic! Use rubbing alcohol and a Q-tip for small fixes. (A Clorox wipe will work also, if you want to clear it all off and start over!) When you are finished, place the platter in the oven at 350 degrees for one hour. Voila! Enjoy your personalized keepsake plate!
Kentucky Derby Bridal Shower Games and Prizes!
Keeping with our racing theme, we created a "Racing Program" for each guest with three "races" (games) inside. Each person was asked to "name" their horse on the front of their prgram and wait for each race to be announced. We played traditional shower games that I was able to printout using the link below. We played "Who knows the bride the best?," "Wedding Word scramble," and "Bridal Shower Bingo." For the winner of each race we awarded "500 Grand," which was actually a red ribbon garland decorated with silk roses, some huge fake money and five "100 Grand" candy bars. The girls thought it was funny and we got photos of all the winners with the bride! The last keepsake touch we added was a jar with slips of colored paper for people to write date ideas for the new couple along with any other advice for the Bride and Groom.
I love my sisters! I love Kentucky! I love Horses! What could be better? What a great way and reason to celebrate a wonderful couple, and some wonderful fun memories to keep forever! We are so happy to have our new Brother Tony, and a new wonderful sister to boot, Diane (picture with my sisters and I left)! Until next time! Keep those kitchens cooking and keep art on your mind!
I am always looking for new and unique projects to entertain myself (and my two children) as well as expand and diversify my portfolio and skills! Here is where I share what I have been doing and all of my "Pet Projects!" Thanks for stopping by!