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Continuing on with this week’s Kentucky Derby festivities, we thought it would be fun to put together an updated version of last year’s red rose round-up! (Newer readers, check it out here!) The Derby makes us want to dig up all sorts of horsey inspiration, but possibly none is more elegant and classic than weddings filled with red roses, the traditional flower of the winning horse’s wreath.

To be sure, red roses at weddings can be… outdated when done wrong. But they can also be lush and gorgeous when done right! Here are some of our favorites:

Top left photo by Michael + Anna Costa, red rose and calla lily bouquet by Elizabeth Messina via Wedding Chicks, middle left photo by Lyndah Wells via Style Me Pretty, middle right and bottom by Ali Harper

Bouquets, check. Moving on!

Gentleman in boutonniere photo by Ali Harper, red rose-lined aisle photo by Elizabeth Messina, red rose boutonniere photo by Michael + Anna Costa, red and pink centerpiece photo by Jenna Marie Photography via Style Me Pretty, simple rose centerpiece photo by Some.Sweet Photography, tall centerpiece photo by Elizabeth Messina via Wedding Chicks, low centerpiece and cake photos by Adam Barnes via Southern Weddings

What do you think, ladies? Would you use red roses in your wedding? Would you use only red roses? Comment and let me know, and stay tuned for another Derby-themed post soon!

P.S. Can’t wait for one more piece of Derby inspiration? Check out a favorite surprise wedding here + here!

Ali Harper and Adam Barnes are fabulous members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

emily Written with love by Emily
6 Comments
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Red rose round-up — say that three times fast!

The Kentucky Derby isn’t called “The Run for the Roses” for nothing — the blanket of blooms that’s draped over the winning Thoroughbred’s neck is made up of 554 red roses! We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite red rose inspiration, and though one-bloom, one-color bouquets like these are not as popular as they used to be, we think there’s something beautiful and classic about them when done right! Red roses can also look beautiful in cakes and table decor.

Image credits, top to bottom: Amanda Watson, next two Gabriel Ryan (floral design by JL Designs), Melanie Mauer, next two Melanie Mauer (floral design by Best of Flowers), Olivia Griffin, Olivia Griffin (see more from this wedding here!), Sarah K. Chen, Ivy Weddings via The Bride’s Cafe

For those of you looking for a twist on the classic red rose, we thought we’d include some of our favorite updated designs. These bouquets mix roses with other bloom varieties, and often choose garden roses over more traditional “Valentine’s Day” roses.

Image credits, clockwise from top left: Char Beck via Coco + Kelley (design by McKenzie Powell), Meg Smith (design by Ariella Chezar), via Martha Stewart Weddings, design by Ariella Chezar, Jose Villa (design by Flowerwild), Elizabeth Messina

What do you think, ladies? Would you go for red roses at your wedding?

emily Written with love by Emily
4 Comments
  1. avatar Brittany reply

    Although I don’t see red roses at my wedding, I am from Louisville, Kentucky and every year the garland of roses is created at my local Kroger Store. It is truly incredible to see first hand how large it is and the effort that goes into making it. For anyone who visits Louisville for the Kentucky Derby, I recommend taking a short trip to see it! Not to mention it smells really good!

  2. avatar Kelli Taylor/Daniel Taylor Photography reply

    So pretty! Love the flowers on the back of the chair.

  3. avatar melanie mauer reply

    oh emily!

    you can’t know how excited i am to see our images at southern wedding…particularly on our favorite kentucky-esque holiday (i’m in lexington)! anne, the bride has iconic style and we’re pleased as pie to see her images featured amongst your red rose round-up! merci and kudos for the wonderful inspiration you provide! warmly, -melanie-

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We’re back with more Kentucky Derby inspiration! This time, it’s all about the classic Derby drink: mint juleps!

Keeping the bourbon + mint flowing is a must for anyone hosting a Kentucky Derby party or wedding. This bride’s got it down:

Image credit: Tracy Turpen

Mint juleps are delicious served in all sorts of containers, though we, of course, love the aesthetic Southern-ness of the classic silver cup. Find them at flea markets, estate sales, or on eBay, or buy reproductions in bulk from Save on Crafts or Jamali Garden. Don’t forget a perfectly mint-colored striped straw!

Credits, clockwise from top left: Justin & Mary Marantz, Kate Headley, Patricia Lyons, Lisa Lefkowitz

Like your mint juleps but want them as decor, too? We’ve got you covered. These petite containers look perfect marching down a table or perched on a bar.

Image credits, clockwise from top left: A Bryan Photo (decor by Calder Clark), Mimmo + Naz via Style Me Pretty, Michael Norwood (decor by the Treasured Petal), Kate Headley via Southern Weddings (decor by A Trendy Wedding), Scott Piner via Southern Weddings (decor by A Beautiful Event), Tim Will via Southern Weddings (decor by A Charleston Bride)

Not a fan of the strong stuff? Mint julep cupcakes might be more your style. We think these ones, from Hostess with the Mostess and the Cupcake Queen, are adorable!

Still in need of a mint julep recipe? We spotted this one on Food & Wine that looks divine.

Will you be serving mint juleps this weekend, or at your wedding?

emily Written with love by Emily
2 Comments
  1. avatar Lori reply

    We are doing engagement pictures this weekend and plan to incorporate mint juleps! My fiancé is a born and bred KY boy and a huge fan of Derby and horse racing I’m general, so it’s perfect.

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