How to Host a Holiday Party

While you may be still enjoying the spookiest time of the year, believe it or not the winter season will be here before we know it. As the days get shorter and colder, the twinkle of the holidays will soon take over our homes and schedules. And if you’re planning a holiday party this year, you may be starting to plan the event sooner than later. Hosting a holiday party for friends, family, or colleagues can be both fun and stressful at the same time. But we have some tips on how to host a holiday party that everyone will love. 

How to Host a Holiday Party

Get started planning early.

When you’re planning a holiday party, it’s best to get started as early as you can. And yes, that might mean in early November (or earlier!). From securing a venue to aligning everyone’s schedule, getting a jump start on planning can relieve headaches down the road. If nothing else, start by planning the date of the event so that you have something locked into everyone’s calendar before it starts to fill up with festivities for the season.

Secure a venue space.

When you’re looking for the perfect date for the event, you’ll also want to determine where it will be held. This is another great reason to start planning as early as you can. You’ll want to have a general idea of the guest list or amount of people that will be attending when you’re looking for a venue. Determine if you’ll be allowing guests to bring a plus one or additional family members. However, it’s OK if you only have an estimate or range of guests at this time.

Determine the dress code.

Holiday parties can be casual, fun, or fancy! Whatever style you decide to make your holiday party, be sure to share the information with all your guests. You can encourage guests to dress up in cocktail attire, or you can throw an ugly sweater gathering where everyone dresses silly and fun. You can also keep it generally casual and have guests just wear what makes them comfortable.

Decide on games and activities.

Once it gets closer to the event, it’s time to plan the fun stuff. Holiday parties are fun as it is, but you can have extra fun by planning some festive games and activities. Consider holiday-themed trivia, bingo, or charades as options for classic games. Another thing you’ll need to decide is whether gifts will be exchanged or not. If you plan on doing gifts, a secret Santa or white elephant exchange are great options for groups.

Enlist others to help out.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help from others to plan the party. The details of planning a party can get overwhelming, and it’s sometimes helpful to bounce ideas off of others. You can either ask another person to help out with planning or ask a few others to get insight and ideas. Just be sure to ask for help earlier on in the planning process as people tend to get busier once December comes around. 

Host Your Holiday Party at Historic Acres

If you’re planning a holiday party this season, Historic Acres offers a venue space for groups of varying sizes. Contact our team to learn more about our availability and rates.

How to Create a Wedding Mood Board

Create a wedding mood board to help you determine your overall aesthetic and decor for your big day. There’s a list of decisions you need to make, from the floral arrangements, color schemes, centerpieces to what you and your wedding party will wear. A wedding mood board can help you create a visual guide to your dream aesthetic for your big day.

5 Steps to Creating a Wedding Mood Board

Ready to start building your wedding mood board? Here are our 5 steps.

1. Choose a digital vs print wedding mood board. 

First, you’ll want to decide if you’re going to build your board virtually or in-person. You can enjoy the best of both worlds and start by collecting inspiration online and then build your mood board in person. Ultimately, you know whether you’ll personally find a digital or print mood board more helpful, so choose the version that suits your needs. 

2. Start collecting inspiration and pair it down later.

If you feel at a loss for your desired style and aesthetic, start by gathering all inspiration together in one place. You can use a Pinterest board, Google Drive, or whatever system you prefer to collect your photos. Once you have a solid amount of photos, you may start to see patterns in style, color, and theme. 

3. Determine your color palette early on.

Once you’ve collected a bunch of images and sources of inspiration, you’ll need to decide on a color palette. Usually, it’s easy to tell what you naturally gravitate toward just by looking at your image inspirations. Deciding on your color palette means you’re ready to choose your bridal party outfits, floral arrangements, and the overall aesthetic of your decor.

4. Think outside of the box with inspiration.

When you’re gathering your mood board inspiration, don’t limit yourself to wedding related images. Anything you see that might spark an idea, color palette, theme, or style, can be added to your mood board. With that in mind, consider getting inspired by art, nature, architecture, landscapes, and more.

5. Ensure everyone has the same vision.

Once you’ve determined your overall vision and style for your wedding, get input from your soon-to-be-spouse and any other important people whose opinions you may want to consider. Be sure everyone is on the same page! 

Plan Your Wedding at Historic Acres of Hershey

Located along the rolling hills of Hershey, Pennsylvania, Historic Acres of Hershey is the perfect setting for your nuptials. Whether you’re planning a big or small wedding, our venue spaces can accommodate groups of various sizes. Contact our team to learn more about our property, take a tour, and secure a date for your next event.

3 Benefits of Historic Wedding Venues

When choosing a wedding venue, you may consider the size, aesthetic, available dates, setting, and more. There are a lot of factors to consider! Couples looking for historic wedding venues may be seeking a unique and charming setting that offers timeless beauty.

Whether you’re looking for an indoor or outdoor venue, there is something special about hosting your special day in a historic space. At Historic Acres of Hershey, our story dates back to the 1900s when it served as a working farm amid the scenic rolling countryside. 

Historic wedding venues offer an array of benefits to the happy couple. If you’ve always dreamt of tying the knot in a unique space with a storied past, a historic venue might be the perfect option. Consider a few of our favorite reasons to say your “I do’s” in a historic space.

3 Benefits of Historic Wedding Venues

rows of white chairs with floral arrangements along the aisle in an old farmhouse setting

Have a beautiful setting for photos

A historic wedding venue is the perfect setting for photos as the details and decor are truly special. Whether you’re planning photos inside or outside, historic properties can boast one-of-a-kind spaces and settings to capture on your special day. At Historic Acres, you can take photos while capturing the historic barns and scenic property in the background. While our venue has been fully renovated with modern amenities, remnants of its past are still prevalent throughout the property.

Be a part of a storied past

The property of Historic Acres and many of its structures date back to the 1900s, and it has changed hands several times over the last century. Many people have graced this property, whether it be during life celebrations or while completing everyday tasks. The storied history of this land is palpable making it an extra special setting for any momentous occasion. 

Easily blends with various aesthetics and styles

While the Historic Acres property is historic, it has been beautifully remodeled to blend well with modern styles as well. From farmhouse chic to rustic elegance, bridal aesthetics of a wide range will pair well with the style of our architecture, decor, and exterior design.

Secure Your Event at Hershey’s Historic Wedding Venue

Historic Acres of Hershey offers a scenic setting for your wedding with multiple spaces that can accommodate groups small and large. Our historic property boasts many of the same structures as it did when it was a working farm, including the The Barn, Corn Crib, Coop, and Farmhouse, which have all been renovated with a modern touch. 

Contact our team today to schedule a tour or learn about available dates for your wedding. 

Holiday Party Ideas for a Festive Event

The holidays are just around the corner, and as much as we try to hold on to summer, the end of the year is going to be here before you know it! The glitz and glamor of the holiday season is enough to spur excitement for gatherings, gifts, fun cocktails, and delicious food.

If you’re gearing up to plan a seasonal event for work, family, or friends, consider a few holiday party ideas to make the gathering extra special.

5 Holiday Party Ideas

1. Make a fun and festive cocktail

The holiday season opens up possibilities to serve up holiday cocktails that are both fun and festive! Work with your vendors to create simple and fun themed cocktails for your event, and be sure to have a non-alcoholic version available as well. Holiday cocktails can incorporate champagne, vodka, whiskey, cranberries, vanilla, cinnamon, herbs, and more! 

2. Do a cookie or dessert exchange

One of the best parts of the season is the sweet treats, but it’s hard to bake all of your favorites. A cookie exchange is a fun opportunity to try everyone’s favorite recipes and share your personal favorites with others. Let guests know ahead of time that you’ll be doing a cookie exchange and consider asking everyone to share their cookie choices ahead of time so there aren’t repeats. Be mindful of allergies and food sensitivities.

3. Plan holiday-themed trivia and games

If your group likes to have a good time, consider putting together a holiday-themed trivia or game for everyone to play. You can incorporate questions about holiday movies, songs, traditions, and folklore. Have fun with it!

4. Play holiday movies in the background

Everyone has their favorite holiday movie. During your event, you can have a projection screen with holiday classics on in the background. Choose a few of your favorites and common movies that people will love to serve as the setting for your event. 

5. Choose a venue that suits your needs

If you’re looking for a venue to host your holiday party, consider the scenic property of Historic Acres of Hershey. Historic Acres boasts multiple venue spaces to accommodate groups of all sizes and is beautiful year-round. Contact us today to learn more or schedule a tour.

How to Plan a Small Wedding

If you’re planning a wedding, there are many details to decide and factors to consider, and one of the first things to determine is the number of guests you’ll be inviting. Wondering how to plan a small wedding? Small weddings are ideal for many couples and offer numerous benefits for those who want to keep the guest list short. Here are a few tips for couples who want to celebrate their big day with an intimate crowd.

How to Plan a Small Wedding

The timeline to plan a wedding remains largely the same as a larger event. From invitations to table settings to vendors, you’ll need to decide the specifics of your event and scale them to accommodate your smaller guest list. First, you’ll need to determine how small of a wedding you want to have. A small wedding can mean something different to each couple, so be sure to discuss what small means to you. 

Consider your guest list

Speaking of the guest list, you’ll want to build out your wedding guest list by prioritizing the guests you want to have present for your ceremony. Start with your immediate family members and innermost circle of friends. You’ll also have to decide on the number of guests you’d like to have. From there, you can create your list based on your venue’s capacity. 

Eliminate the wedding party

Smaller weddings don’t typically include wedding parties. However, you can still have a maid of honor or best man join you in the ceremony. This is a great way to have a few close individuals there for your big day without worrying about the greater responsibility of having a full wedding party. You may also decide against having a flower girl or ring bearer. 

Choose your dream venue

Small weddings are typically more affordable, making it easier to secure the venue of your dreams. Whether you’ve always wanted an indoor or outdoor wedding, winter or summer, determine your must-haves and secure a venue that can accommodate small groups.

Plan Your Small Wedding at Historic Acres of Hershey

Historic Acres of Hershey offers a variety of wedding packages, which include microweddings, elopements, and smaller gatherings. Give us a call to discuss your options and check our availability. 

Event Music Playlist Tips and Tricks

Whether it’s a corporate event or a birthday party, every good event needs some background music. Creating your own event music is a simple and easy way to set the mood and create a soundscape that is truly fitting for the occasion. While it seems like a big undertaking, it can be a fun way to personalize your event and ensure the perfect soundtrack plays all night long. 

Here are a few tips for creating an event music playlist for your next big party. 

Tips for Creating an Event Music Playlist

Be sure it’s available offline. Be sure to have your playlist made available offline so that you won’t have any issues throughout the night. If you’re using a streaming app, you can simply download the playlists so that you won’t need internet access to play them.

Have a wide variety of music for everyone to enjoy. While it’s your big day, you want your guests to enjoy the event as well. Create a well-rounded playlist with newer and older songs that people will love. Keep in mind the general age group of those attending and be sure to make the playlist fun, light-hearted, and appropriate for the occasion.

Rent appropriate equipment. You won’t be hiring a DJ, but you may still need a speaker system to play your music. Be sure to speak to your vendor about the setup and tear down of the speaker system as well. 

Appoint someone to be in charge throughout the night. Whether it’s yourself or someone else helping out with the event, be sure there is someone delegated to MC the event and play the music. 

Plan Your Event at Historic Acres

If you’re planning an event in Hershey, Pennsylvania, consider Historic Acres of Hershey. We have multiple spaces to accommodate groups of varying sizes. Give us a call to learn more or fill out a form to receive information about our facility. 

5 Ideas for a Rustic Winter Wedding

Are you planning a rustic winter wedding? While many people dream of a tropical wedding with their feet in the sand, others long for a cozy and romantic evening watching the snow gently fall.

Embracing rustic and woodsy elements into your wedding decorations offers stunning photos and a beautiful setting for an evening of dinner and dancing. Consider a few of our favorite ways to decorate your rustic winter wedding. 

Rustic Winter Wedding Decorations and Ideas

Design a color palate of bold and rich colors

Bold colors offer a richness and warmth that are perfectly suited for the winter, especially if you have snow on your wedding day. Think cranberries and deep reds that contrast nicely against white, as well as elegant golds and dense neutrals. 

Embrace the cold and snow

If there is snow on your wedding day, consider yourself lucky! Snow in wedding photos is absolutely gorgeous. Be sure to prepare with warm layers and even mittens or gloves to use in photos. 

Use wood and natural elements as decor

Wood, pinecones, birchwood, or even twigs are beautiful decor pieces for a winter wedding. This theme evokes cozy thoughts of a cabin in the forest, which is both romantic and elegant. Wood and natural elements also feel warm and inviting. 

Warmth of candles and lanterns

Candles and lanterns offer a fire element that mimics a fireplace and feels very romantic for a winter affair. Consider using candles as centerpieces, which is also more budget friendly than floral arrangements. 

Serve cozy cocktails and hot beverages

Make sure your guests don’t get cold during the night by serving hot beverages like apple cider, mulled wine, and hot chocolate. You could even consider a hot chocolate bar for your dessert table! 

Plan Your Rustic Winter Wedding at Historic Acres

Located on seven acres of rolling hills, Historic Acres of Hershey is a beautiful setting for a wedding all throughout the year. We offer a four-season pavilion and event spaces that can accommodate groups of all sizes. Give us a call to learn more about our venue and upcoming available dates.

5 Wedding Decorations on a Budget

Looking for wedding decorations on a budget? You’re in luck. There are many ways to reduce the cost of decorations without sacrificing the beauty of your event. We all know weddings can get pricey quickly, but there are options to save when it comes to decorations. You can get crafty, shop for vintage, and reuse decorations from other events. Get creative and have fun with your wedding decorations on a budget!

Wedding Decorations on a Budget

Search for Vintage

Go on a hunt for vintage decor to save money and reduce waste at your wedding. When choosing vintage decor for your wedding, have a general idea of what you’re looking for but keep an open mind for anything that suits your style and taste. With vintage, it’s easy to have mismatched items and eclectic decor. Some towns and cities host swap and sell events for wedding decor as well, so keep an eye out for a market like that in your area. 

Get Crafty with DIY Projects

If you’re crafty, wedding decorations are a perfect way to get out some creative juices. DIY projects can save you big when it comes to centerpieces and large displays. Give yourself plenty of time to research and put together your DIY wedding projects so you aren’t down to the wire getting a craft thrown together. This is a great opportunity to enlist the bridal party or family members to help. 

Use Your Location

Historic Acres of Hershey sits along beautiful rolling hills surrounded by lush foliage. The property includes beautifully manicured landscaping and natural greenery that will stand out in photos and serve as a perfect backdrop for your special day. No matter the season, Historic Acres of Hershey offers a gorgeous setting.

Skip the Flower Arrangements

Flowers are gorgeous, but they can get pricey very quickly. If you’re looking for wedding decorations on a budget, you’ll want to skip the floral arrangements. You can add pops of color with dried flowers, herbs, or even paper flowers throughout the venue. 

Reuse Decor

If you have some decor from your engagement party, bridal shower, or a family member or friend’s wedding, consider reusing if you can. Reusing decor is another great way to reduce overall waste at your wedding while saving money. You can always tweak or modify the decor to fit into your style or color palette. 

Plan Your Wedding at Historic Acres

Looking for a wedding venue in Hershey, PA? Historic Acres of Hershey boasts a beautiful setting and several spaces to accommodate your needs. Give us a call or fill out a form online to learn more about our offerings and availability.

6 Ideas for Bridal Shower Favors

Planning a bridal shower? Bridal showers can be overlooked amid all the planning of your wedding day, but it’s a fun opportunity to have a laid-back gathering before the big day. 

Bridal showers are typically a few months before the wedding day and is typically when the couple receives a lot of their gifts. And when your guests come bearing gifts it’s hard to resist getting them something in return.

Here are a few fun and creative ideas for bridal shower favors:

6 Bridal Shower Favors

When getting bridal shower favors, it’s helpful to think about getting something that you like and your guests can enjoy as well. You may choose to give something that is local to where you live or are getting married, a handcraft gift to show your gratitude, or a special treat that guests can enjoy post-event. 

Wildflower packets

Perfect for the eco-friendly couple, wildflower packets are a great option if you’re trying to cut down on waste. Wildflowers are easy to plant and fun to watch sprout into beautiful blooms. This is a great option for a bridal shower gift in the spring. 

Mini honey jars 

Mini honey jars are a cute gift option that is also practical and easy to use. Honey is a crowd-pleaser and can be used in baking, to sweeten tea, or to spread on toast. It’s also great for all ages!

Handcrafted soaps

Treat your guests to a spa-like experience at home with the gift of a handcrafted artisan soap. Handcrafted soap is not only practical, but typically very beautiful! Choose a scent that can be universal or have a few different options for guests to choose from based on their taste. 

Candles

Candles are another crowd favorite for bridal shower favors. Just like soaps, you can choose one scent or several for your guests to choose their favorites. Handpoured or locally made candles are the extra special touch. 

Succulents

Do you love plants? Mini succulents are a great gift for your bridal shower. These plants are easy to grow and just need a lot of sunlight. Share some directions with your guests so they can keep them alive for years to come.

Packets of tea

Give the gift of calm to your bridal party guests with some tea. Give personalized tea bags or loose leaf tea for guests to remember you when they are unwinding. This is an especially great option for bridal showers in the fall or winter. 

Find a Venue For Your Bridal Shower

Plan your bridal shower at Historic Acres of Hershey. Historic Acres of Hershey is a scenic property with multiple venue spaces to accommodate a wide range of group sizes. Contact our team to learn more about our spaces and availability. 

Timeline to Plan a Wedding

There are a lot of details to consider when planning your wedding, some that need to be done well in advance and others that can wait until closer to the date. The timeline to plan a wedding comes down to the specifics of your day. If you’re wondering how to plan a wedding step by step without feeling stressed out, start with some of the bigger tasks and work your way down. 

Timeline to Plan a Wedding

One of the first things you do when planning your wedding is to find a venue and pick a date. Once this is solidified, you’ll know how long you have to plan and your venue’s capacity. 

1 Year Before Your Wedding

Create Your Guestlist: Start building out your wedding guestlist based on the capacity of your event space.  

Choose Your Wedding Party: Ask your closest family members and friends to be a part of your special day. Give them plenty of time to ensure they are available to be there for your big day. 

Buy Your Wedding Dress: Wedding dress shopping is a fun and special moment for many brides. Visit a couple of different stores to try on dresses to get a feel for the style you like best. 

Find Your Wedding Vendors: Once you have your date secured, you can start looking for vendors that are available that day. Historic Acres of Hershey has a list of preferred vendors that we love and trust. 

Start a Wedding Registry: Determine what you have already and what you’ll need once you officially start your life as a married couple. You can go to a store or do a wedding registry online. 

Book a Hotel Room Block: If you have a lot of out of town guests, it’s nice to offer a room block so that everyone stays in the same place. 

6 Months Before Your Wedding

Shop for the Bridal Party: Determine your color scheme and go shopping for your bridal party attire.

Plan Your Wedding Decor: Choose the style and types of decor that you’ll want to have for your wedding. Consider the time it will take to create DIY decor or how long it will take for something to ship if it’s being made.

Send Out Save the Dates: Let everyone know about your upcoming event with save the dates! These are typically simple and beautiful with minimal details so your guests can begin planning.

Create Your Wedding Website: Another great tool for planning is a wedding website. Create a wedding website for your guests with information like the wedding registry, hotel accommodations, things to do in the area, wedding party information, and more. 

3 Months Before Your Wedding

Plan the Day: You’ll need to plan the wedding reception order of events and which traditions and activities you’ll include on your special day. 

Create Your Seating Chart: By this time, you’ve likely started receiving your RSVPs and you can start building your seating chart. 

Obtain Your Marriage License: Just before the wedding, you’ll need to obtain your marriage license. You will need to obtain it within 2-3 weeks but at least three days prior to your wedding day. 

FInalize Last Minute Items: No matter how well you plan, there’s always something that seems to pop up at the last minute. Save yourself some time- and money- to manage these surprises. 

Plan Your Wedding at Historic Acres of Hershey

Historic Acres of Hershey offers a beautiful setting for rustic and modern weddings alike. Contact us to learn more about our event spaces or to book a tour of the property.