Kentucky Derby Wedding Ideas Perfect for the Preppy Bride

Wedding Style & Decor
Southern Social Mood Board

Photo: Reese Allen; Spencer Higgins; Courtesy of Tiffany & Co.; Brandon Kidd Photography; Courtesy of Carolina Herrera; Gorman Studio; Courtesy of Ralph Lauren; Courtesy of Roxanne Floquet Cake Design

It's Kentucky Derby season, so put on your chicest sundress, mix up some mint juleps, and meet us on the veranda! You don't have to get married below the Mason-Dixon to pull off a wedding with ladylike southern flair. Just start with a clean, classic palette, then add preppy-chic details and a few nods to the racetrack. Choose blooms like magnolias, camellias, and dogwood and your wedding will have the look and feel (and scent!) of a true southern soirée. What are you waiting for? Your southern belle bridesmaids are already slipping on their pearls!

First and foremost, choose a venue where fresh air and the southern sunshine can set the mood. An elaborate wedding tent set up beneath leafy green oak trees is just the spot for your society social. As for invites, choose classic calligraphy, complemented by a big bloomed print that'll have your guests wedding ready the moment it arrives in the mail.

Incorporate more southern stylings in your big day ensemble. You'll be as pretty as magnolias in May wearing a botanic bridal gown. This Carolina Herrera floral frock, with a hand-painted silk-taffeta bodice is an oh-so-subtle nod to plantation gardens and down south blooms. Clutch a bouquet of creamy, classic anemones, wrapped with preppy, striped ribbon, and don't forget a horseshoe necklace — your own little good luck charm (so you don't trip down that aisle...) — to complete the luxe look.

See More: 9 Fancy Floral Dresses to Wear to Your Engagement Party

As your guests wine and dine, have tons of classic cocktails on hand, toting a few classic, southern flavors — think mint, bourbon, and spiked sweet tea. (Trust us, they'll be much obliged.) And don't forget the racetrack-inspired cocktail stirrers, y'all. A pretty and posh wedding cake — complete with a few classic, preppy details — is guaranteed to be the sweetest end to your southern soirée.

Looks like you just won the blue ribbon in excellent bridal style!

1. Bouquet, $325, Fleurs NYC; 2. Necklace, $1,150, Tiffany & Co.; 3. Wedding dress, $6,990, Carolina Herrera; 4. "Wentworth" cocktail picks, $150 for six, Ralph Lauren Home; 5. Magnolia invitations, starting at $400 for 100, Citrus Press Co.; 6. Wedding cake, price upon request, Roxanne Floquet Cake Design

Pick up the BRIDES April/May 2016 issue, on newsstands now and available for download here. And subscribe now for the best wedding dresses, advice, and big-day inspiration.

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