4 Tips for Throwing a Kentucky Derby Party

Events, Inspiration

Picture this: the sound of thundering hooves, the taste of a perfectly crafted Mint Julep, and the excitement of a crowd rallying behind their chosen champion. The Kentucky Derby—a celebration of elegance, tradition, and the indomitable spirit of the turf! Last year, our team had the delight of bringing the spirit of the Derby to life at a client’s private estate. We immersed ourselves in a palette of soft greens, blues, and whites, creating an atmosphere that exuded Southern charm. Now, we’re ready to share our top four tips for throwing a legendary Kentucky Derby party of your own. Get ready to harness the power of the Derby and create an unforgettable experience!


1. Place Your Bets

Just like the heartbeat of the Derby, the thrill of placing bets adds an exhilarating rhythm to your gathering. As the guests don their finery and immerse themselves in the Derby spirit, invite them to participate in a friendly wager (no bets required). Have each guest write down their chosen horse’s name and race time on a card. Announce the guest who selected the winning horse and came closest to the race time (and we love a good gift basket of local products as a reward!).


2. Vibrant Colors & Patterned Decor

To capture the essence of the Kentucky Derby, the visual feast of colors and patterns is essential. Lean into a soft palette of greens, blues, and whites, reminiscent of the rolling hills and blooming gardens. Infuse these hues into your decorations, allowing the spirit of the South to flourish. Play with various floral patterns, introducing linens and vases adorned with delicate blooms, such as hydrangeas and roses. Mint julep cups and blue patterned vases were a unique visual statement throughout this event.


3. Festive Bar and Food Display

No Derby party is complete without a bar and food station that captures the essence of this prestigious event. While we may have gone over-the-top with custom watercolored wallpaper of the Churchill Downs racetrack for our client’s bar, there are simpler yet equally impactful decor options. Create a bar menu that pays homage to the Derby’s iconic libations, featuring the illustrious Mint Julep prominently. Enliven the space with fresh flowers, and a perhaps even horse bust. Your guests will spend a lot of time around the food and drinks, so it’s worth putting some effort into making the space festive!



4. Hat Decorating

If you are having kids at the party (or if your guests are a crafty crowd) you could also have a hat-decorating activity. Provide various types of hats (or have guests bring their own) and craft supplies like flowers, feathers, etc. for customizing them!



Shop the decor and supplies on my Amazon Page: Tyler Speier’s Amazon Storefront, and Kentucky Derby Party Decor.

Interested in hosting a themed event? Inquire about our event planning services here!


Planning, Design, Florals: Tyler Speier, @tylerspeier

Images: De Colores Photo, @decolores.photo

Specialty Linens: La Tavola, @latavolalinen

Rentals: Bright Event Rentals, @brighteventrentals

Lighting: AMS Entertainment, @amsevents_SB

Catering: Seasons Catering , @seasonscatering

Bartending Service: Flair Project, @flair_projectsb

 DJ: Party Proper , @partyproperproductions

Transportation: Blue Star Parking 


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Meet Tyler


Me and my team intentionally create bespoke celebrations for life milestones that inspire resounding joy, awe-inspiring beauty, and a deep sense of belonging and connection

I firmly believe in the beauty of carefully executed restraint, allowing the natural beauty of the venue, flowers, design details, and clients speak for themselves. 

I believe love is love - all are welcome here.

- tyler 

I look forward to creating something beautiful with you.

About Me

you will ALWAYS cherish

From hanging installations above dinner tables in a tent to small details and candlelight in a powder room, our floral production allows us to bring to life exactly what we’ve dreamt up together through the design process, leaving you with peace of mind before the big day and that feeling of awe come wedding day. 

Designing a space