How to Organize a Successful Fundraiser

How to Organize a Successful Fundraiser

This new age is taking our social lives to a whole new level. If you happen to have a big circle, then chances are your social calendar is packed and planned to the minute. And there might be a lot of fundraisers on the calendar, too.

If you are organizing a fundraiser, it is important that it stands out from the rest on a crowded fundraising schedule. There are many worthy causes to donate time and money to – what sets yours apart? Hosting a successful fundraiser takes planning, organization, creativity, and attention to detail. Follow these five simple tips and your fundraising event will be a huge success:


The aim of hosting a fundraiser should be clear. Is it an organization you want to raise money for or a little publicity of some other program? When you are clear about what you need to get out of the fundraiser, then you will be better able to plan the event around your goal. Also do some math and have an estimate of the amount that will be left after you deduct your expenses.


When planning any event, you need to calculate all costs beforehand. You need to cover the costs of the event, and also have a substantial amount left over to donate to your cause. Though you can’t anticipate every last-minute hiccup, leave room in your budget for additional expenses that may crop up – you don’t want to be left in a bind.

Guest list

The most important part of any event it the audience. Be clear on what kind of audience this event targets; professionals in a specific field, parents, or everyone. Engage your audience intellectually and emotionally to draw awareness to the event and support your cause.

Let the people know

You need to reach out to your target audience and let them know why they should attend your fundraiser and what is it that is worth their money. Along with the traditional marketing strategies, social media is a great addition and it will reach out to a much larger audience with a single post, picture, or tweet.

A complete plan

The staff and everyone else who is hosting the event must be aware of the event plan and be motivated to follow it. The St. Elias team is professional and experienced with hosting fundraising events, charity galas, corporate events, weddings, and other special events to ensure your event goes off without a hitch.

An organized event plan can ensure your way through the most technical of events. Keep your head clear and take in charge. Your well-organized and planned fundraising event will be a success!

Choosing the Perfect Honeymoon Destination

Choosing the Perfect Honeymoon Destination

Your honeymoon is going to be one of the most loved and cherished memories of your life. And you don’t want to end up in a place that is anything less than perfect. Chances are every one of us, male or female, has thought about the honeymoon at a certain point in life and you might be clear on what you want or where you want to go.


Honeymoon After Your St. Elias Wedding

Planning a honeymoon will be the highlight of your wedding planning, but there are a few aspects that need to be discussed. So grab a bottle of wine and sit down with your fiancé(e) and plan the honeymoon without drifting off into daydreaming.

Where Do You Want to Honeymoon?

You both need to discuss your honeymoon destination. Do you want to unwind on the beach or lace up a pair of hiking boots and explore the wilderness? Or hold hands and take a romantic stroll along the streets of some Rome and popping into restaurants to enjoy local delicacies? The world is filled with endless possibilities, so you can enjoy your favourite activities or step out of your comfort zone and try something new as you set on this new life path.

Make a budget and talk to an agent. If you can’t afford Maldives, chances are you will find a destination that has the same serene waters for a cheaper price. If Europe isn’t quite practical right now, Montreal and Quebec City both have old world charm but are just a quick train ride away.

How Long Will the Honeymoon Be?

After the whole wedding planning, you need to talk about how many days you can take off for the honeymoon. Trust me when I say this, if you are going somewhere far away then you don’t want to spend more time on the flight and less time honeymooning, especially with the jet lag factor. There is nothing wrong with taking a quick weekend away then planning a longer honeymoon later down the road.

Popular Honeymoon Ideas

Whether you want a beach honeymoon or an adventurous one, you can find a location that will fit your budget.

Maldives is the dreamiest, most perfect honeymoon destination but it could cost you a fortune. If you have money to burn then don’t hold back but if not, you don’t want to start the new chapter of your life with a big vacation bill.

If you do not have seasickness, then go on a cruise. It has everything. A 5-star hotel on water with mind-blowing views all day long, packed with entertainment and great food already paid for.

The most important part of a honeymoon is to connect with the one you have chosen to spend the rest of your life with. And where love resides, there is little room for anything else. Hope you have the honeymoon of your dreams!

St. Elias Centre is one of Ottawa’s favourite wedding venues, with over 11,500 square feet of space accommodating 50 to 1,000 wedding guests, on-site parking, in-house catering from our executive chef, and outstanding professional service.

5 Signs Your Company Needs a Team-Building Event

5 Signs Your Company Needs a Team-Building Event

It may not sound like the most exciting concept ever conceived, but team- building is necessary for establishing a few important team-related relationships. The employees that make up your company are what determine success or failure, and the cohesiveness and interactions between staff are what make them thrive at their very best. If you’re unsure whether this might be necessary just yet, here are five signs to decipher whether your company might be in need of a team-building event.

Comfort in Communicating

Communication is the backbone to having a successful team. It’s what keeps everyone on task. It facilitates a smooth, fluid system between colleagues, and gets things done. It’s important that coworkers feel comfortable enough to speak their mind and offer their opinion – after all, this is often what they’re being paid for. If there’s a distinctive feeling of neglect and miscommunication among team members – some time for repair might be necessary.

Fostering Trust

If there is very little – or a misguided amount – of communication amongst team members, then you can bet this is more than likely fostering some issues of trust. Obviously, this is something that can take a significant amount of time to establish, however, the more often members can get know each other in an environment that encourages trust, the more likely it will continue to develop naturally over time. Without trust, the need to control matters is something that can very easily permeate throughout a team, causing an overload of work for some with very inefficient outcomes for many.


If you want your team members to improve performance, they might just need a bit of encouragement now and again. If the motivation and enthusiasm seem to have dwindled, this could be the perfect time for introducing a team-building event in order to give them a boost. If you want to ensure that your employees are on task, and performing to the best of their abilities, it is vital to keep them inspired and motivated to perform at their potential.

Encourage Creativity

Creativity is what keeps a company thriving year after year. With the incredibly fast pace within the business world, creativity is what keeps a company running. Group exercises are great for stimulating team members to throw out ideas and bounce them off of each other. Whether it’s encouragement or empty ideas, either way, this allows each person to feed off of another and brainstorm their ideas together. This can additionally, help foster each of the aforementioned points simultaneously.

Get with the Times

Today, it’s more common than not for companies to have teams that consist of a complete range of generations. From the employee who is edging towards retirement, to the 25-year-old that’s fresh out of college – it’s imperative to keep everyone on the same page. With the variety of perspectives, it’s easy to have everyone following their own beat. This isn’t always a bad thing, but when it does throw some conflict into the mix, it could be a good sign that some wrinkles need to be ironed out.

By establishing some ground rules and concepts in a positive environment, you can help form more cohesive interactions among each team member – and there’s simply no better way than with a team-building event. St. Elias Centre is a premiere corporate event venue in Ottawa, perfect for hosting teal-building events, fundraising galas, charity events, trade shows, staff parties, and more!

Everything You Need to Know About Ring Sizing

Everything You Need to Know About Ring Sizing

Wedding rings have been exchanged between couples for many years as a symbol of eternal love and devotion. They have no start or finish, which relates closely to the everlasting union of a married couple. It is said that we wear our wedding and engagement rings on our left hand because the ancient Egyptians believed that the vein in the fourth finger connects directly to the heart. You learn something new every day, right? No matter if this is true or not, one thing is for sure – when it comes to rings, size definitely matters. Here is an essential guide to everything you absolutely need to know where ring sizing is concerned.

Understanding Ring Sizing

If you’ve never shopped for rings before, the whole process will probably be rather daunting at first. Standard ring sizes are measured in millimeters based on the ring’s inner circumference, and is sized according to a standard scale, just like women’s clothing. Ring sizing is not done the same way from country to country, however. In Canada, ring sizing is carried out following a numerical scale, with quarter and half sizes. Other countries tend to follow an alphabetical scale, which use whole sizes or a set circumference adjustment.

Getting Measured

Although there are lots of ways for you to measure your ring size from the comfort of your own home, the best possible way to get your ring size accurately measured is to go straight to the source – a jeweler. Going to a jeweler involves them slipping a ring onto your finger, and determining your ring size based on where the ring stops.

Measuring From Home

If measuring your own ring size at home is simply more convenient for you, that’s totally okay. There are lots of ways for you to do so – there’s even a printable ring sizer! Just print the ring size chart at “Scale 100” and place the ring over the circles, lining up the inside edges to the circle that best matches on the chart. If you’re stuck between two sizes, always choose the larger one. Another good way of measuring from home is to do so with string. Print the ring size chart to actual size, and wrap a piece of string around your finger and cut it at the point when the end overlaps. Then, line up the string with the ring size guide on the chart.

Jeweler’s Ring Sizing Tips

“The wider the band, the tighter it will fit.”

“The more snug, the better.”

“Your fingers swell up in summer, so keep this in mind when choosing the best ring size.”

Once you have the perfect engagement ring, you can start planning the rest of your wedding details – including finding the best wedding venue in Ottawa!


Why March is the Perfect Time for a Wedding

Why March is the Perfect Time for a Wedding

Setting a date for your big day is one of the most important elements in creating the perfect wedding. From booking the wedding photographer to making arrangements with the florist, reserving hotel rooms, and choosing the best wedding venue in Ottawa – it can all add up so quickly. This is why you should consider booking at a time that’s in the off-peak season. Here are a few pointers for why March is the best time for hosting your wedding day:

Cheaper rental fees

Since March is completely off the peak season, it’s the ideal time to find a perfect wedding venue in Ottawa that is more affordable, and often significantly cheaper in comparison what they would cost just a few months before or later. If money is more of an issue than the weather – March is the best choice to bet on.

It’s much easier to find the perfect venue

Since this time of the year is quieter, this means less competition for the venue of your wishes. You won’t have to fight with other brides and grooms-to-be for that ideal Saturday booking. Aside from venues, other essentials that are required for the big day – a florist, catering, a band or DJ – will be a breeze to book, and will spare you the headache of having to find a few backup options if it were the summer.

You can choose winter or spring

Since March is a time of year that isn’t always predictable, is does leave you the option of deciding whether you want a winter or spring theme – or maybe even a bit of both. If you are keen on having an outdoor ceremony, this gives you the freedom to be more creative. For example, you can serve some hot beverages, light up some lanterns and even give out some blankets that accent your wedding day colours. If the weather happens to take a turn for the worst, just have a backup plan in place. Either way, you will still be saving your time and money in the long run.

Better rates for travelling

If you know that a significant portion of your guests will be flying in from out of town, or country, March is the best time for them to grab some potentially cheaper fares. Since it isn’t peak season for travelling, this will save them from digging deeper into their pockets, and instead, use it towards your wedding gift – hopefully. Additionally, if you are planning on zipping away somewhere after the wedding celebrations, it’s a great time to find the most amazing yet affordable package for some relaxation and romance.

Planning your wedding doesn’t have to drain your pockets or make you feel overwhelmed. You just have to think outside of the box and figure out where you can trim down on expenses, while making the most out of your special day. For these reasons, there’s no better time to book a date at the St. Elias Centre than in March 2017.

A Quick Guide to Planning an Engagement Party

A Quick Guide to Planning an Engagement Party

Around two to three months after getting engaged, the majority of us will organize an engagement party and invite all our closest friends and family, and our future spouse’s loved ones, as well. Engagement parties provide the perfect opportunity to bring two families together and congregate with the people we love the most to celebrate our union with the person we want to spend the rest of our lives with. So, if you simply don’t know where to start and feel a little stuck on planning your engagement party, here are a few vital tips and tricks on how you can organize the party of your dreams.

Don’t Jump Straight Into It

After he or she has proposed, you should take some time to really enjoy the moment and be happy and excited about your future together. It’s a bad idea to jump straight into the stresses of party-planning when it’s only been a couple of weeks since they popped the question! So, it’s essential to take some time to establish what you want for the party, who you’d like to invite, and organize all the little details. Relax, breathe, and plan your engagement party at your own comfortable pace.

Establish Your Wedding Size

Keep in mind that the people you invite to your engagement party should ultimately be invited to the big day, too. In wedding etiquette, it’s actually pretty rude not to invite the guests who were at your engagement party to your wedding. So before you send off the engagement party invitations, you and your other half should have decided how big or small you want your wedding to be, in order to avoid any mishaps or confusion.

Consider Your In-Laws

Of course, planning an engagement party should be all about the wants and needs of the future bride and groom – but it’s still important to consider your in-laws and plan the party around them a little. If your significant other comes from a rather formal family, then a picnic in the park for an engagement party might not be a very wise idea. You don’t have to plan the entire party around them, but it’s still respectful to take their needs into consideration.

Keep The Wedding In Mind

You might not believe this, but some couples are guilty of getting way too over-excited about their recent engagement that their engagement party actually beats their wedding day. This is a huge mistake, and you should definitely keep your big day in mind when planning your engagement party! Don’t go all out, because then planning an even better wedding party will be difficult.

The team at St. Elias Centre has been providing expert advice for Ottawa brides and grooms-to-be for many years. From engagement parties and weddings to corporate events and trade shows, St. Elias Centre is one of Ottawa’s premiere event centres.

Wonderful Winter Wedding Ideas

Wonderful Winter Wedding Ideas

There is no denying that winter is an incredibly romantic season of the year – cozying up by the fire with your other half, ice-skating hand in hand, and trying to find the best possible Valentine’s gift for the love of your life. It’s definitely a time of year for togetherness, and sharing as much body heat as humanly possible. That said, it’s also a great time of year to make your love official in front of all your friends and family, and tie the knot. So, if you’re thinking about getting married at the coldest (and most romantic) time of year, then here are a few awesome winter wedding ideas.

Opt For Red Roses

We all know that a red rose is the most romantic flower – and, if chosen as the flowers for your wedding, there really is no better time to rock a bouquet of red roses than in winter. Alternatively, other popular choices for winter wedding flowers are calla lilies, white hydrangeas, and amaryllis. Go for a white or red ribbon wrapped around your bouquets for the ultimate winter style.

Serve Hot Drinks

Winter is the best time of year to snuggle up with a mug full of creamy hot chocolate, so why not incorporate this into your wedding? Rather than serving fancy cocktails at the party, why not do things differently and give your guests mulled wine? This will give your wedding an extra wintery ambience.

Go Crazy With Centerpieces

If you really want to go all out with the whole “winter theme” for your wedding, then it’s essential to put lots of thought into the centrepieces. Bring the cold indoors with ice sculptures, and dot lots of fancy candles around for an extra intimate atmosphere. Fill vases to the brim with winter flowers, and make your indoor wedding reception really come to life.

Rock That Cake

What better way to show off your wedding theme than via the cake? Go for ivory or crème icing, dusted with gold or silver glitter sprinkles. If your wedding date is during Christmas time, then why not decorate your cake with holly? Alternatively, if you’d prefer a more minimalistic look, then request for the cake to be dotted with crystals.

As you can see, there really are so many awesome ways you can rock your winter wedding. Whether you choose to incorporate the winter theme into your bouquet, or if you want to go all out with ice sculptures, the choice is entirely yours. Whatever you go for, there is no denying the romance of a winter wedding.

Why Get Married in the Winter?

Why Get Married in the Winter?

Although most couples tend to tie the knot in the spring or summer, there really is no denying the romance of a white winter wedding. With snow falling all around and beautiful white blankets covering the ground, wedding photographs can easily look like the setting of a winter wonderland. So, if you’re considering getting married in the winter of 2016, below are a few awesome reasons why you should absolutely go for it.

You Can Create an Indoor Paradise

It’s possible but unpleasant to have an outdoor wedding in the winter, so why not grab the opportunity to create an indoor paradise for your wedding reception and party? After all, the fact that it gets dark so early in the winter allows you to start the party just that little bit sooner. Go crazy with ice sculptures, dot your tables with winter flowers like roses and hydrangeas, and serve up comforting hot drinks rather than cocktails. Winter wedding parties are known to be super intimate and cozy, and what more could you want with your closest family and friends?

You Can Make Your Money Go Further

Because so many people tend to get married in the warmer months, tying the knot in the winter can actually be a much cheaper option – so it’s ideal if you’re on a tight budget. You’ll find much more availability with suppliers and wedding venues in Ottawa, because winter is a less busy time of year. It’s definitely a sensible thing to consider when thinking about a winter wedding.

You Don’t Need to Worry About the Weather

When you set your wedding date to sometime in the spring or summer, there’s always a terrifying chance that it will rain, and your outdoor wedding will be instantly ruined. But, in the winter, you’ll be expecting bad weather anyway, and you’ll be all set for it. So, in a sense, a winter wedding is much less risky weather-wise than a spring or summer one.

You Can Look Like a Winter Princess

If the whole Frozen look is totally your thing, then getting married in the winter would be perfect for you. In the summer months, wedding dresses are all about the whole floaty, lacy look, but winter provides the chance to dress up like a winter princess. Think long, detailed, extravagant dresses, hair styled with crystals, and a plum or deep red lip colour. Winter is the perfect season to rock this style.

2016’s Most Anticipated Wedding Cake Trends

2016’s Most Anticipated Wedding Cake Trends

Most people who have been married, or who are in the process of organizing their wedding, will know all too well just how important small details really are. From gluten-free and vegetarian food options to the colour of the ribbons tied to the back of the chairs to the size of the bridesmaid’s heels, weddings really do test the patience of even the most organized person. And, one feature of a wedding that definitely deserves lots of attention is the cake. Wedding cakes are great at acting as a canvas to demonstrate the theme of your wedding, whether that’s classic black and white, all things nautical, or a scene from a fairytale book. Cakes come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, and can act out just about any theme you can imagine. So, if you’re planning on getting hitched in 2016, you’ll be excited to know that there are all sorts of new wedding cake trends that are predicted to be huge this year. Here they are!

Painted Wedding Cakes

The concept may sound a little strange, but boy, do painted wedding cakes look good! If you’re planning on having a colourful wedding, or would like the cake to act as the “accent” of the party, then opting for a painted wedding cake is a fantastic idea. People are even going for stained-glass painted cakes, and Monet-inspired design – will you be one of them?

Ombre Wedding Cakes

It’s safe to say that ombre really is taking over. Not only is ombre hair super popular right now, but it’s now possible to get an ombre cake for your wedding. This cake idea proves to be extremely artistic, and can be done in all sorts of ways. If your colour theme is pastel blue, great! If it’s more of a hot pink, then that can be done, too. There is an ombre cake to suit every style and taste, so this wedding cake trend is definitely worth looking into further.

Metallic Wedding Cakes

Metallic cakes are so in right now. If you’re going for a classic, old-Hollywood feel at your wedding, then a metallic wedding cake will fit in perfectly. But, even if you’re not, they look great with a range of themes. They are a perfect way of combining classic and modern, and can be made in all sorts of unusual shades.

Ruffled Wedding Cakes

One wedding cake theme that’s becoming increasingly popular is ruffled, since it looks so sophisticated and elegant. Ruffled wedding cakes look light and airy, and perfect when combined with floral décor. Simple, minimalistic and oh so pretty, it’s no surprise that this wedding cake trend will be a big hit in 2016.

Lace Wedding Cakes

If you want a classic and elegant wedding cake but aren’t feeling the whole “ruffled” thing, then a lace wedding cake is a good option to consider. These are particularly effective if the bride is wearing a lace wedding dress, but still look fantastic even if that isn’t the case. A tiered wedding cake with minor lace details is super popular right now, but is also a blissfully timeless design.

5 Signs You’ve Found Your Dream Wedding Venue

5 Signs You’ve Found Your Dream Wedding Venue

Getting engaged and planning the perfect wedding is definitely a milestone time in anyone’s life, and is a situation that brings about a whirlwind of emotions, from happiness and joy to feeling stressed and overwhelmed. Once the excitement of getting engaged has worn off slightly, it’s time to start planning your wedding. One of the most important factors is, of course, hunting for your dream wedding venue in Ottawa to get hitched. Whatever type of venue you opt for, it’s safe to say that when you’ve found “the one,” you’ll know about it instantly. Below are five tell-tale signs that you’ve found your dream wedding venue in Ottawa:

It Matches Your Budget

Even though it’s easy to get a little carried away when looking for a wedding venue, it’s definitely important to make sure you only hunt for places that are within your budget. So, if you think you’ve found the perfect place, and you can afford it, this is a good sign. Choosing somewhere that appears absolutely ideal, but is way out of your price range, is never a wise move.

You Just Know

As mentioned above, when you find your dream wedding venue, you’ll more than likely get the feeling of “this is the one” almost instantly. If you have extremely positive first impressions the second you arrive at the venue, then it’s probably because you’ve found the ideal place. If you find an “almost perfect” venue but aren’t ecstatic about it within the first ten minutes, it’s because there’s something better out there.

It’s Practical

If you think you’ve found an amazing wedding venue, but it’s simply too small for the amount of people on your guest list, then keep on looking. One of the most important factors in finding your dream wedding venue is that it’s practical, and caters for the style, size and theme of your wedding. This is super important, and should always be considered on your wedding venue hunt.

You Have Others To Compare It To

It’s essential to be able to compare many different wedding venues, in order to get a better feel and instinct of which is the right one for you. Sure, you’ve got a brilliant first impression of the first wedding venue you visit (which is always a good sign), but it’s still sensible to have other places to compare it to. This makes the decision making process much easier, too.

It Fits In Well With The Theme

Whether or not you have a specific theme for your wedding, it’s important that your wedding venue caters for this. If you want your wedding to be very outdoorsy, then it’s no use opting for a venue with barely any space outdoors. The St. Elias Centre, for example, is located right next to beautiful Mooney’s Bay and Hog’s Back Park, the perfect backdrop for unforgettable wedding photos.


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