It may be hard to believe, but Derby time is upon us friends. I have teamed up with my sweet new friend Mary of Mrs. Southern Social to bring you not one, but TWO Derby parties! Whether you are headed to the races or hosting from home, we have got you covered. Mary and I met a few months ago at TSC Summit and we have hit it off ever since. She is a Nashville native, momma of two, fierce business owner, and life of the party. From the moment that we met, I have said that I need more friends just like her!
Our tastes are very similar, due to our southern upbringings no doubt, but Mary specializes in one area that we all need more of in our lives - Delegation. From food to florals, Mrs. Southern Social is an entertaining blog all about making hosting easy, stress free, and fun. "Southern charm without lifting an arm", that's her motto! If you don't follow her Instagram account yet, do yourself a favor and head there now. You can always count on her to shoot it straight and keep you laughing. Oh, and did I mention that she also owns a wildly successful luxury rental company in Nashville?! You'll find her pieces throughout both of our tables! To quote the movie, "I don't know how she does it!" Now, let's talk Derby!
What To Wear
When choosing our outfits for the Derby parties, we realized just how similar our tastes were. While sending screenshots back and forth, we kept loving the same outfits! Thankfully, Draper James had us covered with these lovely white eyelet dresses in different styles.
White eyelet is such a classic style here in the South that it seemed rather fitting for a Derby event. I love these dresses for the Derby because they each have the perfect amount of detailed charm while being a great neutral to accessorize with a bag and hat. Speaking of hats... Mary made my royal loving life complete when she pulled out a coral fascinator!
There are a few things to keep in mind when dressing for the Derby...
First, make sure your outfit is weather appropriate. May in the South is pretty unpredictable so it is best to be prepared for anything. Breathable fabrics like our cotton dresses will be essential for the hot sun while on the track, but it's always a good idea to bring a light wrap just in case there is a chill in the air. A few of my other dress picks include this embroidered gingham, this ruffled number, and this floral lace.
Second, footwear. If you are going to be at the race, a comfortable block heel or wedge is definitely the way to go. You don't want to be worried about your feet hurting while trying to enjoy the races. This gingham pair would be perfect with a white dress!
Lastly, you'll want a comfortable bag. Your bag should be just as comfortable as your shoes. Trust me, I learned this lesson the hard way at a golf tournament a few years back. When choosing a bag make sure it is light enough if you have to carry it for an extended period of time, but large enough to keep the essentials. If you're a low maintenance kind of girl, you can probably get away with Mary's cute wristlet, but if you're like me and need a little bit of everything "just in case" then a chic mini bag is the way to go.
Hosting at Home
Now that we've got your outfit down, let's talk about hosting! Mary and I wanted to give plenty of inspiration for entertaining at the races, but also at home because we know many people celebrate the Derby by hosting friends and family in the comfort of their own homes. We wanted to hold true to traditional Derby elements such as julep cups, roses, and silver horse shoes, but soften it with a feminine flair.
For hosting at home, we chose to vary from the traditional Derby color scheme by replacing the red with a beautiful coral. This table was inspired by the darling equestrian table linen and napkins found at Pomegranate. Aren't the napkins precious?! We then added Derby elements through silver horseshoes, julep cups, a beautiful floral arrangement in a Derby style trophy vase, and a derby pie. Everyone knows that you can't have a Derby party without a Derby pie! Be on the lookout for this recipe coming to the blog very soon!
Pretty & Packable
Mary took the lead on the "packable party" as it is very fitting for her brand of delegation and years of experience at Nashville's own race, Steeplechase! We chose to keep almost everything in this table disposable for an easy cleanup and packable enough to take from one place to another. Whether you are setting up a box at the race or meeting up with friends to tailgate, this table is for you!
I love how this table is very true to the traditional Derby colors. Mary found these adorable Derby paper plates/napkins and they really pulled the whole table together! We then added individual Derby pies from Sweetie Pies 'n Baby Cakes at each place setting, silver cups, and arrangements of red roses in julep cups!
Be sure to keep an eye out early next week for even more Derby content coming your way!
All photography by Lele Fain of Lele Fain Photography.