Now that May is upon us (okay, who am I kidding- it’s HERE), it means that I can finally share these amazing Kentucky Derby wedding ideas with you all! This isn’t just *any* inspiration shoot though- there’s a little bit of a story to it: Some of you may know that I recently moved back to my hometown of Ocala, sometimes also known as the “Horse Capital of the World”. Needless to say, the Kentucky Derby is an event that is most certainly frequented, watched, and celebrated by just about everyone in this Central Florida town. So for the first official ELD inspiration shoot in my new city, it was quite fitting to do something that was not only gorgeous, but would give a nod to the culture of the town of Ocala too!
I asked my friend Emily of Emily Grace Design to help me plan and design this Kentucky Derby themed wedding inspiration since she and I grew up in Ocala together, and she knows the town just as well (if not better) than I do. Wanting to put a little bit of a twist on the typical Kentucky Derby wedding ideas that are out there, we chose a bright color palette and paired it with elements that were both eclectic and elegant. The end result was the perfect amount of “twist” on a normally traditional style. The amazing Shea Hopely Flowers created some of the most stunning florals I’ve ever seen, the details are amazing, and Caroline & Evan Photography captured everything perfectly! (PS: we even have a mint julep with a twist too, plus a recipe so you can make some for yourself this weekend!)
From Emily Grace Design:
There are so many reasons why we wanted to do a Kentucky Derby inspired shoot. The Kentucky Derby is an incredible event that is rich in tradition and exudes beauty, grace, and Southern charm. It’s hard not to be inspired by all the events and pure spectacle that surround this race from the parties, attire of the spectators, the delicious food and drinks, the bright spring colors, and the excitement and cheers from the crowd as the horses round the final turn and head towards the finish line.
The Kentucky Derby takes place every year on the first Saturday in May, and Ocala has great ties to horse racing and is often recognized as the training ground for many horses that race in the Derby. The property at Longwood Farm South was the perfect venue to capture the charm of the Derby with it’s rolling hills, long tree-lined drives, and horses galloping through the pastures.
Shea of Shea Hopely Flowers created gorgeous arrangements full of bright colored flowers including the race’s iconic rose. We chose to take a spin on the Run for the Roses, and ventured from the red roses and tied in a bright rich color palette of emerald green, mint, and peach . Elizabeth of Just Press Print brought in a mix of modern and vintage patterns and typography in the stationary suite with pinstripes and soft floral patterns to capture the modern era of this longstanding tradition of racing. Chef’s Garden Catering & Events created a beautiful spread of light bites and a twist on the traditional mint juleps with their peach infused mint julep. For dessert, we decided to focus on a few southern treats rather than a formal wedding cake by featured a one layer Spider Cake by Betty Cakes, a red velvet bunt cake, and Derby Pie.
And we have recipe cards for you in case you want to make some Derby Pie or Peach Ginger Juleps this weekend!
I have to send a BIG thank you to our couple who modeled for us, Lindsey and Justin! These two are SO adorable and they rocked the modeling! And of course, a huge thank you to all of the vendors who came together to create this gorgeous inspiration for us! I still can’t get over all of the beauty!!
What I love most about this inspiration is that the details, florals, and design are SO gorgeous, and they don’t *have* to be translated as “Kentucky Derby” inspired- they would be perfect for all kinds of weddings!
So what do you think? Will you be using any of these stunning Kentucky Derby wedding ideas for your own wedding?
Vendors who made it all happen…
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