Their Kentucky Derby party was filled with beautiful hats, preppy outfits, delicious food and mint juleps that were a little too tasty!
We arrived in Jacksonville late Thursday night and spent most of the day on Friday prepping for the party. My parents had 70 people RSVP so we had a lot of work to do! (Side note: My parents are clearly way cooler than me. I don’t think I even know 70 people!) When my mom stayed with us in Charlotte two weeks ago, we found a bunch of Kentucky Derby-themed recipes to make so we got to work prepping brown butter cupcakes, bourbon pecans (<— SO good and highly recommended!), Kentucky Derby pie bars, mini ham and cheese sandwiches, baked brie, bacon-wrapped crackers and more.
I actually really enjoy party prep and had fun playing music and spending the day in the kitchen with my mom while my dad worked on organizing and assembling everything we needed from a beverage standpoint. (Ryan had to work remotely on Friday so he popped in and out when he could!)
Chase was highly entertained by all the party prep fun when he was awake (apparently the noise a box of crackers makes when you shake it is solid gold to a baby) and I felt grateful that he was in a good mood and napped well so we were able to be productive even with a nine-month-old in the mix.
Saturday morning we set everything up and tied up loose ends before guests began to arrive. My mom did the most amazing job with some of the party decorations and it was neat to see everything come together. She bought photo booth props off Etsy for a fun photo booth station and made her own table cloths from Kentucky Derby fabric she found at JoAnn’s. So crafty!
She also made a big board with all of the horses names on it which was very helpful since the nametags my parents had available for guests had a special spot for them write in the name of the horse they were rooting for before they came in for the party! It was a great ice breaker since not all party guests knew each other and since those who selected a winning horse won a little bottle of bourbon or whiskey praline pecans, it was a festive and fun little game, too!
The party passed by in a flash and I enjoyed meeting so many of my parents friends and introducing them to the newest member of our family.
Everyone seemed to enjoy sipping on the mint juleps, taking pictures and chatting away until race time.
Once it was time for the race, everyone gathered around the TV to watch the 142nd Kentucky Derby!
After the excitement of the race, those who selected the winning horse received a prize, as did the man and woman who received the most votes for the best outfit and the best hat, respectively.
Though the party was set to end an hour or so after the race, people ended up hanging out for quite a while which was a lot of fun! I know my parents loved having their friends and family together in one place and I’m so glad we were able to make it to their big party.
It was hard to get on the road on Sunday morning but such a treat to be able to hug my mom and wish her a Happy Mother’s Day in person! We had such a great weekend with my family and even though seeing them always makes me wish we lived closer, I’m grateful for the ability to drive six hours and be able to see our favorite people. I hope we see them again very soon!