Wedding Express: Gettysburg Lincoln Railroad Station Ceremonies

If you spend any time looking at wedding magazines, you’ll see they’re full of unique, outdoor venues for ceremonies in every conceivable place from beaches to lakesides, gardens to bridges, barns, backyards, and pergolas. But have you ever considered the drawbacks? No shade, chance of rain, no electricity for ceremony music, renting the extra chairs… there is so much to consider.

Here at the Gettysburg Hotel, we’ve got you covered with a unique outdoor venue that releases you from all the worry and stress. Enjoy a ceremony in downtown Gettysburg at the historic Gettysburg Lincoln Railroad Station, just two doors away from the Gettysburg Hotel. Guests will be welcomed into the gated pavilion and can find a perfect seat to experience your wedding day I Do’s.

The Pavilion is covered, which offers shade for your guests and protects them from any chance of showers. And when you rent the pavilion through the Gettysburg Foundation, your rental covers the use of our banquet chairs when you book your reception at the Gettysburg Hotel! It’s also ideal for your DJ or other live entertainment because there is electricity available at no extra fee.

The preferred DJs, photographers and florists of the Gettysburg Hotel have extensive experience in this space and know how to make it magical. And don’t worry about accidentally seeing your almost-spouse. Our attentive wedding coordinator will make sure you stay separate until the moment you walk down the aisle.

After the ceremony, we will usher your guests back to the Gettysburg Hotel via a tree lined path so they can enjoy your cocktail hour while you stay and have your first photos taken as newlyweds!

In case you’re choosing Gettysburg for the historic aspect, this train station is where Abraham Lincoln arrived when he gave the Gettysburg Address. Join President Lincoln in making your mark in history at this gorgeous and one of a kind venue!

For more information on having your wedding ceremony and reception at the Gettysburg Hotel, contact April Rose, Catering & Events Manager, at or 717-338-5408.


Photographs provided by Martin Reardon Photography, Creative Force Photography, and Leer Photography.

7 Steps to the Perfect Candy Buffet

Creating the perfect candy buffet for your wedding can be tricky, but if you follow these simple steps, you’ll have it down in no time. Join me as I create this Easter themed candy buffet, complete with a wide assortment of holiday favorites in pastel colors.

Step 1 – Vessels

Assemble your vessels and make sure they’re all washed and allowed to dry fully.

I’ve chosen to use glassware, but if it fits your theme, use whatever container you like. Just make sure that you can fit a hand down inside to pull out the candy.

Step 2 – Organize and Fill

Separate your items by type and lay next to the vessel that best suits the item. Once that’s organized, go ahead and fill the jars.

Things to keep in mind:

  • It’s better to have a full container with extra candy for refills than to have a container that does not look full.
  • It’s also okay to have multiple jars with the same items, especially if they’re popular flavors.
  • If there’s no theme, that’s okay. If there is a theme, keep in mind that the goal is for people to actually want to eat the candy. Don’t buy things that no one likes just because the color is right or you’ll be left taking it home and trying to feed it to Fido.
  • Don’t be afraid to mix items. A candy buffet can easily become a treat buffet and I don’t think anyone will mind. Doing a movie theme? Mix in some popcorn. Want a black, white and gold vintage theme? Mix in Oreos, chocolate covered pretzels and marshmallows. It’s your buffet. Do what you like!
  • Plan for approximately 1/2 pound of candy per guest.

Step 3 – Height

Use random items as platforms to create height.

Use whatever items you have lying around… crates, a stack of plates, boxes (just make sure they’re stable), etc. Cake stands also work, but would go on top of the fluff. Depending on how decorative the cake stand it, try to balance it was a less ornate bowl or plain candy.

Step 4 – Fluff

Don’t go crazy with the fluff. It’s just supposed to add some color and cover the platforms. Be sure the fluff is a few feet longer than the size of the table top. I suggest about 3 yards for a standard 6′ table to be sure you can cover the platforms with enough to spare.

If the table you’re using has skirting clipped to it, position it so the fluff covers the clips so they don’t detract from the pristine final look.

Step 5 – Position

This is probably the trickiest part and will take some patience. Just keep moving things around until you find your desired look. Here’s how I do it…

  • Keep like items apart. If you have two containers of Reese’s cups, put them on opposite sides of the table.
  • Vary your heights. Ideally, your containers will be differing in shape and size. Put tall items on the platforms to make the buffet look even taller and put short squat, containers on the table itself or on low elevations. This gives the table extremes in both directions and makes it look grand.
  • Use as few tables as possible to fit all of the vessels. It’s better to have one very full table than two that have too much negative space.

Step 6 – Goody Bags

Add your scoops and tongs (metal are best if possible) and goody bags. The goody bags need to be appropriately sized. If they’re too big, you’ll find yourself with an empty buffet very early on.
If you’re labeling the candy, go ahead and add those along with any ribbons or further accents. The attention to detail is what will make your buffet stand out!

Step 7 – Edit!

In our case, I tried some ribbons, but it made the table too overwhelming so I took them off. Don’t feel like you have to use everything you bought. I ended up adding just a few plastic Easter eggs, the perfect finishing touch.

Store the extra candy in a bin under the buffet so it can be filled as necessary (assuming your table is skirted). Please share photos of your candy buffet creations!

BLT Panzanella Salad

Memorial Day is just around the corner and we know you need a fabulous idea for a shareable item to take to that picnic. Impress your friends and relatives with the BLT Panzanella Salad. It incorporates fresh heirloom tomatoes with light lemon herb dressing, topped with fresh spinach, grilled corn, fried bacon and toasted sourdough croutons, finished with a balsamic glaze. Hungry yet?! Follow these simple instructions and awaken those taste buds!

First, you’ll need to make the lemon herb dressing and the sourdough croutons. Here’s how:

Lemon Herb Dressing


  • 1 Lemon, juiced
  • 1 Cup Mayonnaise
  • 2 TBSP Chopped Fresh Basil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients and sit in the refrigerator for a minimum of 30 minutes to allow the flavors to marinate.


  • 1 Loaf of Sourdough Bread
  • Olive Oil (as much as necessary)
  • 1 TSP Chopped Fresh Oregano
  • 1 TSP Chopped Fresh Basil
  • Salt, Pepper and Granulated Garlic to Taste

Cut the loaf of sourdough bread into 1” cubes.  Mix olive oil, oregano, basil, salt, pepper and granulated garlic.  Toss sourdough bread cubes in oil (just enough to coat it).  Bake at 350* for 10 minutes. Check for crispness. If you want a little more crunch, add time as needed.

BLT Panzanella Salad


  • 1 Large Heirloom Tomato Cut into Round Cross Sections
  • Lemon Herb Dressing (approximately 1 C from above recipe)
  • 1 Bag of Spinach (or Arugula if you prefer a different green)
  • 6-8 Strips Fried Bacon Coarsely Chopped
  • 2 Ears of Corn on the Cobb, Grilled and Cut from the Cobb
  • 12 Cherry Tomatoes, Sliced in Half
  • Sourdough Croutons (go ahead and use the whole loaf!)
  • Balsamic Glaze (as much as you like)

Line the perimeter of a large round dish with the sliced heirloom tomatoes.  Layer the Lemon Herb Dressing on top of the tomatoes.  Mix the spinach (or arugula), coarsely chopped bacon, grilled corn, halved cherry tomatoes and freshly baked croutons.  Toss the mixture lightly in olive oil.  Spoon mixture into the center of the tomatoes and dressing.  Finish with a balsamic drizzle.

Let us know if you try this recipe and what you think!

Gettysburg Hotel Weddings: A One Stop Shop

As a newly engaged couple, deciding on your venue is the very first and the most difficult process of planning your wedding. Comparing prices, décor, the coordinator, the dates, the distance for friends and family, and your ceremony location can be quite stressful.

While barns, wineries, orchards, museums etc., are beautiful and unique settings for the big day, there are many factors to consider. There is the rental of the space, the hiring of a caterer and staff, renting your own linens, tables and chairs, and being responsible for your own setup and cleanup. Not to mention, hiring an outside coordinator to take care of all of your wedding day needs, renting a shuttle to take guests back and forth to the hotel, and reserving a hotel block. Why go through all of that extra added stress when you can go to a place that just does it all?

That’s where the benefit of having your wedding in a full-service hotel, like the Gettysburg Hotel, comes in. The Gettysburg Hotel is just as beautiful and unique as the above places mentioned, and there are plenty of options not only for you and your fiancé, but for your family and friends as well.

The Gettysburg Hotel has the catering and alcohol on site, so you get to pay one price per person, which includes everything from the linens and the ballroom, to the event staff. When hosting your wedding at the Gettysburg Hotel, your wedding cake is included in each of our packages and comes from one of our preferred bakeries – Wells Family Baking Company or Karen Rodkey Cakes. We have an onsite coordinator, April, to help walk you through the process, who will be there the day of to set up your décor and who will handle every step of the way in between. She will work with you from start to finish to ensure a flawless event.

There are options for on-site ceremonies as well. At the Gettysburg Hotel, there are traditional options such as our ballroom or smaller meeting rooms, as well as another unique and historic choice – the Gettysburg Lincoln Railroad Station.

When having your wedding at a hotel, there are fewer logistics to worry about on your wedding day. You and your bridal party can wake up and get ready at the hotel and not worry about moving a muscle! The Gettysburg Hotel offers your guests discounted room rates, so not only can they enjoy your special day, but a weekend getaway too. If a guest needs to change their shoes, forgets your card, or is just ready for bed, all they have to do is get on an elevator and they are good to go! You can even have a private get together with everyone the next morning for breakfast or a rehearsal dinner the night before. The Gettysburg Hotel’s restaurant and pub on the property, One Lincoln, is the ideal spot for pre/post-wedding cocktails, and any breakfast, lunch, and dinner needs for you and your guests throughout the weekend.

When making the choice where to host your wedding, take into consideration the value of the venue you are choosing. If you go with a full-service hotel like the Gettysburg Hotel, truly all of your needs for the best day of your life can be met in one location and can be celebrated all weekend long with your loved ones!

Looking for information about having a hotel wedding? Contact the Gettysburg Hotel’s wedding expert, April, to discuss your options.



Gin Signature Drinks

Looking for a signature drink for your wedding or special event? Check out these two options created by One Lincoln’s mixologist, both featuring gin as the base. Give them a try and tell us your thoughts!

Flower Child

  • 1oz. Hendricks Gin
  • Splash Juniper infused simple syrup
  • .5 oz. Elderflower Liqueur
  • Muddled Cucumber

Combine ingredients in a shaker, stir, and double strain into cocktail glass. Garnish with a Purple Orchid or Honeysuckle Flower.

The Quintessential Gentleman

  • 1oz. Nolet’s Gin
  • Splash Rose petal/saffron-infused simple syrup
  • Splash Campari
  • Splash Grapefruit Juice

Combine ingredients in a shaker, stir, strain into rocks glass, garnish with an Orange Twist or Juniper Berries.

Candy and Fudge and Elephants… Oh My!

Candy, candy, candy… oh, wait, fudge too? And elephants? And an enchanted forest? Who knew an outing to Mister Ed’s Elephant Museum and Candy Emporium would be an adventure the whole family could love? In fact, that’s their main goal! I recently sat down with Nicole Bucher, co-owner of Mister Ed’s along with her husband Isaac, to get a little history!

It all started 50 years ago with a wedding gift from Mister Ed’s sister-in-law. It was a simple elephant and while he found it strange, she was quick to assure Mister Ed that it was meant for good luck. While on the honeymoon in Williamsburg, Virginia, his fascination with this pachyderm began to blossom and he purchased a few more. Before he knew it, the collection had grown to mammoth proportions, purchasing another everywhere he went. Miss Pat, Mister Ed’s wife, reached a limit when their home was overrun with the collection and told him he needed to find a place to keep his treasures. At the time, Mister Ed was working as a store manager at a Giant Foods in Virginia and thought it was the right time to become his own boss. After a few businesses including some restaurants, they decided a move to Pennsylvania was in order. It was 1975 when that they opened Mister Ed’s: The Territory’s Most Unusual General Store located just down the road from its current location. 9 years later, they moved the store to where it currently stands. While elephants had always been a part of the experience, they didn’t become the focus until the move. At that time, the combination of elephants and candy made for a truly unique destination, perfect for the whole family to enjoy. Over the years, the business has adapted to become what customers want, a wholesome environment for children to dream and explore.

Three years ago, Nicole and Isaac purchased the business of which they’d been a part for a decade. Since then, business has boomed. They’ve added a variety of items to the store, most notably, in my opinion, the truffle case. I can say from personal experience that these are by far the most delectable, mouth-watering truffles I’ve ever sampled and with the most unique varieties. With lots of liqueur flavors including amaretto and champagne, fruit flavors such as cherry and orange, the most popular flavor, hazelnut and a wide variety of white, milk and dark chocolate, it would be impossible not to find a flavor you love.

When you go in the shop, the elephants and sheer volume and variety of candy are admittedly the first thing you see, but their biggest seller is what’s kept behind the counter. That’s right… the fudge. With over 100 varieties, they produce between 1,000-2,000 pounds per week. That’s not a typo… per week! And the crazy part is that it’s all made on property. Cheryl, their fudge master and creator, uses two mechanized machines, which enable her to make 72 pounds of fudge per hour. The fudge is proudly sold all over Gettysburg and is made with only the finest ingredients. All of the cream comes from Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia based dairy farms, making them one of the few Pennsylvania Preferred fudge manufacturers.

I asked Nicole what trends she’s seen over the last few years and while I expected the answer to be candy buffets, it’s not. The growing trend is a shift from candy buffets back to individually boxed favors. For this, they offer both fudge and truffles, which are, in most cases, more economical than creating a candy buffet from scratch. “The fudge and truffles have a bigger ‘wow’ factor,” remarked Nicole. “They’re more elegant.”

I asked what the best sellers are and “Fudge!” was the answer without hesitate. Specifically, peanut butter fudge. After that, Goetz caramel creams and root beer barrels come in second and third.

In regards to the most rewarding part of the job, it’s when they can make a personal connection with someone and help to bring joy to a family. “For us, it’s the warm fuzzy. We want to take people back to a time where you can have fun without technology and connect the generations.”

My favorite part of our conversation was a story she told me about how the community rallied behind them when the building burned down on July 5, 2010. They lost over 2,000 elephants, but they received tremendous support from our community and in one afternoon, they had over 100 volunteers gathered together, scrubbing fire damaged elephants with toothbrushes. The community also began donating elephants to help replace and rebuild the museum displays. Today, they have over 25,000 total.

And as if everything they offer weren’t enough, each year they host an enormous Easter egg hunt, summer music in the gazebo, a Great Pumpkin Party and Santa’s arrival. The events are always free and are always geared for children. Look for changes in the coming years to include both the addition of peanut brittle, Nicole’s specialty, as well as a new collection in Miss Pat’s Teapot Museum! I can’t wait to see what they’ll think of next!

Keep up to date with all things Mister Ed’s by following them on Facebook.

The Blushing Bride

Our master mixologist from One Lincoln, Peter, has done it again! Introducing The Blushing Bride, custom created for one of our very own Gettysburg Hotel couples. It was the most popular mixed drink of the night and won rave reviews from every guest who tried it. Now, it’s your turn to enjoy this tasty beverage and make it the signature drink for your next special event. Cheers!

The Blushing Bride
1.5 oz. Absolut Raspberry
.5 oz. Grand Marnier
1 oz. Cranberry Juice
Dash of Lime Juice

Combine Absolut Raspberry, Grand Marnier, a squeeze of fresh lime juice, cranberry juice and ice. Shake and strain into a champagne flute. Garnish with a cherry and lime slice.

5 Easy Steps to Create the Perfect Signature Cocktail

Have you been thinking about featuring a Signature Drink at your upcoming event?  I sat down with our in-house mixologist at One Lincoln, Peter Bales, to discuss his approach to creating the perfect signature drink and his process may surprise you!  Join me as we explore how he does it.

1 – Name Your Drink

This seemed counter-intuitive to me.  I assumed you would first choose your liquor but he said that picking the name first gives him a roadmap to follow. “If you’re planning to make a pulled pork sandwich, you’ve already defined it and know which direction to go because of the title.”  It’s the same with the drink. Admittedly, only about 70% of the drinks keep the original given name, but the approach has worked well as the initial inspiration.  He also suggests doing all the planning on paper rather than just mixing so things don’t get confused.

2 – Choose the Base for Your Drink

Certain alcohols only pair well with specific liqueurs, cordials, mixers, and bitters.  Choosing the base alcohol also helps indicate how a drink will be prepared. For example, you can shake a vodka based cocktail all day long and it will do nothing to the chemical nature. However, if you shake gin, the alcohol would be bruised such that you can no longer taste the botanicals or juniper.

3 – Choose the Mixers

On your paper, start to write down things you think would pair well with your base selection. Consider a variety of mixers, juices, carbonated beverages, liqueurs, cordials, bitters, etc. Think about the desired look for the beverage and choose your glass style and garnish.

4 – Mix the Drink and Give it a Taste!

If you sample the drink and it’s awful, go back to the board and try again. If it’s pretty good, treat it like a Chef treats a recipe and begin to tweak until you find perfection. Pay attention to the items you’re adding as you go so you can deconstruct your drink later to create the recipe. As you taste, keep the five tastes in mind to help guide you…sweet, sour, bitter, salty and umami, which loosely translates to delicious!

5 – Record Your Recipe

If you followed Peter’s advice and took notes as you worked, you should be able to reverse engineer the menu and keep this drink in your stash for years to come!

Cheers!  Be sure to share your signature cocktails with us on One Lincoln’s facebook page.

Mother’s Day 2017

No matter what you call her… Mom, Mama, or Mother Dearest, we know you love her and we want to help you show her how much you appreciate all she is! Call today to make your reservations for our Mother’s Day Buffet in our stunning Grand Ballroom or call One Lincoln to take advantage of our Prix Fixe Lunch and Dinner options!

Gettysburg Hotel Mother’s Day Buffet

Prefer a buffet with something to please everyone? Call our front desk at 717.337.2000 to reserve your table today. With seating available for parties from 2-16, we are sure to be able to accommodate your needs. Our buffet includes a variety of hot soups, extensive salad bar, plentiful carving station, delicious entrees, and sides. And let’s not forget the endless dessert table with traditional favorites and unique varieties you’ll only find with us!

One Lincoln Special Mother’s Day Menu

In One Lincoln, enjoy a four-course meal, complete with a selection of hearty and savory soup, fresh, crisp salad, delicious choice of entrée and end the meal with a heavenly, rich dessert sure to be the perfect finishing touch. Reservations can be made by calling 717.338.5455.

Show your mom how lucky she is to have a child as smart as you! We’ll see you soon.

Just Wait ‘Til You See Her

From the age of twelve, most girls start dreaming about the perfect wedding, but more importantly, how they will look on that most special of days. While we at the Gettysburg Hotel can only offer the perfect venue, we can still recommend to you the ideal bridal boutique to make all your wedding attire dreams come to fruition.

Tamzen’s Bridal at Butler Manor

I sat down with Tamzen’s Bridal at Butler Manor to see how they got their start and what makes their shop unique. The first time I went to visit them, I was greeted at the door with a chalkboard on the sidewalk that welcomed me by name. I was instantly impressed. But then, I opened the door to a magnificent shop, full of stunning wedding gowns, huge mirrors, lounge chairs, couches, and every wedding accessory you can imagine. I instantly knew that this was a business we could not only recommend to our couples, but one owned by people we could trust to take excellent care of them.

Tamzen’s husband, Doc, told me the story of how they got into the industry. Before they were married, they both had crazy schedules. Tamzen was a teacher for 29 years and Doc worked in the healthcare industry for 32. As a result, they were hard pressed to find time to spend with each other. On a rare evening spent together, they began discussing what they would do if they could change careers and Tamzen confessed that she’d always dreamt of her own bridal boutique. Once it was verbalized, they started putting plans in place to bring her dream into the real world. Doc offered to leave the healthcare industry behind and instead, use his skills to manage the business end of things so Tamzen could focus on her passion; design.

When they started making preparations, it was important to them to get things correct from the start. They wanted to have a very clear plan of how their business would look from an operations standpoint and began to look at all the pros and cons from other bridal boutiques they were visiting. Did I forget to mention that they were engaged at this time? It didn’t hurt that they were naturally visiting a lot of shops and were able to glean from them the things to do and also not to do!

For example, the idea of having a bride’s name on a board that greets everyone as they walk in came from a high-end private boutique in Cincinnati. Another boutique charged a flat rate for their in-house seamstress fee, regardless of what you needed, which was basically an upcharge to bring more money to their shop. Tamzen and Doc completely disagree with this practice and instead recommend pre-approved seamstresses in the area to help you with any necessary alterations.

Thier ideas also makes them a unique boutique in the area is that they service only one bride at a time. Each bride gets her turn to come in, try on dresses with her friends and family and gets the one on one attention she deserves as she prepares to find, and say yes to the perfect dress. Tamzen said she wants every bride to have the “experience of a lifetime so they feel like royalty when they are here.” Having been through the experience just a little over two years ago prior to their destination wedding in Salzburg, Austria, they know exactly what you’re looking for and how you expect to be treated while shopping for your once in a lifetime look.

Tamzen’s Bridal carries a number of lines, some of which allow her to have design input. That way, your voice gets heard. If she hears from the brides that they’re looking for certain styles or finishes on their gowns, Tamzen can sit down with the designers and make the suggestions based on your thoughts. It’s one of the most exciting things when the next year’s dresses come out and she can see the voice of her brides materialized in the new collections.

The excitement is about to double because Tamzen has just announced is that they have initiated her own private line in the short time they’ve been up and running! I asked her what we can expect and she said the big trends right now are gowns made of satin and Mikado – “Think Jackie O.” She said that dresses have been saturated with lace in recent years and while it’s still a huge trend, styles are shifting to a clean, classic look. “You need to find a dress that you are wearing, not one that is wearing you.” A clean look is great for everyone, no matter your size, shape or height. Trendy is nice, but will you like it 50 years from now? “If in doubt, choose classic over trendy.”

I asked Tamzen what she enjoys most about running her business. “Oh my gosh, making people happy!” was her quick reply. Being an educator for 29 years, she has taken this job and those skills and merged the two together. She tries to educate brides on fabric, style, and care and shows them why there are price differences in gowns. “We have been truly blessed with wonderful customers” and strive to “treat our customers as if they were family.” That’s why they work so hard to take care of brides with military family members, be it the bride herself, her fiancé or one of the parents. Military weddings can be difficult because they often need to plan around someone being able to take leave. This means that sometimes, a dress needs to be purchased off the rack or Tamzen researches companies to see what they have in stock. It takes extra legwork on her end to make it happen, but it’s the most rewarding part of what she does. And as though the extra work isn’t enough, she also offers a 10% discount to those planning military weddings.

I then asked her about the most difficult part of her job and her reply was interesting to me – reality television. Brides watch these shows and see the girls walking out of the stores with gowns, but that’s not how it works for smaller boutique shops. The samples in the store are just that… samples. They are for sale but are not necessarily in mint condition. If you want a brand new dress, you need to understand the time commitment it takes to make it. The whole process takes about 8 months from ordering to processing to alterations to receiving the final product. But, in the end, it’s worth the wait to have the perfect, customized dress that you’ll look back on 50 years from now and still love as much as the day you chose it.”

Just as we were finishing, I asked her what has changed the most and what new things are developing. It turns out at the biggest change is that they are maxed on store frontage as well as square footage. I was happy to hear that they are considering expanding to Gettysburg. Tamzen said they’ve always wanted to retire in the Gettysburg area and perhaps expanding their business to include a shop in our town is just the right way to start making that dream a reality too!

Say yes to the dress at Tamzen’s Bridal.

Keep up with Tamzen and Doc and all things at the shop by following on Facebook.