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We’re back with more from Churchill Downs!

While our first Derby-inspired board was more traditional and masculine, this one is decidedly more feminine and whimsical. The light, soft colors might not your first thought when you think “Kentucky Derby,” but I think you’ll agree this board would make for a perfect first-weekend-in-May Southern wedding.

Credits, clockwise from top left:

Encourage your female guests to wear their loveliest hats, and your male guests to wear their most dapper seersucker. I seriously adore this gorgeous number from Gina Foster Millinery.

A lace-inspired cake in palest pink and white is perfect for a Southern soiree (confection by My Sweet & Saucy).

Keep the roses but trade out the deep red for white and cream and you have this lovely bouquet (photo by Marisa Holmes).

If you can swing it, a reception beside a meadow dotted with beautiful horses is almost all the decor you need. (Photo by Jose Villa)

Don’t be afraid of greenery! Make it the bulk of your arrangement, tuck in a few gorgeous peach and cream roses, and oversized arrangements can be yours. These would be especially lovely on either side of the couple at the ceremony! (Photo by Marisa Holmes)

A troop of petite flower girls lining up to head down the aisle reminds you a bit of the fillies prancing into place at the starting gate of a race, does it not? (Photo by JAC Photography)

A darling gold horseshoe makes a sweet photo prop or styling element in a food or escort card display (photo by Samm Blake via Style Me Pretty).

A display like this at your bar will have your guests drinking mint juleps in no time! Use a beautiful antique glass for the display, but serve guests in plain glasses, which will help cut down on rental costs. (Photo by Lisa Lefkowitz via Snippet & Ink)

A classic open-air tent is the perfect site for a Derby reception, whether or not it’s planted on the grounds of a race track. We love this one, photography by Millie Holloman. See more from this wedding on SW here + here!

So what do you think, readers? Would you plan (or are you planning?) a Derby-inspired wedding?

Check back tomorrow for more Kentucky goodness!

emily Written with love by Emily
  1. avatar Melody@Sweet&SaucyShop reply

    Thanks for adding my cake!

    • avatar Emily reply

      Thanks for adding that credit, Melody! You certainly deserve it for such a lovely confection :)

  2. avatar Susannah reply

    love it! I’m getting all excited for Derby this weekend!!!

  3. avatar Kelly Sauer reply

    Love, love, love!!!

  4. avatar jamie reply

    wow, these all look so good together! thanks for including our pic!

  5. avatar Lisa reply

    This one is my favorite!! Especially the lacy cake and beautiful soft-colored roses. Gorgeous!

  6. avatar Greer Loves reply

    I’m a huge fan of this feminine & whimsical version of derby! I LOVE her hat, and I think that’s what I like most about derbies (not that I’ve been) but the hat spotting is amazing!! :)

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It’s Derby Week, ladies + gents! We thought we’d celebrate this most Southern event in true Southern style, and have a whole slew of posts centered around all things Derby to prep you for Saturday’s main event. So put on your fanciest hat, sit back, and enjoy the ride!

Up first? A pair of inspiration boards. This first one is inspired by traditional Derby elements — read on for ways to incorporate them into your wedding!

Credits, clockwise from top left:

Gents, of course, should wear their finest bow tie to the festivities. We love this one, shot by Chase Kuhn. See more from this wedding on SW here + here!

Petite Lady apples give a lovely nod to equine inspiration without going overboard. Serve them as part of your dessert bar, or as a sweet counterpoint to cocktail hour (via Martha Stewart Weddings).

Creamy yellow, red, and chocolate blooms are an updated twist on classic red roses.

A red velvet cake? What could be more perfect for a Southern wedding? We love that this one is topped with spring-perfect strawberries (photo by Jessica Johnson).

For true Derby spirit, have a bugler play “Call to the Post” or “My Old Kentucky Home” right before you make your grand entrance into the reception. Todd Pellowe captured a great shot of this in action at one of his recent weddings!

The tan, black, and white look on this groom is perfect for a sophisticated day with a bit of a masculine bent. Gorgeous horse optional! (Photo by Jose Villa)

To keep things from getting overly-theme-y, keep your decor neutral. We like these jute and twine wrapped bottles, decked out with single stems (via Martha Stewart Weddings).

Lastly, passed mint juleps will give any celebration a distinct Southern flair. If you can’t swing classic julep cups for every guest, splurge on a few vintage silver trays — they’ll dress up plain glasses in a jiffy. Old trays can easily be found at flea markets and on eBay, and don’t worry about a little tarnish — it only ups your authenticity! (via Southern Accents)

Other ideas? Host your reception at Keeneland’s race track. Settle centerpieces in vintage silver trophy cups. Make escort cards out of mini prize ribbons. Pin a vintage horseshoe brooch onto your bouquet. Have a bourbon tasting bar (like Calder Clark did so beautifully at one of her recent weddings!). Send guests home with mini derby pies as favors.

We’ll be back soon with another Derby-inspired inspiration board, this one a bit more whimsical!

emily Written with love by Emily
  1. avatar Weekly Round-Up « Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] favorite Derby-inspired things, from mint juleps to roses. A brief rundown: Emily dreamed up one traditional Derby inspiration board, and one more whimsical. The whimsical board seemed to be the favorite with y’all :) Save […]

  2. avatar Winner :: Marley Lilly + Spark Letterpress « Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] y’all see our Derby Week posts last week? (Here, here, here, here, here, and here, in case you missed ‘em!) I hope you all took our friendly […]

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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Kara + Tyler :: Get the Look

by in Inspirations, Main on

As promised, a guide to Kara + Tyler’s sweet Southern style — pops of green included! If you missed their real wedding posts from earlier this week, just click here and here.

A. This soft felt ring pillow from Llubav fits in perfectly with Kara + Tyler’s delicate spring palette.

B. Did you see that large-and-in-charge cupcake sitting atop Kara + Tyler’s stack of desserts? Want one at your reception? Pick up the amazing giant cupcake pan from Wilton!

C. Customized stir sticks are as easy as 1-2-3 at For Your Party. Upload your own design to coasters, napkins, or sticks, or choose from their many options!

D. A beautiful range of greens will keep your ‘maids looking fresh. Bonus: If they pick the designs themselves, they’re 78% more likely to wear them again. It’s scientifically proven. We love these options from Jenny Yoo (here, here, and here, respectively).

E. Fresh spring hues brighten up this invitation design from Minted.

F. Pack edible goodies in these sweet palm boxes for an authentic Charleston feel.

G. A green + white striped bow tie: the essential ingredient to Tyler’s groom look. Find this one at Amazon!

H. We found these mint julep cups at Save on Crafts, but they’re fairly easy to scout at flea markets or on eBay! Just give yourself enough time for the hunt, then proudly display them in centerpieces or at the bar on the big day.

I. The Macbeth Collection makes the most adorably-patterned buckets and baskets. Choose a pattern, then pick one up for your ceremony programs, your toss pom poms, your cocktail napkins — the possibilities are endless!

J. White tulips… what could be sweeter or simpler? They’re actually my favorite bloom, and they’re perfect for a celebration like Kara + Tyler’s.

K. If you don’t want to go the custom route, consider picking up these striped napkins from Caspari for cocktail hour. Tres preppy!

Wondering about something we didn’t cover? Just leave a comment below! And tell me: are any of you ladies planning a green wedding?

emily Written with love by Emily
  1. avatar Lara reply

    I want all of this for my someday vow renewal! Love it!

  2. avatar Rachel – theWeddingVine reply

    White tulips are one of my favourite flowers, they are so delicate and soft!

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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