Off to the Races: Kentucky Derby Party

Spring has finally arrived, and if you live in Kentucky you know exactly what that means… It’s time for the Kentucky Derby!

One of the most famous horse races, the Derby is held annually on the first Saturday in May. It’s a time to dress up and gather with friends while celebrating Kentucky racing traditions. No Derby Day is complete without fancy attire, big hats, betting, and good ‘ole Kentucky bourbon!

Good News! You don’t have to make the trip to Churchill Downs to celebrate the Derby. It’s just as fun to host your own party with friends. We teamed up with Brittany Hardin at Eden Bliss Weddings to bring you some at-home Derby Party inspiration.
The Kentucky Derby is a long-standing tradition that dates back to 1875. So, if you’re going to host a successful Derby party, you must keep to tradition..but that isn’t to say you can’t add your own personal flare to it!

We switched out those red roses for some white and coral beauties and created a spin on the traditional Bourbon cocktails you might find in the Grandstand. We were inspired by bright colors, fun girl time, and big derby hats to create an at-home party that made us want The Derby to be a year-round event!

Creative Partners:

Design, Styling and Custom Paper: Elizabeth Duncan Events

Photography: Brittany Hardin with Eden Bliss Weddings

Dresses/Hats: AJS Casuals

Featured On: Junebug Weddings

When we want to know what colors are going to be the new “IT” trends for wedding fashion and design, we look to the runways.  Some of this year’s hottest runway trends tell us, that it’s going to be a bright and colorful year for event design.  Learn how you can incorporate these trends by checking out some of the looks from our annual Runway to Table styled shoot that were just featured on Junebug Weddings.


TREND: Hello, Sunshine

Sunshine and happiness go hand in hand. That’s why we took a cue from Jenny Packham and let yellow be our inspiration for a tropical beach-inspired wedding. Palm leaves, pineapples, and plenty of bright yellow blooms are a perfect way to brighten your wedding day.

Runway inspiration: Jenny Packham

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For more ideas on how to incorporate yellow into your next event, follow our Pinterest board.


Styling: Elizabeth Duncan Events

Photography: Sweet Tea Photography

Floral Décor: Philippa Tarrant

Venue: Shakespeare Theatre Company Sidney Harman Hall

Printed Materials: The Dandelion Patch

Table linen: Wildflower

Cocktail linen and china: DC Rental

Chairs, Glassware and Flatware: Party Rental

Hair and Make-up: Alison Harper & Co.

Dress: Hitched Salon, Amy Kuschel

Model: Natalie Rutherford

DIY Pineapple Table Number and Palm Leaf Menu


TREND: Rainbow Bright

Pops of color add a punch here and there, but, this year, the runways were full of rainbow stripes. Blending this trend with bold geometrics and a little Kate Spade preppy chic, resulted in a fun and vibrant Bridal Shower design.


Runway inspiration: Balmain

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For more ideas on how to incorporate rainbow colors into your next event, follow our Pinterest board.


Styling: Elizabeth Duncan Events

Photography: Sweet Tea Photography

Floral Décor: Amaryllis

Venue: Shakespeare Theatre Company Sidney Harman Hall

Printed Materials: Winifred Paper

Linens, chairs and placesettings: DC Rental

DIY Ribbon Ties Chair Accent

DIY Paint Chip Table Number


TREND: Ice Blue – Art Deco Glamour

Incorporating one of the “Cool” colors of the season and another trend all over the runways, brilliant beading, we designed a wedding that encapsulates the glamour and decadence of the early 1920s.

Runway inspiration: Valentino

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For more ideas on how to incorporate ice blue and Art Deco ideas into your next event, follow our Pinterest board.


Styling: Elizabeth Duncan Events

Photography: Sweet Tea Photography

Floral Décor: Distinctive Floral Design

Venue: Shakespeare Theatre Company Sidney Harman Hall

Printed Materials: The Dandelion Patch

Linens and placesettings: DC Rental

Flatware: Party Rental

Chair cover and napkin ring: Wildflower

Hair and Make-up: Alison Harper & Co.

Wedding Gown: Hitched Salon, Amy Kuschel and Modern Trousseau

Model: Stephanie Farina

Featured On: United with Love

One had so much fun designing our annual Runway to Table styled shoot. This year, the stunning Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Sidney Harman Hall provided the ideal backdrop for seven event designs inspired by this season’s hottest runway trends. Our first look, Check the Box, was featured on United with Love this week. Be sure to check back each week for a new Runway to Table inspiration.  For more ideas on incorporating this runway trend into your next event, check out our Pinterest board.


Runway Trend:  Gingham, plaid, check patterns

Designer Inspiration: Derek Lam

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Styling: Elizabeth Duncan Events

Photography: Sweet Tea Photography

Floral Décor: Philippa Tarrant

Venue: Shakespeare Theatre Company Sidney Harman Hall

Printed Materials: Winifred Paper

Linens and Flatware: Party Rental

China, Glassware and Chairs: DC Rental

DIY Bread Sleeve Placecards


Introducing Petite Parties


STP Reese2b

Are you planning a birthday party (young or old), bridal shower, baby shower, or other life celebration and need a little guidance and creative inspiration to pull it all together with style? Then, we can help!  Introducing:

Petite Party Planning

  • A phone consultation where we learn about your party needs and desired style
  • 3 Developed Themes
  • Sourcing: 5 recommended sources for bringing your theme to life
  • 3 DIY craft projects to make it personal
  • 3 favor recommendation(s)
  • Suggestions for successful and theme-centric menu items

Custom Petite Party Package

May include, local vendor referrals, on-site staffing, sourcing and securing vendors (i.e. caterer, entertainment, etc

Contact us today for details and fees!

Photo credit: Sweet Tea Photography

Featured: Say Squeeze!


We had so much fun designing this citrus-inspired “Hello, Sunshine!” branding party with a few of our industry favorites, which is featured on today.  The signature bar highlighted local obsession, Don Ciccio e Figli artisanal Italian liqueurs, and the custom suspended shelves featured another local superstar, Jrink Juicery cold-pressed juices.  Decor of bright pops of yellow, orange, green and pink, with geometric patterns added zest to the party.  The custom Step and Repeat by Winifred Paper and custom swag boxes by Gift and Gander are two brilliant examples of how great design can make a lasting impression for your guests.


We are so grateful to our incredible vendor partners:

Longview Gallery


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Want to try some of our DIY projects at home?  Here you go:
DIY Citrus Fruit Garland/Chandelier
Cardstock or similar weight paper in citrus colors
fishing line
wooden dowels
Either make a template or free-hand cut in a pointed oval/leaf shape:
4 pieces of Yellow: 5″ long x 2″ wide
4 pieces of Pink: 6″ long x 3″ wide
4 pieces of Green: 4″ long x 1.75″ wide
Repeat to desired amount of fruit.  We also cut small green leaf accents.  Attached paper fruit to fishing line at desired intervals.  Attach garlands to wooden dowels.  These can be hung linearly to create a backdrop or clustered together as in the photo to create a “chandelier.”
DIY Geometric Floor Pattern
1 roll gaffers tape, orange
1 roll gaffers tape, yellow
measuring tape

We measured and cut the tape to create 4 squares that were 2ft x 2ft with 1 ft in between squares on all sides.  We then measured and cut the opposite color tape and centered for a 3ft x 3ft square.



2015 Design Trends

We are thrilled to present our annual wrap up of fashion, interior design and food trends, now in it’s fifth year and still one of our most popular blog topics. First up, 2015 Interior Design Trends.

When designing for an event, we use a broad palette of sources – colors, textures, historical reference, balance, the taste and style of our client and the best way to function in a space. Interior designers are often using the same factors when they are working in a client’s living space.  For us, interior design is a natural source for event design.  A favorite local designer, Joanna Fletcher Abizaid with Cline Rose Designs, has added some interesting perspective as well.  Inspiration is everywhere, all you have to do is look!


2015 Interior Design Trends

Dark Blues

“‘Marsala’ might be Pantone’s color of the year, but dark blues are having a major moment in 2015. Blue is one of those universal colors that appeals to almost everyone, and it’s super versatile. Pair the saturated tone with blush, kelly green, or even black,” says Joanna.

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Via Pinterest:

Mixed Metals:

Joanna adds, “Brass is still back in big way this year, but to keep it on trend, we’re mixing it with other metals. The trick is to keep the warm metals (brass and gold) aged, dull and /or brushed and the cool ones (the silvery tones) polished and shiny. Take it a step further and add a third matte black finish to mix.”

Cline Rose Designs 5(1)

Cline Rose Designs

Smoky Glass

We’ve noticed that glass in all it’s forms is always going to be a big player – from curios to tabletop to light fixtures.  This year, ditch the crystal clear and opt for some darker glass pieces for a little more mystery.

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Via Pinterest:

Artistic Rugs

Have your floor be the centerpiece of your room with major statement rugs.

Suzani HGTV


Color Pop

Jazz up white walls or a neutral palette with an accent of a bold hue.

Via Pinterest:

Via Pinterest:

Bold Wallcovering – Tile & Wallpaper

Goodbye white subway tile or painted walls, hello bold patterns and colors.





For more trends, photo references, and more, visit our Pinterest board.


Special thanks to Joanna at Cline Rose, and our fabulous intern, Caitrin, for their contributions!

Featured On: Pretty My Party

Call Me Sweetheart Valentine’s Party for Kids

Inspired by the sweet endearments we all have for our little loves, Hillary had so much fun putting together this petite party inspiration for Valentine’s Day.  So excited to have her creativity and talent featured on Pretty My Party! Be sure to click here to see how you can host a party like this at home.

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Thank you to our fabulous team!

Styling: Hillary Offutt, Elizabeth Duncan Events 

Photography: Katie Browne Photography 

Invitations, Calligraphy and Artwork: Sarah Bohl Designs and Mary deStefano

Flowers: Helen Olivia

Desserts: Kendall’s Cakes



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Featured On: The Knot

We’re enjoying some trumpet fanfare here at having one of our favorite weddings from last year published in the current issue of The Knot, available on stands Nationwide now.  Rebecca and Frans’ London wedding was romantic and fun, personal and memorable.  We cherish all of our clients, but it is extra special when we get to help a former employee and close friend plan their wedding day.  Be sure to pick up your copy now and check out the sneak peek below.

TheKnot 2015 London wedding Elizabeth Duncan

TheKnot RebeccaFrans London

Sweet Soirees: DIY Sugar Plum 1st Birthday


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December birthdays can be tough and I know, first hand, because I have one- and now, so does my daughter.  I want her birthdays to feel as special as those “lucky” kids who get to have pool party birthdays in the summer.  We celebrated Courtney’s first birthday by embracing the holiday spirit with a theme of Our Sugar Plum is Turning 1!  It was a festive affair that lent itself well for a little girl’s birthday party.  My favorite details included the paper-doll ballerina garland, a tulle tutu for my little one, ballerina cupcake toppers, Amazingly Good Eggnog, and party cracker favors.

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Most of the party was DIY, but I could not have done it without a little help from these sources:

Paper Goods from Meri Meri and World Market

“More Merry Please” Disposable Cups from Pier 1 Imports

Custom Onsie from Etsy Shop, Ortinau Art

Tutu from Etsy Shop, SimplyElegant93

Happy Birthday Banner and Snowflake Garland from Etsy Shop, EMTsweetie


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Happy Birthday Courtney!!!

~ Hillary

#BTS: A Touch of Velvet

We’ve been busy getting in the holiday spirit and have been drawing so much inspiration from gorgeous velvet. An incredibly versatile fabric that is equally comfortable in elegant, luxurious or modern, playful designs.  For more holiday inspiration, visit our Happy Holidays Pinterest board.

EDE Trend Velvet


Photo credits:  Dress, Pants, Bow Ties; Wreath, Placesetting, Tablescape; Ornament, Gift, Gift, Boxes