Wedding Trends Look Book 2015: Derby

This special couple needed help to transform their venue—a vast historic space with “blank page” potential—into two distinct ceremony and reception spaces. The goal was fun, romantic, and rustic, but not rustic in the way of burlap and mason jars; the bride wanted more of a southern derby wedding vibe. This was achieved with horseshoes, an oversized horse painting, and signature cocktails of Mint Julep and Oaks Lily, a nod to her Indiana roots and her favorite sporting event, The Kentucky Derby.

Industrial wedding venue in Minneapolis

For the ceremony, we created a massive vertical flower hedge adorned with thousands of pastel roses as a backdrop. We used back-lit drapery on either side of the aisle to “hide” the reception tables and lit hundreds of candles along the aisle to set a romantic ambiance. We selected a bolt of weathered damask fabric as our aisle runner and beautiful mahogany chiavari chairs added to the warmth of the room.

The couple had strong opinions about music. The groom decided the groomsmen would walk down to “Into the Mystic” by Van Morrison; while the bride walked down—in a stunning Reem Acra gown— to Ellie Goulding’s “Your Song.” The couple exchanged the vows they had each written, and once they were pronounced man and wife, chose “You’re My Best Friend” by Queen as their recessional.

After the ceremony, guests were guided to a cocktail reception in the lobby for appetizers, photos, and cocktails. A large bar was placed under the seven oversized crystal chandeliers in the lobby. Gold satin linens topped hightop linens as wait staff passed mint juleps. During that time, we removed the draped walls and set up reception tables of various heights as well as decorating the room with peonies, David Austin English roses, and garden roses.

We set the reception space with a variety of tables. Wood hightops, with spin-up stools, a set of four tasting tables with spin-out stools, cocktail tables seating four guests, which featured (description of Linen) and larger tables seating eight that featured ivory quilted linens. Varied arrangements topped each set of tables. Some featured hobnail glass vases, other tall silver trophy-style trumpet vases.  We mixed in gold horseshoes we had painted to bring a bit of glamour to the vintage derby-style reception tables.

The room featured two separate bars (a his and her’s bar). Her bar featured a hedge backdrop and a gold tufted bar with two crystal chandeliers hung above. His bar featured a masculine look with a black tufted bar and an oversized painting of a horse. In front of each bar was a lounge setting with tufted sofas and large silver wood coffee tables.

Industrial wedding bar lounge

An oversized harvest table, for the bridal party, featured gold sequin linens. We selected two blue velvet oval back chairs for the bride and groom. An eclectic assortment of candles and flower centerpieces ran the length of the table. Flowers flowed from wood boxes, small mercury glass containers and tall glass vases. Behind the couple another wall of green hedge filled with roses completed the look along with three crystal chandeliers hung above the table. Above the vibrant reception space we hung Italian lights that cast a warm glow over the entire space.

The menu was an eclectic mix of the couple’s favorite foods. An interactive wok station included rice and noodle options, Teriyaki chicken, baked tofu, spicy shrimp, and Szechuan pork.

Accompaniments included fresh vegetables, water chestnuts, chopped peanuts, and wonton strips. Another station featured bookshelves filled with bites that included beef lettuce wraps, mini carnitas tostada, and mini vegetable egg rolls.

The wedding party (all 16 bridesmaids and groomsmen) entered to “Everybody” by the Backstreet Boys. The couple shared their first dance to “You’re the One” by The Black Keys.

This celebration was a party for the ages—a little bit of glitter, romantic shades of blush, gold, and light orange, a venue as unique as the couple, and traces of their personality found in every corner, from the vows, song selections, and the food.


Photos by Brandon Werth Photography