5 Amazing Wedding Themes

wedding venues ottawa

When you and your partner are ready to say “I do,” there are many decision to be made. From the guest list and outfits to which of the great Ottawa wedding venues you will choose, there are many choices that go into planning your wedding. If you haven’t decided on a theme yet, these amazing wedding themes can make for an unforgettable wedding:
 
 

Rustic Theme

You can make your wedding warm and homey with a country-look and rustic feel. You can get married on a farm with a barn and gorgeous green outdoor backdrop, but even indoor or winter weddings can be given rustic charm. Wood décor, handmade DIY stationary, long family-style tables, and Mason jar centrepieces give that down-home appeal. Be sure to decorate the room with plenty of natural flowers to make the rustic theme come alive – the bride can even wear cowboy boots!

Modern Theme

A modern wedding theme is the perfect opportunity to be a trendsetter and impress your guests with your contemporary flair. Crisp whites, bold reds, sharp lines, and warm lighting are must-haves. Your wedding cake can really communicate your modern style with an elegant and eye-catching design, like a delicate stencil flower pattern.

Vintage Theme

Step back in time with a vintage wedding theme. For a real personal touch, see if you can borrow items from your family members – imagine walking down the aisle at one of the elegant Ottawa wedding venues with your grandmother’s veil or a bridal clip from your partner’s side of the family. To really sell the theme, you can have a string quartet perform, or just get your DJ to spin tunes from back in the day. You can top it off as you ride away in a “just married” vintage car rental.

Off-Beat Theme

You can really let your personality shine through by choosing an off-beat wedding theme. Rather than trying to fit within a certain theme made popular by other couples, you can pick and choose your own favourites. Whether you’d rather do cake pops and cupcakes instead of a traditional wedding cake, or choose to decorate Ottawa wedding venues with quirky and creative décor, your guests will have a blast and you’ll have created a one-of-a-kind night to remember.

There are so many appealing wedding themes, it can be difficult to choose only one. Rest assured, no matter what theme you and your partner choose, you can plan an amazing and happy wedding that you’ll never forget.


Dos and Don’ts for a Successful Corporate Event

hosting a successful corporate event

If you’re responsible for planning your company’s next corporate event, you’ll want to impress. When it comes to choosing the right corporate event venue, Ottawa has some options that are a cut above. With the right venue and these recommended Dos and Don’ts in mind, you’re sure to wow your colleagues at your next corporate event:
 
 

DO Team Build

Don’t forget that your corporate event has a purpose. Make sure you plan activities that give employees from different departments a chance to get to know one another and build a rapport. Choose a layout that suits your purposes. For example, having small tables of five or six people will allow those staff members to acquaint themselves quite well, which is great if that’s your goal. If you want them to interact with more people, plan activities that get people to move around, shift groups, and team build.

DO Pick a Theme

If you want to plan a memorable corporate event, then choosing a theme is a must. Some fun theme ideas include casino night, ping pong tournament, Hawaiian luau or Hollywood nights. You can tie your theme into the values of your company, or simply throw a fun event that all of your staff will enjoy.

DO Choose a Great Venue

When it comes to choosing a corporate event venue, Ottawa residents know there’s no better place than the St. Elias Centre. With free parking, amazing service, affordable costs and flexibility to suit any sized event, your corporate event will be a guaranteed success if hosted here.

DON’T Skimp on Food

Great food is a must for any successful corporate event. Whether you want to plan an elegant sit-down dinner or go with an ample buffet, your staff will be talking about the amazing food for months. Go above and beyond with tasty finger food or a decadent dessert bar.

DON’T Make it Boring

You want your staff to look forward to corporate events and fondly remember them afterward. So don’t forget to make it fun. While you still may have goals in mind, weave them into fun activities like trivia, charades, or even karaoke. You can set up a photo booth and have your staff take wacky pictures together.

DON’T Wait Until Last Minute

It is important that you do not wait until the last minute to plan your corporate event. When they wait too long to book a corporate event venue, Ottawa companies might be left in the cold. Not only does booking the venue early ensure you get priority, but you will save yourself much stress and panic. You won’t have to deal with any last minute problems or switcheroos.

Follow this list of dos and don’ts, and you’ll thrill your entire staff with a successful corporate event they’ll never forget.


4 Fun Ideas for Your Banquet Hall Wedding

reception hall

You want your wedding to be a fun occasion where people will enjoy themselves and create memories to last a lifetime. Your banquet hall can be set up to accommodate a number of fun activities that will help personalize your wedding while making sure people are not sitting at their tables staring at the centerpieces. Here are four fun ideas for your banquet hall wedding:
 
 

Photo Booth

This is a retro idea which has come back into the spotlight. There can be downtime at weddings, while people wait for the bride and groom to arrive, or between dinner and dancing. A photo booth is the perfect time killer, but it also allows people to pop in and create a memory of the event. You can offer fun costumes and props which tie in with your wedding theme. They can be really elegant touches, or just be fun hats, boas and sunglasses. Each guest will have a picture of the wedding and many photo booth rental companies will upload images to a private website so people can look at all of the shots.

Centerpiece Giveaways

Come up with a fun way for people to compete for the centerpiece at their table. You can have a raffle for each table where everyone puts their names in a hat and the bride pulls names before or after dinner. You can also have people sing a song to fight for the centerpiece or even make people show off their dance moves. It’s all in good fun and will prove an excellent entertainment for your banquet hall wedding.

Host a Game Show

You can rent a number of game show props and have people compete for prizes. You can have tables competing against each other or do a boys against the girls between the groomsmen and bridesmaids. There are many options such as spinning wheels, trivia and match games. You could even do a newlywed game for married couples, including the newest couple of all.

Ask for Advice Cards

This allows guests to offer advice on how the bride and groom can have a happy marriage. You can have cards placed on each table with a specific question and each guest can write out their advice. Guests can take turns reading their answers aloud. Some advice will be very heartfelt and insightful, both other guests will provide some good laughs. You can also collect the cards and the bride can read the questions and the groom can read the answers or vice versa.

These ideas are sure to make your banquet hall wedding a blast and make it a wedding to remember forever.


5 Wedding Trends of 2015

ottawa weddings

If you are planning a wedding for 2015 here are five wedding trends that will be popping up in the banquet halls Ottawa couples book:

Tea on the Terrace

The Brits are having a huge influence here across the pond thanks to shows such as Downton Abbey and the continuing love story between Kate and William. The end result is a wedding trend looking at outdoor garden parties and tea on the terrace for brides and grooms. This is a theme that can still be carried out in banquet halls Ottawa couples book using garden details such as large planters with trees and trellises covered in fresh and tumbling flowers. Be sure to include interesting furnishings such as classic painted cast-iron tables, benches and chairs and charming centerpieces inspired by English gardens.

Champagne Fountains

This is a blast from the past with an ice cold bubbly fountain perfect for dipping elegant fluted glasses to toast the bride. However, a modern twist adds fruit juices and other interesting beverages to create a signature cocktail for the fountains. This can also cut down on lines at the bar to make the guest experience more enjoyable and interactive. You could even concoct a special blend to match your wedding colours.

Station in Life

Tasting stations are all the rage for 2015. Banquet halls Ottawa couples book will be seeing a trend away from the basic sit-down meal to an exploration in flavours allowing guests to visit different set-ups and sample new foods. This is a fun way to have dinner and allows people to enjoy more choices than just chicken or steak. If you have guests with dietary restrictions, this is a great way for them to enjoy some food without feeling self-conscious about skipping others.

Family-Style Tables

Another trend is moving away from the table for ten set-up and instead using long, inviting tables where people gather together. This family-friendly set-up is ideal for smaller weddings, but with a large enough table it can work for medium-sized weddings as well. To get that same community feel at larger weddings, the meals can still be served family-style. The passing of bowl at smaller tables will keep people talking and feeling special surrounded by great company and irresistible food.

Whimsy

Adding a touch of whimsy to centerpieces, ceremonies and even music creates a laid-back feel which can reflect the personalities of the bride and groom. The sky is the limit when it comes to how you infuse whimsy into your wedding day making it the perfect option to make things your own.

These are just five wedding trends you will see for 2015. With these creative trends, the banquet halls Ottawa couples are hiring for their receptions will be transformed.


Decorating Your Venue on a Budget

wedding locations ottawa

When you are looking for ideas to create a stunning backdrop for your special event it is not unusual to have certain budget restrictions. There are, however many ways you can decorate your banquet hall without breaking the bank including:
 

 
 

Lights

Using white Christmas lights is an excellent way to add sophistication and sparkle to an event. Your banquet hall may have many features you can use to affix your lights such as pillars, plants and other architectural features. White lights are neutral yet elegant and will provide a sense of celebration to your event.

Intriguing Centerpieces

Flowers are very expensive and can really put a dent in your budget. Get creative with your centerpieces and use unexpected items and materials to create truly intriguing decorative touches at each table. Look at items such as peacock feathers or ostrich like plumes, dried flowers, bare branches you find in the woods or something completely unusual such as relevant photos glued onto interesting sticks.

Focused Floral Arrangements

Just because flowers are expensive doesn’t mean you have to discount them from your plans altogether. Look for major focal points to add fresh flowers in order to create a sense of substance and beauty. Consider using interesting fillers such as those mentioned above so you still get the feel and smell of fresh flowers without the expense.

Introduce More Fabric

Look at ways of using fabric to create more interest. Layer squares of bright coloured, discounted fabrics on top of the linens provided by your banquet hall. Consider adding a tent effect using bolts of fabric across the ceiling. Hang draped fabric behind the head table (if you have one) or create interesting decor touches by draping fabric to cover walls.

Candlelight

Candlelight is the ideal touch for any occasion. Look for tall and elegant candelabras to place on buffet tables. Make interesting displays for centerpieces using a collection of different heights of candles. Consider safe spots to place freestanding candelabras throughout your banquet hall.

Water Features

Consider adding a water feature such as an ice fountain, interesting ponds filled with coloured glass or even placing large glass bowls filled with colourful fish as unique and whimsical centerpieces. You can also opt for champagne or chocolate fountains.

These budget-friendly decorative ideas will have your banquet hall ready to celebrate any occasion or gathering large or small.


How to Have a Beautiful Winter Wedding

wedding venue ottawa

Winter is custom made for an elegant white wedding. With nature as your backdrop, you can hold a beautiful winter wedding filled with elegant ice, sophisticated silver and wonderful sparkling white to perfect the look of your wedding venue.

Think Ice

Ice brings sparkle and glamour to your winter wedding. Create a winter palace at your wedding venue using reflective surfaces such as mirrors and glass. Use white velvet for your aisle runner at the ceremony and focus on white flowers to complete the look of your glamorous ice palace. Ice sculptures should be placed at buffet tables and an ice fountain can be used for champagne or cocktails.

White Flowers

Beautiful white flowers with less greenery will give a feeling of snowy, wintry wonder. Use white ribbons, lace and tulle to wrap your floral arrangements and also plenty of crystals entwined in your bouquets, boutonnieres and arrangements. Hang soft lacy doilies or origami flowers about the wedding venue and at the wedding ceremony to create a feeling of snowflakes and gossamer wings.

Wintry Nature

Reflect what is happening outside by creating a wintry forest at your wedding venue. Look at bare branches highlighted with white lights for centerpieces. Use full sized birch trees or branches covered in white winter berries. Create icy centerpieces with plenty of crystal and glass that will capture the flickering warmth of the candlelight. Go for a little Hollywood glam with white feather garland or elegant white feather wreaths hung as a backdrop at the head table.

White Limousine

Another great aspect of your beautiful winter wedding is a white limo. You can easily find a local limousine rental service that can accommodate. If you don’t want a limousine, you can always use a classic vehicle, or a more exotic car. These are just some ways to arrive in style.

Winter Cocktails

Instead of a chilled cocktail consider classic winter cocktails such as mulled cider with calvados, mulled red wine spiked with citrus and cloves or hot toddies to warm guests as they arrive at your wedding venue. Have a hot chocolate bar complete with marshmallows available at the dessert table ideal for kids and adults to enjoy.

Silvery Night

Add touches of silver as the perfect partner for a wintry white wedding. Consider adding a layer of silver lame on your table linens and use silver candelabras on tables. Use silver serving trays to display your guest book and seating plans and add silver charger plates to your tables.

Faux Fur

Add touches of faux fur throughout your venue to dress tables, as interesting rugs and draped over sofas and easy chairs.

It’s easy to create a winter wedding filled with wonder and magic with these tips.


Choosing a Banquet Hall

banquet hall ottawa

When you are planning a special event the banquet hall you choose can make or break your evening. Here are some tips to help you choose the perfect banquet hall:

Good Location

Without a good location you risk the chance of poor attendance. Make sure there is ample parking for those who drive. As well there should be easy access to cabs as well as public transit. The location should also be in a picturesque spot with a well-appointed interior that is warm, welcoming and elegant. A choice of room sizes to suit large or small parties is also important.

Flexible Venue

You have to be certain you understand what your venue can and cannot do. Often, when people book a venue they don’t realize quite what they’ve gotten themselves into. Many venues have strict house rules which can really limit your options. In fact you might find your venue of choice is not willing to bend on a number of game breakers. This can include many important details such as bringing in your own decor and flowers, serving a specialty dessert or access for wheelchairs. Discuss all of your needs before making a commitment so you know your banquet hall is flexible and willing to help your event be a great success.

Decor Options

Many venues have strict rules regarding decor. They might not allow you to use your own details, or have limits as to what decor you can bring into the venue. Others might not offer any assistance and leave you to set everything up on your own. Look for a banquet hall that offers many options including customized linens and the names of suppliers to assist you set up the perfect backdrop for your event. You want to be able to create the perfect ambiance suited to the theme and occasion.

Menu

The menu will play a major role in satisfying your guests. Banquet Halls such as the St. Elias Centre offer a world class menu with many options including a choice between a sit down meal and a buffet. They should be able to accommodate an intimate cocktail party with finger food and appetizers or a four course meal. You also want a venue that will welcome your own caterers if you have a special menu in mind.

The right banquet hall will provide an ideal location with flexible service certain to meet your needs.


Why You Should Host Your Corporate Christmas Party at the St. Elias Centre

why st. elias should host your christmas party

With the holidays just around the corner it’s a good idea to start planning your corporate Christmas party before things get too busy. The St. Elias Centre in Ottawa can assist you in and all of your planning needs by providing all of the party necessities:

Beautiful Venue

The St. Elias Centre offers a beautiful venue which is situated just across from lovely Mooney’s Bay. During the winter months it becomes covered in snow creating an elegant façade and lovely holiday lighting. The interior is warm and inviting with elegant chandeliers that provide sparkle and sophistication to the evening. You will have your choice of festive linens to complete the look of your dining hall and can arrange to bring in all of the holiday decor you need to suit your party theme. Guests will feel welcome and know much thought has been put into the event.

Free Parking

Many companies like to hold their corporate Christmas party at trendy locations downtown. Although they tend to be very enjoyable, getting to and from the restaurant can pose a problem. At St. Elias there will be plenty of parking making it easy for people to get to the venue in their holiday best. There is also easy access for plenty of cabs to take guests home following the festivities.

Amazing Food

The holidays are the one time of year when everyone forgets about their diets and indulge themselves in all of the wonderfully rich menus and treats of the season. You can select a customized meal working with St. Elias’ exceptional chefs whose only wish is to make your guests happy. From beautifully prepared platters of appetizers to welcome guests to luscious buffets and elegant sit down meals, you can choose the perfect menu for your corporate Christmas party staff will be speaking about for years.

Great Service

St. Elias will work hand in hand with you to create the ultimate corporate Christmas party. Your holiday party becomes magical and worry free as their team of expert party planners assist with the food, decor and other accommodations you might require. They are well connected and are always able to accommodate special wishes. They can make suggestions for everything you need from food to flowers. Each detail is designed to best suit your guest list and also set the stage for a beautifully orchestrated evening from start to finish.

At St. Elias your guests will experience exceptional service, mouth-watering food and bask in the lovely surroundings for a truly memorable Christmas party.


4 Corporate Party Ideas to Make Your Event a Success

4 corporate party ideas to make your event a success

Corporate events are often viewed by staff as a boring event they have to endure. However, you can help your team enjoy themselves with proper planning and a little creativity. Here are four corporate party ideas to make your event a success:
 
 
 
 

Trivia

Most people enjoy the challenge of a good trivia game. You can add a personal twist to trivia questions based on your industry or even specific to your business. Take 30 minutes to an hour to host a fun trivia game looking back at the events that have happened over the year. Trivia questions could include fun office antics such as who ate all of the Halloween candy, or how long it took to close that huge deal. You can also test people’s knowledge of industry trends or even poke fun at the competition. It can be educational, or just a silly way to keep people engaged and entertained.

Photo Booth

Everyone loves a good photo booth. They remind people of days gone by and provide an instant memory of the day’s events. You can give your guests a chance to break out of their shell and have fun hamming it up. One example of a company that has great photo booth experiences is http://www.omg-entertainments.co.uk. You can provide fun costumes such as hats, boas and sunglasses or offer a number of fun backdrops. The photos can then be placed on a website for everyone to check out their photos and share them with coworkers.

Wine or Craft Beer Tasting

Arranging a wine or craft beer tasting allows coworkers to put their stresses of the office behind them and enjoy learning something new together. Ontario wines and craft beers are quickly growing in popularity. You can invite people to participate in a tasting and learn more about what the local talent has to offer. This is also a great idea for restaurant teams as well as people in the food industry.

Dessert/Candy Bar

Give your team a chance to indulge in decadent treats with a dessert or candy bar. You can do a retro candy table where guests can load up on their favourite sweets from their childhood or a gorgeous, elegant spread of decadent baked goods. You can also have something fun such as a chocolate fountain or a make your own sundae bar.

Corporate events don’t have to be boring. You can communicate with your team about important information while offering them time to unwind and have fun.


Planning Your Corporate Christmas Party

planning your corporate christmas party

If you are in charge of your corporate Christmas party it is a good idea to start planning early. Here are some tips to help you plan an amazing corporate Christmas party:

Plan Ahead

Start looking in the fall for the ideal venue if you want to avoid disappointment. Just as a bride has to book her venue sometimes a year in advance, when it comes to corporate Christmas parties the prime venues will be booked months ahead. Some companies even have standing bookings year after year with their favourite banquet hall. Remember it is not like a wedding or other events where your dates are flexible. You have only a few short weeks to book for a holiday event.

Type of Party

Decide what kind of party you wish to plan. There are many things you must take into consideration such as is it a brunch, lunch, dinner or drinks event, are spouses or families invited, and what type of entertainment there will be. Once you have all of these questions answered you can start planning your party!

Pick a Theme

You are probably thinking Christmas is the theme, but it is better to have an overall theme even if it is just a colour scheme. Some ideas for Christmas party themes can include a winter wonderland theme, snowflakes and ice, fire and ice, retro Christmas, candy canes or even gingerbread. Each of these themes will allow you to come up with a focus on everything you do from decor and invitation motifs to food and colour schemes. If you do not want to take the theme route than go for some of the classic colour schemes such as red and green, blue and silver, gold and red, white and red or elegant gold and silver.

Pick a Venue

A banquet hall is usually the best bet for larger Christmas parties over 50 people, but some banquet halls will accommodate even smaller groups. You want a venue that will allow you to decorate freely, provides an excellent menu with options for lunches or dinners and a choice between a sit down meal or buffet. As well you want a venue that is easy to reach for guests. Ample parking as well as lovely facilities in a picturesque location are always key.

Remember, larger venues and popular smaller venues can book up a lot quicker than you might think. Plan early to ensure you have the perfect spot for a lovely Christmas party.


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