Run for the Roses: Wedding Ideas Inspired by the Kentucky Derby

Can’t make it to Churchill Downs this year for the Kentucky Derby? Then bring a little thoroughbred tradition to your big day! Read on for the Kentucky Derby inspired wedding ideas that will leave guests feeling like they just won the Triple Crown.

Kentucky Derby wedding ideas

Photo by HEATHER WARSKSA

Make your wedding best in show. Give your guests an equestrian-themed escort card that also doubles as a favor. Create custom horse ribbons with their seat assignments or display mini lucky horseshoes with table information tied on.

Kentucky Derby wedding ideas

Photography: Gideon Photography

Serve a Southern-inspired signature cocktail. Traditionally, attendees at the Kentucky Derby sip on mint juleps (a mix of bourbon, mint, and simple syrup) in a pewter cup. If you’re not into a sweet signature drink, give guests a taste of Kentucky with a bourbon bar. Serve up different bourbon brands with ginger, simple syrups, flavored water, and soda as mixers.

Kentucky Derby wedding ideas

RED BRIDGE PHOTOGRAPHY

Don your best hat. Derby style is all about wearing a proper topper! Invite guests to wear their favorite hat or fascinator to your reception for a fun vibe. 

Kentucky Derby wedding ideas

RACHELLE RAWLINGS PHOTOGRAPHY

Incorporate vintage Derby details. Search flea markets or eBay for vintage horse racing tickets and betting cards and antique trophies to make a part of your wedding decor.

Kentucky Derby wedding ideas

Photography: Gideon Photography

Earn your racing stripes in the photo booth. Provide Derby-themed props and let guests strike a pose. We recommend having jockey helmets, horse ribbons, trophies, and red roses available for photos.

Kentucky Derby wedding ideas

Photographer:  Paula Player Photography

Take a victory lap. Celebrate the end of your wedding in true Derby style by decorating your getaway car with a lush blanket of red roses. You just married your love — that’s a major win, right?

Kentucky Derby wedding ideas

BRANDY ANGEL PHOTOGRAPHY

For more Kentucky Derby inspired celebrations see our favorite photos below and be sure to bundle your favorites,