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Derbies make for such a fun time of year – the hats, the horses, the flowers. It’s all beautiful and creates a sense of fun, even though the races themselves are short! If you are a lover of horses, a derby e-session just may be a fun theme for you to play on, and that’s what was done for this adorable styled shoot. Take a peek today – and it comes complete with a mint julep recipe!

Derby E-session as seen on Hill City Bride Virginia Wedding Blog Styled Shoot - horse, hat, farm, engagement, ring

Here are fun things to notice about this derby e-session.

  • I adore the copper cups AND straws – such a fun, modern element. Also, be sure to notice the ring shot below where the ring is on the edge of the glass held by the straw. Super cute! Plus, I adore details, so all of the mint julep shots are perfection.
  • What’s not to love about a derby horse? Complete with a floral wreath, this lovely steed is styling!
  • This session has lots of COLOR! His bow tie and socks, her dress, the flowers and even the detailing of the horse’s harness all add to the overall plethora of lovely colors utilized in this derby e-session shoot. Pretty!
  • And isn’t this couple the cutest? The laughs, the smiles… so adorable!

Enjoy this fun styled engagement session today!

Derby E-session as seen on Hill City Bride Virginia Wedding Blog Styled Shoot - horse, hat, farm, engagement, ring

Derby E-session as seen on Hill City Bride Virginia Wedding Blog Styled Shoot - horse, hat, farm, engagement, ringDerby E-session as seen on Hill City Bride Virginia Wedding Blog Styled Shoot - horse, hat, farm, engagement, ring

Ok, after all of those mint julep images, I think it’s time for a specialty cocktail recipe!

Minted Simple Syrup

Ingredients

  • water (one cup)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • bunch of mint

Method

  • Stir together water and sugar and heat slowly in a saucepan over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved.
  • Increase the heat and let the liquid simmer for 5 minutes stirring every once in a while.
  • Add mint leaves and take the pan off the heat, and let the mixture steep for 15 minutes.
  • Strain out the mint leaves, and chill the syrup. This mixture last for a week or so covered in the fridge.

Mint Julep

Ingredients – makes 2 drinks

  • 1 ounce minted simple syrup
  • 2 cups crushed ice
  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • fresh mint

Method

  • To whatever cup you desire (we love silver, copper or highball), add a half ounce minted simple syrup, 1 cup crushed ice, half of the bourbon and a splash of water.
  • Stir.
  • Add more ice to fill the glass.
  • Garnish with mint – drink and enjoy!

Derby E-session as seen on Hill City Bride Virginia Wedding Blog Styled Shoot - horse, hat, farm, engagement, ringDerby E-session as seen on Hill City Bride Virginia Wedding Blog Styled Shoot - horse, hat, farm, engagement, ringDerby E-session as seen on Hill City Bride Virginia Wedding Blog Styled Shoot - horse, hat, farm, engagement, ringDerby E-session as seen on Hill City Bride Virginia Wedding Blog Styled Shoot - horse, hat, farm, engagement, ringDerby E-session as seen on Hill City Bride Virginia Wedding Blog Styled Shoot - horse, hat, farm, engagement, ringDerby E-session as seen on Hill City Bride Virginia Wedding Blog Styled Shoot - horse, hat, farm, engagement, ringDerby E-session as seen on Hill City Bride Virginia Wedding Blog Styled Shoot - horse, hat, farm, engagement, ringDerby E-session as seen on Hill City Bride Virginia Wedding Blog Styled Shoot - horse, hat, farm, engagement, ringDerby E-session as seen on Hill City Bride Virginia Wedding Blog Styled Shoot - horse, hat, farm, engagement, ringDerby E-session as seen on Hill City Bride Virginia Wedding Blog Styled Shoot - horse, hat, farm, engagement, ringDerby E-session as seen on Hill City Bride Virginia Wedding Blog Styled Shoot - horse, hat, farm, engagement, ringDerby E-session as seen on Hill City Bride Virginia Wedding Blog Styled Shoot - horse, hat, farm, engagement, ringDerby E-session as seen on Hill City Bride Virginia Wedding Blog Styled Shoot - horse, hat, farm, engagement, ringDerby E-session as seen on Hill City Bride Virginia Wedding Blog Styled Shoot - horse, hat, farm, engagement, ringDerby E-session as seen on Hill City Bride Virginia Wedding Blog Styled Shoot - horse, hat, farm, engagement, ring

Kentucky Derby Styled Shoot from Aubrey Griffin Johnson on Vimeo.

Vendors:

Craving more derby inspiration? How about a Kentucky Derby themed wedding. Take a peek here!

  • Jenn - Thank you so much!! I love the photos that you chose! I can’t wait to show it off!!!

  • Mary's Flower Works - This was a great shoot to be part of with such wonderful vendors. I’m so glad it is on Hill City Bride, Lovely write up!

If you are planning a shower for a bride who loves to travel and try new things, then this theme might be perfect! Our adventure bridal shower inspiration board via Beau Coup contains a lot of fun ideas to incorporate into your own event.

Affiliate links are within this post, which help keep our blog up and running! 

Adventure Bridal Shower Inspiration as seen on Hill City Bride Wedding Blog - blush, cake topper, favors

Our adventure bridal shower ideas flow clockwise starting with the top left. Enjoy!

  • Looking for overall inspiration? Then check here, but don’t let that spoil the fun of letting us tell you our favorites!
  • These wood table numbers are fun to pop into a floral centerpiece! They don’t take up any more table space, and they add an element of fun to the arrangement. Plus, they will be easy for your guests to find and identify. Cute! Wood Table Numbers, $27 per set of 6
  • These clear globes are the cutest, and they do double duty as favor holders. So cute! Fill them with whatever coordinates with your theme, and you could even choose green and blue to look like a real globe. Mini Globe Party Favor, $5/2
  • Love wood? This cute cake topper says “Our Greatest Adventure” which is perfect for an adventure bridal shower, and it can be reused at the wedding. Adorable, and it’s quite a steal! Adventure Cake Topper, $25
  • Why not give a useful gift as a favor for a shower or wedding? This credit card sized bottle opener is perfect – especially for a bachelorette party – so fun! Wood Bottle Opener, $1-$3 each
  • Want something to hold your favors? These personalized mason jars are so cute! I adore that they are wrapped with genuine ivy, too. Adorable! Order them in quantities of 12, and fill them with whatever you’d like. Personalized Mason Jars, $21-$28 per dozen

Want more? Ok! Here is a travel themed DIY for a wedding favor if the above aren’t to your liking. And if you love the above theme, there are plenty of other things to inspire you here. Here are some shower food ideas, too, from our very own blog. Happy planning!

Adventure Themed Bridal Shower as seen on Beau Coup and Hill City Bride Wedding Blog

A perk of living in Virginia is that the coastline never seems too far away, so a waterside Virginia Beach wedding is within reach! With lovely marinas and picturesque views, Jonathan and Melissa’s nuptials just may convince you to have your own coastal wedding. Stunning!

A Waterside Virginia Beach Wedding as seen on Hill City Bride Virginia Wedding Blog - navy, lavender, purple, coastal

Here are a few of my favorite things about this Virginia Beach wedding.

  • The color combination of navy and hues of purple is unique and oh so lovely. From the groomsmen’s style to the wedding bouquets, these subtle tones are lovely and stunning. Be sure to take notes of the glasses the bridesmaids are holding, which are specially painted in navy and lavender, too.
  • The groomsmen seemed to have fun, fun, fun! From showing off their fun socks to doing the dab, you can tell this group of guys had a great time.
  • From the attendants and officiant, I love seeing the gorgeous rainbow of skin tones involved in this event. Spectacular!
  • Can we just pause and take note of the wow factor of the post-wedding photos of the couple? Having your event by the water lends itself to memorable images – I adore the one of the groom jumping.
  • Not sure what kind of wedding cake to offer? Why not have several flavors? That’s what Jonathan and Melissa did – delicious!
  • A bubble sendoff? Perfect!

I hope you enjoy this Virginia Beach wedding today. This couple is too cute!

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Vendors:

Whether you are looking for a DIY wedding favor or having a military wedding and need some super cute Americana decor, these ribbon flags are a trifeca – budget friendly, easy to make and adorable! Be sure to consider making one, even if it is just to add to your home’s decor as you show your pride in the USA.

Patriotic DIY Wedding Favor as seen on Hill City Bride Virginia Wedding Blog and Magazine - 4th of July, military, flag, ribbon flag, americana

Here is a list of what you will need for your own DIY wedding favor.

  • Ribbon in red, white and blue (I chose cream hues instead of stark white for a more aged feel). The amount of ribbon and the width is dependent on the size flag you are making. Thinner strips are better for smaller ribbon flags and wider pieces are better for larger flags. An excellent online source for varied patterns can be found here.
  • Jute twine, found here.
  • A stick from your backyard.
  • Scissors.

Instructions:

After you gather your supplies (shown below left), cut 7 strips of red ribbon, 6 strips of white (or cream) ribbon and 5 strips of blue ribbon. The length of these pieces will be determined by the size flag you would like, the size of ribbon and also the length of your stick. You will be doubling the ribbon, so be sure to cut it TWICE as long as you would like your flag strips to be. Cut the red and white stripes to approximately the same length.

Cut the blue pieces to be half the length of the red and white ones. For the large flag, my strips were around 30″ long (therefore the blue ones about 15″), and for the small one, my red and white strips were around 18″ long (therefore the blue ones around 9″). Patriotic DIY Wedding Favor as seen on Hill City Bride Virginia Wedding Blog and Magazine - 4th of July, military, flag, ribbon flag, americana

Start with a red ribbon piece, and use – best I can tell it’s called a cow hitch knot – a simple knot to attach it to the stick. It’s more of a loop that you feed the ends through.Patriotic DIY Wedding Favor as seen on Hill City Bride Virginia Wedding Blog and Magazine - 4th of July, military, flag, ribbon flag, americanaBegin alternating red and white ribbons.

It is VERY IMPORTANT that all of your knots face the same way (see left photo). Basically you are creating the red, white, red… pattern of the flag by alternating ribbon colors.

Once you have completed knot #8 (doing red, white, red, white, red, white, red, white), then add in your first blue piece of ribbon. Then continue with your red and white pattern while inserting a blue ribbon in the opposite direction every other one. The pattern is – red, blue, white, blue, red, blue, white…etc. – until you reach the very end. Again, be sure that your blue ribbons only are knotted in the opposite direction (see right photo). Patriotic DIY Wedding Favor as seen on Hill City Bride Virginia Wedding Blog and Magazine - 4th of July, military, flag, ribbon flag, americanaOnce you have used all of the ribbon pieces, tie your twine using simple knots on either end so that you can utilize the twine as a hanger for the ribbon flag (see left photo below). Then tighten the loops and scrunch them towards each other to make sure that they are close together.

At this time separate out your blue knots from the red and white ones. Again, the blue loop knots should be facing the opposite direction). This is so when you hang it, the blue ribbons will be on top of the red and white to create the blue patch on the flag (see right photo).

Patriotic DIY Wedding Favor as seen on Hill City Bride Virginia Wedding Blog and Magazine - 4th of July, military, flag, ribbon flag, americanaNow you are ready to hang your flag!

The beauty of this project is that if you aren’t happy with the length of the ribbon, you can feel free to trim the ends until you find a size you like. I made two different flags – a smaller one (left) and a little bit of a larger one (right). I think I like the tiny one better. It’s perfect to impress your guests with your DIY wedding favor skills, right? Patriotic DIY Wedding Favor as seen on Hill City Bride Virginia Wedding Blog and Magazine - 4th of July, military, flag, ribbon flag, americana

Whether you choose to use these as a DIY wedding favor, wedding decor or as a piece of Americana art to utilize in your home, I think it is a fun way to have a nontraditional flag as an accent piece. So adorable! These would be perfect for a military wedding, the 4th of July or even Memorial Day. Enjoy!

Seeking extra inspiration from original DIYs on our blog? Check here for budget friendly, plantable favors!

Be sure to check out our how to video below from Daytime Blue Ridge!

When it comes to throwing a bridal shower or having a wedding or even a backyard BBQ, sometimes it’s fun to go the extra mile to do something special. That’s what our DIY silverware pouch is all about! I mean you COULD just stack up napkins and silverware for your guests, but why not create these inexpensive, adorable holders for your individual guests? Whether you lay them at each place setting or have folks get them while they are in line, these are just perfect for your event!

Custom DIY Silverware Pouches as seen on Hill City Bride Wedding Blog for Events and Parties

We are going to start by making the patriotic DIY silverware pouch.

Supplies (this is for one set, so multiply by the number of sets you need, and some affiliate links are included):

  • Paper bag without a gusset at the bottom – here is a great source for patterned bags, here is a great source for kraft paper ones
  • Two small white bags found here
  • Fun napkin that is slightly larger than the bag, here are good patterned options
  • Set of plastic silverware (knife, fork, spoon), options here
  • Cute paper straw (endless adorable options here!)
  • Small decorative clothespin (cute hand dyed options here)
  • Twine
  • Marker
  • Scissors
  • Hole punch (optional)
  • Salt and pepper

DIY Silverware Pouches as seen on Hill City Bride Lynchburg Virginia Wedding Blog and Magazine

Now you’re ready to start making your DIY silverware pouch. So fun!

Start by taking your napkin so that the point will stick up out of the bag, and fold the ends in so that the napkin is slightly smaller than the width of the bag (below left). Then slide the napkin into the bag so that it sticks out slightly (below right).

DIY Silverware Pouches as seen on Hill City Bride Lynchburg Virginia Wedding Blog and Magazine

Take your two smaller bags, and write “salt” on one and “pepper” on the other (below left). These are SO ADORABLE. Fill the pouches with a 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. THEN fold the top edge of the bags down so that one is longer than the other so that you can see the writing on both (below right). So cute! DIY Silverware Pouches as seen on Hill City Bride Lynchburg Virginia Wedding Blog and Magazine

Slide the back fold of the salt and pepper pouches over the edge of the envelope (below left), and use the clothespin to clip the salt and pepper bags to the larger bag (below right). It’s starting to take shape!
DIY Silverware Pouches as seen on Hill City Bride Lynchburg Virginia Wedding Blog and MagazineSlide in your straw and disposable cutlery, and find a height that works for you (below left) for everything to peek out of the bag. Then fold (below right) the bottom of the bag towards the back to keep the silverware, straw and napkin peeking out of the envelope at just the right height. Almost done! DIY Silverware Pouches as seen on Hill City Bride Lynchburg Virginia Wedding Blog and MagazineThis step is optional, but I think it adds an element of cuteness. Cut a piece of twine long enough to go around the entire envelope horizontally while having enough room to tie a bow (below left). Then actually wrap the paper bag with the twine, tie your bow and secure the twine underneath the clothespin (below right). DIY Silverware Pouches as seen on Hill City Bride Lynchburg Virginia Wedding Blog and Magazine

Voila! Just like that you are done with your DIY silverware pouch.

You can set one at each place setting, or stand them up in a cute container for your guests to grab along the way as they get their food.

DIY Silverware Pouches as seen on Hill City Bride Lynchburg Virginia Wedding Blog and Magazine

Want a non-patriotic option for your cutlery? See our next one.

Our tropical themed one includes a spork, which is cute and functional, a polka dot straw and a solid napkin. The basic difference with this one is that instead of using a clothespin, I used the hole punch to punch holes into the little salt and pepper bags (and just used “S” and “P”) and tied it to the bag with twine. Super cute as a second DIY silverware pouch option!
DIY Silverware Pouches as seen on Hill City Bride Lynchburg Virginia Wedding Blog and Magazine

And that’s it – easy, budget friendly and cute. These are a simple project that will offer a high impact at your next event! Click here for another easy, fun DIY idea.

Want to see more? Check out our segment on Daytime Blue Ridge below!

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