What to Consider When Planning a Wedding during the Holidays

Planning a wedding anytime of the year has its challenges with many big decisions to be made, but perfecting a wedding schedule during the busy holiday season can be even harder to properly plan the big event. Here is a list of pros and cons to consider if you are contemplating planning your wedding nuptials during the holidays.

Reasons to Plan a Holiday Wedding

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Photo by mysza831
  • Guest Availability – many people save their vacation time during the holidays to combine with their paid time off from work so the ability for guests to take time off for your wedding is higher if it is planned between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. Keep in mind that you will want to schedule your holiday wedding far in advance to give your guests as much notice around planning your wedding into their busy holiday schedules.
  • More Time for a Honeymoon – building off of the last point, the bride and groom also will have more time available to plan a much deserved, extended honeymoon.
  • Winter Wonderland Theme – the holidays allow for you to plan a themed wedding highlighting some of your favorite holiday traditions like snowflakes, candy canes, and chocolate. The Hampshire House is prepared with custom, festive decorations adding that perfect elegant tough to your holiday wedding.

Reasons Not to Plan a Holiday Wedding

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  • The Busy Holiday Season – although guests will have more time off, they may already have plans to spend with their family during the holidays. If you are planning to have all of your closest friends and family at your holiday wedding you will want to give them at least 6 months’ notice of your event.
  • Busy Venue Schedule – the premier venues like Hampshire House have very busy holiday booking schedules as guests are looking to plan weddings, corporate outings, and family parties. If you want to make sure that your venue is open on your desired date, you will want to schedule you wedding well in advance.
  • December is Expensive – December is already one of the most expensive months for people between holiday gifts and parties so planning or attending a wedding could be a stretch. The best way to combat this would be to layout a strict budget for yourself that incorporates what you want to spend on your wedding while accounting for your annual gift purchases.

Whether you determine that a holiday wedding is right for you or not, the Hampshire House is here to help you plan one of the biggest days of your life in Boston. For more information, contact us at 617-227-9600 or at events@hampshirehouse.com.

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Hampshire House to Hold Annual BHCA Garlands & Greens

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On Boston’s historic Beacon Hill, the holidays come alive each year in traditional décor with festive floral garlands and bright red bows to line the streets and decorate the town’s 1,100 historic gas lamps. This year marks the 21st season that Thomas A. Kershaw, owner of the Hampshire House, sponsors this event. Prior to 1995, the local shop-owners decorated the Hill. Since then the community has embraced this recent tradition and increased self-led efforts to decorate Beacon Hill each year.

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In total, the annual effort to decorate Beacon Hill involves 1,100 gas lamp posts, 2,680 yards of garlands, 2,400 red bows, over 100 volunteers, over 200 sponsors, 20 ladders, and the entire community. Businesses and individuals can help by attending the Garlands & Greens event on Wednesday, November 16. Additional support includes pole sponsorship, where businesses or individuals can sponsor a gas lit lamppost and garland. The total cost to decorate all 1,100 poles is $14,000. Pole sponsorship starts at $30 per pole, and multiple poles can be sponsored by one individual or business. More information can be found on the BHCA website.

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To raise funds for the seasonal decorations, the Beacon Hill Civic Association holds a gala event, the BHCA Garlands & Greens, a Holiday Gathering. In addition to access to the lovely turn-of-the-century mansion of Hampshire House, the event includes drinks, hors d’oeuvres and prize drawings. This year we are excited to have live music performed by local jazz musicians Lisa Macalaster and Richard Pierce.

The annual tradition of decorating historic Beacon Hill with traditional floral garlands and festive red bows takes the community to produce, and gives back so much to the community. The decorations are a beacon to the city, and bring in visitors to our community to view our efforts, buy gifts in our shops and dine in our establishments. It is a tradition that the BHCA and the community are proud to nurture each year.

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Decorating Days on Beacon Hill have become a community effort, which includes raising funds for the garlands and bows, as well as assembling and putting up those garlands and bows on our cherished gas lamps lining the streets all over the hill. This year decorating days will take place on Saturday, December 3 and Sunday, December 4 by BHCA and the community. After the season there will be Undecorating Days on Saturday, January 7 and Sunday, January 8 where volunteers meet for a pancake breakfast at the Hampshire House before taking to the streets of Beacon Hill to take down the garlands and bows that brought so much cheer to the holiday season.

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Full Event Schedule and Sponsorship Information: 

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Winter Wonderland Wedding Ideas

In the lane (or in this case in Boston’s Beacon Hill) snow is glistening which means one thing; winter has arrived. At Hampshire House we host premier weddings all year long at our historic Boston venue. If you’re worried about planning the perfect winter wedding, have no fear! Here are five essential trends to incorporate for the perfect winter wonderland wedding.

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Don’t be Afraid to Experiment with Bold Colors

Just because those cold winter days can get dark and dreary doesn’t mean that you have to settle for a color palette of winter whites, greens, and reds. Instead, use bright, bold colors to contrast the exterior such as mango orange or key lime that will allow you to enjoy the winter cold outside and the warmth of the tropics inside.

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Choose Stylish Bridesmaid Dresses, but be Mindful of the Weather

Throw out those classic rules that state you should wear certain fabrics depending on the time of the year that you’re getting married, and choose a panache bridesmaid dress style that you really love. Go out on a limb and choose a silk, strapless dress that is elegant and timeless. Keep in mind that it is typically cold in the winter so provide your bridesmaids with a sweater or other cover-up option.

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Create a Cozy Reception Space

There a plenty of ways to make your wedding venue warm and cozy during those cold winter months. Experiment with a unique array of candles that will add a romantic glow to the ambiance of the space and contrast the darkness of the outside. Also consider incorporating softer textures into your theme such as velvet or bows tied around all of the guest chairs.

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Incorporate the Holidays with your Guest Favors

Everyone is feeling the holiday cheer so why not incorporate it into your wedding favors to give your guests an extra smile. Consider including custom hot chocolate ingredients in a sophisticated mason jar, or combine the classic red and white of a candy cane with a warm, sweet-smelling candle. Another delightful idea are holiday ornaments. Create a custom, heart-warming ornament that your guests can hang on their trees every year and remember the great time that they celebrating your wedding day.

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Book the Perfect Transportation

End your night with the perfect exit; consider renting a horse drawn carriage that will take you back to your childhood as you ride off to your honeymoon with the one you love.

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Hampshire House is the perfect place to host your luxurious winter wonderland wedding in Boston. For more details, please call 617-227-9600 or contact us at events@hampshirehouse.com.

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How to Plan the Best Off-site Company Holiday Party

As the year comes to a close, there is no better way to thank your employees than throwing a fabulous holiday party with the Hampshire House. The holiday season is always hectic with long shopping lists, family gatherings, and work so let us help you plan your annual corporate holiday party with these great tips and details.

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The earlier that you can book a big corporate holiday party like this the better. We would recommend that you start planning your holiday party 4-5 weeks in advance of the event date. Keep in mind that with the busy holiday season, prestigious venues fill up quickly so you’ll want to make sure that you have a solid plan in place. Here are the five biggest details that you should be planning to make sure that your company holiday party goes off without a hitch:

Food – Probably the second most important thing other than the venue is the food and beverages that you plan to serve at your event. You’ll want to make sure that you have a good estimate of how many attendees that there will be accounting for additional plus ones. You will want to make sure that there are ample food and beverage options and be sure to take into account any special dietary restrictions that anyone in your party might have. At the Hampshire House we offer a full, distinctive menu from hors d’oeuvres to lasting memory desserts. Some highlights from our menu include the creamy lobster macaroni and cheese, melt-in-your-mouth tuna tartar with mango and avocado, and decadent, homemade chocolate truffles.

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Program – All great company parties typically follow some sort of schedule that is best outlined in a passed out program to make sure that all of the events such as an award ceremony or seated dinner get their due time. Within the program be sure to describe the desired attire for the event so that no one is confused on what to wear on the day of the event.

Prizes – The holiday season is a time to celebrate those members of your team that worked hard all year. In addition to any monetary incentives that the company might be handing out to some of its exemplary employees think of some other little gifts that will add that extra personal touch. To keep the whole group involved, consider holding a special raffle for a desirable prize.

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Photo by Randy Heinitz
Favors – As a thankyou gift for all of those that attended the holiday bash favors are always a phenomenal idea. These favors can be small and not cost a lot, but they will definitely help your guests leave with a smile.

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Planning your company’s holiday party this year? Let Hampshire House help take all the stress away with the help of our distinguished event planners. Contact us at the Hampshire House by phone at 617-227-9600 or via email at events@hampshirehouse.com

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Exclusive Book Signing with Elin Hilderbrand

Come celebrate the holiday season on Monday, November 28, 2016, as the Hampshire House welcomes New York Times bestselling author Elin Hilderbrand to an exclusive book-signing event for her new release, Winter Storms. The event will take place from 6–8 p.m. at the historic Beacon Hill location. We will be serving seasonal, tasty hors d’oeuvres, and a cash bar will be available. There is no admission fee to this great holiday event.

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Blackstone’s of Beacon Hill will be offering autographed versions of Elin’s novel to purchase, online or in-store at the event, for use at the signing. Please note that attendees may not bring in books purchased from another bookseller, and proof of purchase from Blackstone’s is required for autographing at this event.

Winter Storms is the third and final novel in Hilderbrand’s Winter Street trilogy that follows the heartwarming Quinn family as they celebrate a holiday unlike any other during a once-in-a-century blizzard. This novel is perfect for the cold, wintery nights curled up by the fire, and is sure to be a hit follow-up to the first two New York Times bestsellers in the series. USA Today reviewed the novel as “A holiday package filled with humor, romance, and realism.”

Elin Hilderbrand is the author of 18 novels, including Here’s to Us which debuted at number three on the New York Times Bestsellers list. She graduated from John’s Hopkins University, and now lives in Nantucket.

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If you’re a fan of the Quinn family trilogy and want to spend this holiday season gift wrapped in this great novel, you won’t want to miss this spectacular event at the Hampshire House. Please RSVP by contacting our event professionals at 617–854–7628 or via email at catering@hampshirehouse.com.

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Gingerbread Brunch at the Hampshire House Boston

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Join the Hampshire House in celebrating the holidays by designing and decorating your very own Gingerbread house with candy and frosting. Show off your creativity, and use the historic Beacon Hill landscape as inspiration to build the ultimate gingerbread house this holiday season. Tickets to this event include all of the classic gingerbread house finishings that not only augment the design, but are also sweet to eat.

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Building a beautiful gingerbread house will probably cause you to build up an appetite which is why tickets to this event also include a classic plated brunch in our grand Hampshire House mansion. We have laid out separate menus for both adults and children so that the whole family can be happy. Adults have appetizer options including salty smoked salmon on crisp toasted brioche, and Caesar salad. Entrees for the adults includes nine options among which are the perfect combination of Brahmin grilled beef tenderloin and eggs, and the Beacon omelet consisting of sweet tomatoes, spinach, red jacket potatoes, and breakfast sausage and topped with melted cheddar cheese. Children get to enjoy all the quintessential childhood favorites such as chicken fingers with golden brown French fries and fragrant French toast smothered in authentic maple syrup.

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Photo by Steve Snodgrass

What’s better than decking the gingerbread halls? Eating it of course! The Gingerbread Brunch at the Hampshire House is $60 per adult and $40 per child. There will be two seating times; 11:30am and 2:00 pm. This event will run every Sunday starting the Sunday after Thanksgiving (November 27) to the week before Christmas (December 18) so get in while you can. Tickets include brunch, gingerbread house, tax, and gratuity, but do not include beverages. If you would like to join us for our Gingerbread brunch please call 617-227-9600 or purchase tickets online. Click here for the complete adult menu or here for the children’s menu.

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Hampshire House Thanksgiving Dinner 2016

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Hampshire House is hosting our annual Thanksgiving 3-course dinner on Thursday November 24, 2016 from 12:30pm to 4pm. If you’re looking for a great Thanksgiving Day meal that you don’t have to cook, then look no further than the Hampshire House located in Boston’s historic Beacon Hill. Menu options include all of the great Thanksgiving classics along with other scrumptious seasonal favorites that will leave you feeling grateful.

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Each guest at the Hampshire House will get to choose from two distinct appetizers and three heavenly entrees letting everyone enjoy their own custom meal. Our appetizers include a savory harvest pumpkin bisque with roasted pecans and goat cheese, and a fresh autumn salad featuring native field greens, roasted pumpkin, green apples, cranberries, and Vermont goat cheese. The decision gets even harder with our second course offerings including the traditional oven roasted turkey served with our signature walnut stuffing, mashed potatoes, and haricot verts, melt-in-your-mouth filet mignon with rainbow potatoes and garden vegetables, and char-grilled Atlantic salmon with crispy polenta and grilled asparagus.

As tough as it might be, don’t fill up before dessert! Every guest will have the pleasure of enjoying a Thanksgiving dessert sampler that consists of mini cranberry apple crumble tarts, petit cinnamon cheese cake, pumpkin pie, and pecan triangles. Feel like you need to exercise after a great meal? We are conveniently located footsteps from historic Boston Common featuring fabulous fall foliage perfect for an afternoon holiday stroll with family and friends.

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Explore our complete Thanksgiving Day menu here. Thanksgiving Dinner at Hampshire House is $65 per person, excluding tax, gratuity and alcoholic beverages. Please call 617-227-9600 or visit Open Table for reservations.

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Hampshire House Enhanced Holiday Menu 2016

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The crispness of fall is in the air which means one thing; the holiday season is just around the corner. What better place to enjoy your favorite holiday this season in Boston than at the Hampshire House. This season, the Hampshire House has released delectable new dishes featuring the great seasonal flavors of fall that everyone loves during the holiday season that will accompany our traditional holiday menu.

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Reception Additions

For a great holiday reception at Hampshire House this season try one of our new hot Hors D’oeuvres such as the sumptuous lobster croquettes that are drizzled with a savory béarnaise sauce, or duck confit and wild mushroom tartlets for that ambrosial small bite. We also are offering flavorful butler passed miniature appetizers including roasted beef tenderloin cooked to perfection accompanied by mashed potatoes, spaghetti vegetables, and a rosemary peppercorn sauce. If fish is more your style we are now serving a  hazelnut crusted diver scallop with acorn squash risotto and black truffle salt for that perfect luxurious touch. And who could forget the perfect pumpkin ravioli served with caramelized winter squash and topped with a sage butter sauce.

Specialty Station

For your special occasion, we are offering a Swiss Roesti station of Swedish style pancakes with any topping that you could want including caramelized winter squash and slow cooked pears and cranberries. This special enhancement will have everyone at your holiday function feeling the magic of the season.

Desserts and Beverages

We’ve saved the best for last; every good holiday meal is concluded with a divine dessert such as our miniature frosted gingerbread cookie sandwiches. If you enjoy an after dinner drink with your dessert, we have classic favorites such as decadent hot cocoa and warm apple cider. You can add an extra kick to your drink with our holiday cocktails including the tiramisu martini consisting of espresso vodka and that perfect blend of amaretto and white chocolate liquor topped with coco powder.

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Whether you are entertaining clients, enjoying time with special family and friends, or planning a corporate outing, Hampshire House’s special events team will oversee every detail to help you plan a flawless event. Please contact our event professionals at 617–227–9600 or via email at events@hampshirehouse.com for more information.

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Go-To Guide to Creating the Perfect Fall Wedding

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Are you planning a fall wedding? Autumn is a beautiful season, especially in New England with the colorful foliage. According to wedding experts The Knot, fall is rapidly becoming a very popular time for weddings. If your wedding will be in the New England area, lucky you! There isn’t any place more magical when the autumn colors are in full display. Here is brief guide to creating the perfect fall wedding.

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Choosing the Right Date for Your Fall Wedding

If part of your wedding day plan is to take romantic photos of your wedding party outside among breathtaking foliage, check online to see when your location will be at peak color. This handy interactive foliage map from New England Today shows you when the peak days are for each of the New England states. In the Boston area, that would be around mid-October.

Working in Seasonal Autumn Themes

There are many places where you can introduce autumn colors, symbols and traditional foods. Wedding invitations and venue décor can include fall colors such as shades of burnt yellow, orange and brown. Deep reds and purples beautifully complement these colors to create an attractive harvest theme. For fall wedding favors, you might consider pumpkin spiced candles and soaps, maple syrup candies, chocolates in the shape of leaves or small jars of apple butter. For a reception menu, there are many seasonal foods such as pumpkin and other squashes, carrots, sweet potatoes, nuts, seeds and apple cider.

Dressing for an Autumn Wedding

If you have your heart set on that outdoor foliage photo shoot, you can be prepared for those unexpected fall weather changes by bringing along a warm, attractive shawl. In fact, a basket of shawls or wraps for your wedding party is a smart thing to do and it makes the perfect “thank you” wedding gift for your bridesmaids.

Selecting the Perfect Fall Wedding Venue

If you’re planning an autumn wedding in New England, consider Hampshire House for your special day. This stately historical home overflows with New England hospitality and charm, and it is ideally situated in the heart of Beacon Hill, with breathtaking views of the Boston Public Garden. In addition to the cozy and elegant décor, with roaring fireplaces and grand chandeliers, this exquisite mansion is steps away from what the Boston Discovery Guide calls the #1 place for spectacular fall foliage.

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Five Fun Halloween Touches to Add to Your Fall Wedding

If you’re planning a fall wedding and would like to add some fun Halloween-themed touches, it’s very possible to do this while still having an elegant (and not spooky) wedding. There are many autumn themes and decorative ideas that will conjure this beloved holiday without having macabre skeletons and cobwebs hanging around. Here are 5 fun Halloween touches for your fall wedding.

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  1. Use a Halloween-Inspired Color Theme

Traditional Halloween colors such as black and orange, along with a little green, will strongly call forth the season. You can use these colors in your invitations, decorations, bridesmaid dresses, accessories and table settings.

  1. Table Centerpieces for a Halloween Wedding

Instead of the just the usual floral arrangements, consider adding symbols of the harvest such as pumpkins, gourds and decorative squashes. Wedding favors can also have a Halloween theme, such as little gifts inside a coffin-shaped box. This might include skull-shaped chocolates, red cranberry candles, black and red licorice or masquerade masks.

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  1. Halloween-Themed Cocktails for a Wedding Reception

There are many kinds of specialty cocktails that have a slightly spooky, Halloween vibe. Think of a Bloody Mary or an orange-based drink with an infusion of thick raspberry syrup. Black vodka and triple sec creates a bewitching drink, as does black vodka and cranberry juice. Drinks can be garnished with black olives or red cherries and with coarse orange or red-colored sugar around the rim of the glass. Serve them in Halloween-themed glasses.

  1. Treat Your Guests to a Candy Buffet

Everyone loves candy. If you’re having a Halloween wedding, there will be plenty of seasonal candy available with Halloween themes. Don’t forget traditional favorites like caramel apples and candy corn.

  1. Spooky Photo Shoot

For a unique twist, have a photo booth at the reception that’s decorated with black cats, witches and skeletons. Provide guests with masks and Halloween-themed accessories. Everyone will have fun dressing up and having their pictures taken.

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Photo by therealbridgetpalmer
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