Ashley Brooke - J.McLaughlin - Derby Party v - 12

Outfit Details:

J.McLaughlin top, belt, pants, shoes c/o // Bobbi Brown Lipstick in “Sunset”  // Tuckernuck Earrings (old, similar here here)

Let’s Throw a Party!

Listen, I am practically always game to throw a party, and now that our backyard finally is looking a lot less scary, I’m legitimately making up reasons to have people over! And the Kentucky Derby seems like a good enough reason as any! Here are all the details on this Derby themed setup – the flowers, table settings, outfits and the BEST Peach Julep cocktail recipe.

Setting Details: 

Lettermade Monogramed Napkins // Silver Vase // Juliska  Placemats , Striped Plates, Flatware , Water Glasses, Wine GlassesMini Vases ,Tea Light Holders c/o // Caitlin Wilson Floral Napkins 

Over the years I’ve been collecting table settings, linens, and glassware. I’m not typically a “collecting” type person, but I honestly can’t help myself when it comes to tabletop items. Linen napkins and pretty plates make me so downright happy, so I just keep collecting them.  Each year we have to find new and inventive ways to store them. Ha! At some point Ryan is going to have to either stop me or get me a “entertaining” storage unit. 

Mixing Dinnerware

One of my favorite things about setting a table for any event is mixing and matching my collection. I love for a table to look curated and thoughtful. And I love when pieces have stories, like those small round highball glasses. They were my grandmother’s and the vintage champagne couplets we’re a gift from my best friend. Pieces that have meaning make a table feel layered and special. 

Also, I can’t move on without mentioning the monogramed napkins from my girlfriend Malia, who owns Lettermade. These seem to make their way onto almost every table setting I put together. 

Derby ‘Trophy’ Centerpieces

Another one of my favorite things about throwing a party is making centerpieces. Ryan and I always talk about how one day we’d love to own a flower/coffee shop, and how we missed our callings as florists/baristas! I love flowers more than most and literally could spend all day putting them together.  Setting a table and arranging flowers fills my love take to the MAX. I even did the flowers at our wedding… There is something so therapeutic about snipping and arranging, because let’s be real, there’s really no “wrong” way to do it! (side note, here’s a post on where we get our flowers locally if you’re interested!)

When I was thinking about shooting a Derby party my first thought besides “what am I going to wear?”, was “what should the flowers go in?”! I knew right off the bat I wanted some sort of “trophy” type vase and when I stumbled upon these on Amazon I ordered them on the spot! I’m so glad I did because I am OBSESSED with the way they turned out. 

A Casual Derby Outfit

After I secured the flower situation, I then moved on to the outfit situation. As you know, I’ve been wearing these white pants non-stop lately (proof), I feel like they go with everything, plus they are truly just so comfortable! But when I saw this silk Derby shirt I thought “YASSSS, now that’s a look!”

As soon as it came in I slipped it on and felt instantly like myself in it. There’s nothing better than a slightly over-sized silk button up.  Also, when I’m entertaining I like to be able to move, you know?! I would rather have my attention focused on my guests and not constantly fussing with my outfit, and this totally fit the bill. It’s put-together, not overly fussy, and well… cute! 

Peach Julep Recipe, A Twist on a Classic!

And last but most definitely not least, a signature cocktail (… or two!). Call me crazy, but I love a good whisky cocktail so I’m definitely game to get creative for Derby weekend.  The Mint Julep is typically the cocktail of the weekend, but while doing a little research I stumbled across this Peach Julep recipe adapted from Broma Bakery and, y’all, it’s GOOD. I wholeheartedly recommend you whipping up this cocktail over the weekend. It’s truly delicious.

Peach Julep Recipe
Ingredients(1 cocktail)
  • 1/8 ripe peach, diced
  • 6 mint leaves
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 oz rye bourbon
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • crushed ice
For 1 pitcher (approx. 8 cocktails)
  • 1 ripe peach, diced
  • 40 mint leaves
  • 3 scant tablespoons sugar
  • 12 oz rye bourbon*
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice

Hopefully this post inspires you to call your friends over this weekend, set the table, and mix up a pitcher of cocktails! Happy Derby weekend, friends!


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  1. Hi! There are asterisks next to the bourbon in the ingredients list. Is there a reference to go with those? I like to know if a particular bourbon is recommended. 🙂 Than you!

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