How to throw a spring party so good your friends won't want to leave.


The spring racing calendar is certainly heating up, which means celebrations and parties.

Instead of schlepping it to the tracks this year, why not have a go at throwing your own amazing racing party to rival the marquees.

Here are seven tips that will transform your party and leave your guests feeling like celebrities.

1. Invites.

First and foremost, you need to decide who is going to be attending your spring racing bash.

It’s always good to have at least one person who knows something about horse racing for some background knowledge. Let’s be honest, most of the time I have no idea what’s going on so I’m always looking for someone who knows what they are talking about to give me a heads up.

It’s also nice to have some friends who like dressing up, because what better excuse to rock a frock than race time? A lot of girls love an opportunity to grab a new dress and have their hair done so make sure people are aware that glamming up is encouraged. Even the guys enjoy donning a suit for a special occasion.

And lastly, everyone has a friend who likes to yell loudly at the TV screen during race time. Invite that friend. They’re great fun, and their excitement is infectious.

As for the invites themselves, step it up a little and set the tone for a special day. Instead of the usual group email, why not try fixing invites to tiny plastic horses, or cut out the shape of a hat and add sequins and feathers for a glam party feel.

If you do insist on an email (which, let’s face it, is easy and effective) at least Photoshop yourself on a horse to let people know it’s going to be a great day.

Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by Dan Murphy’s. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in their own words. 

2. Decorations.

Now, we know the big name marquees go all out with their decorations, and it really adds a whole new element to the party. However, if you don’t have the budget to rival, you can still make your party special with a few key ideas.

Stick with a two colour theme and apply it to everything. Candles, flowers, table linen and food. It ties everything in well and isn’t hard to do. Flowers really scream SPRINGTIME, so dot them throughout the event space for colour.

3. Food.

With spring racing parties, finger food is key. Anything that takes more than two bites is going to be tricky for your guests. Avoid food with beetroot or anything that’s going to stain those gorgeous dresses and don’t serve foods with forks – keep things nice and simple.

Also, keep in mind the crumb test. Anything that’s going to drop crumbs is not ideal and it’s awkward for guests to eat. Make sure to offer a selection of clean foods, as we all know ladies may avoid bloat foods in tight dresses.


One idea you can steal from the marquees is mini sandwiches. This can be done ahead of time, and wrapped in tea towels and glad wrap to keep fresh throughout the day. By adding some gourmet fillings, and taking your time with presentation the humble sandwich can really look special and won’t cost you the earth. Hit up the internet for some out-of-the-ordinary ideas.

Mid-afternoon, you may want to have a selection of mini pizzas or fish and chips to do the rounds and fill post-race, butterfly filled tummies.

4. Drinks.

Champagne is mandatory for spring racing, I think that goes without saying. But, there is another good reason to think carefully about your drinks selection. It’s probably going to be hot, and guests are likely going to be standing outside, so consider serving ciders, white wines, sparkling wines and chilled rose to sip on.

Clear drinks are also a lot safer around your furniture if the event is at home. You could even consider creating a specialty spring racing cocktail to serve throughout the day. The choices are endless.

5. Entertainment.

Music is a great way to get a party started and can really add to the atmosphere of an event. Keep the tunes low so people can still chat without yelling, and consider some chilled out tracks to warm everyone up. As the day progresses your music can match the mood so have a selection available to draw on.

TV screens are obviously going to be a focal point so make sure everyone has a good view. Turn the volume down between the races though so people can mingle without too much distraction.

6. Primping.

Guests in the Marquees at spring races are often treated to hair and makeup touch up stations. I’m not saying you need to stand at the ready with a can of hairspray, but consider setting up a small wicker basket in a bathroom with misted water, bobby pins, breath mints or blotting paper to help the ladies stay gorgeous and feel a million dollars.

7. Leaving gifts.

If you really want to make your guests feel special, consider a leaving gift like those handed out to Marquee guests. Slippers could be given to the ladies to wear home after a day in heels, and I’m sure would be greatly appreciated.

Even a nicely wrapped donut in brown paper with coloured ribbons looks fancy, and is a yummy treat for the cab ride home and won’t break the budget.

Do you have any spring racing tips to add to our list? 

Scroll through our gallery for some party outfit ideas…

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