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.


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:


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 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.

How to Decorate for a Fall Wedding

how to decorate for your fall wedding baquet centre

Fall weddings are filled with warmth and romance. There are many fall themed decorating ideas you can use to at your banquet centre to create a wedding filled with natural touches and warmth including:

Incorporate Nature

Fall is the perfect time of year to add unique, highly textured details such as branches, tree stumps and pinecones. It is also the time of year for harvest and there are many stunning colours from pumpkins and gourds to flint corn that can be placed tumbling out of baskets, along the aisles and at the front where you ceremony will take place. You can also find lovely plants such as jack o lantern branches, wheat, corn stalks and even hay bales. Hay bales can be used to create steps covered in planters filled with bright coloured mums.

Use Dark, Warm Colours

Fall is the time of year to introduce deep, rich colours full of warmth and elegance such as purples and plums, orange and rust and deeper pinks. These colours work beautifully against the natural tones of branches, hay, wheat and corn stalks. As well your flowers can be inspired by the blooms of fall such as large mums, delicate asters and even bare branches with berries or grapes.

Hot Chocolate Bar

Add a touch of whimsy with a hot chocolate bar and let people stack up their drinks with marshmallows and different flavours served in cute mugs. You can also have your bartender come up with a unique warming drink such as an Irish Coffee with a banquet centre unique twist or some sort of mulled wine or cider to greet guests as they arrive at the .

Twinkling Lights

Fairy lights add charm to any banquet centre and you can get creative by using fall themed details such as bare branches wrapped in fairy lights to create a stunning archway, birch trees in urns with lights or jack o lantern inspired candle holders with charming carvings such as wheat, flowers or lace and lattice designs patterns. Jack-o-lanterns with patterns and texture will also cast interesting light in the room.

Harvest Themed Cake

Consider having a harvest themed cake with tumbling grapes, lovely apples or fruit with a kiss of fall frost. Take inspiration using fall leaves or be creative using elegant wheat inspired patterns.
These tips will help create a truly warm and romantic ambiance at your wedding banquet centre.

Hosting a Modern Corporate Event

hosting a modern corporate event

The business world is changing drastically which means the way you handle your staff can sometimes be challenging. Many businesses today are spread out with people working from home and only communicating via email or phone. This modern approach to business makes it even more important to host corporate events, even if it is just once a year. Here are some tips on how to host modern corporate events and the benefits of doing so:

Find a Great Venue

First find a great venue that will offer a perfect place for your team to meet and enjoy some time together. Look for a place that is easy to get to and offers a comfortable setting that is large enough to host your team. You want to consider small details such as ensuring there is ample parking. You want to have a choice of larger rooms or smaller rooms based on the amount of people you will be hosting. With today’s modern needs you may still have team members who cannot physically attend and you might want to allow them to participate for major presentations or speeches so access to technology and equipment is also important. Last but not least you want to reward your team with good food and drink with excellent service both during the planning as well as at the event itself.

Fun Games and Entertainment

A modern corporate event will also require some form of amusement as it seems people cannot seem to just sit and relax. Look for interesting options to keep people busy and entertained such as game shows, casino nights, interactive games and virtual reality experiences. All of these activities are skewed to offer challenging fun that will be both stimulating and entertaining. You can also look for fun kiosks such as photo booths or even karaoke.


One of the main benefits of hosting corporate events is the opportunity for team building. Whether you are spread across towns and cities or have departments that have to work together every day, team building forges stronger and more trusting teams for better performance and development. Letting people learn more about each other will allow them to learn to appreciate each other’s roles and responsibilities as well as each other’s talents.

Hosting modern corporate events are easy with the right plan and venue. Your team will benefit from spending quality time together and appreciate your efforts.

6 Ways to Create a Beautiful Wedding Reception

6 ways to create a beautiful wedding reception

Trying to create a beautiful wedding reception isn’t always easy. By following these six professional decorating tips, you’re sure to have a stunning, and beautiful wedding you’ve always dreamed of:


You can truly create a magical, and romantic wedding reception experience by adding your own decorative lighting. You can work with the existing lighting and look for ways to incorporate more personalized designs using garland, ribbon, and tissue. There may also be a way to hang temporary lights such as chandeliers or lanterns.

Another great idea is to incorporate candelabras throughout the room rather than just having smaller candles spread across the tables. This will give your wedding reception a classic, romantic feel your guests will love. You may also want to consider using uplighting solutions, as well as interesting floor lamps and table lamps to add a different mood throughout the area. Either way, playing with the lighting is a great way to make your wedding reception more memorable.

Large Flowers and Trees

You may have recently noticed that centrepieces are becoming larger in size, and feature some unique, large flowers and tree branches. These pieces can give your reception a whimsical charm that your guests have never experienced. Birch tree stumps paired with candles and colourful flowers can add a lovely design element when lit with fairy lights. Palm trees can also be used for a more tropical feel.

Trees and larger planters can bring a real fullness to your decor and sometimes renting larger items can prove to be more affordable than trying to fill a large space with hundreds of smaller plants and flowers.


You can always consider turning your wedding into a large romantic tent using draping. You can focus either on the ceiling above the dance floor or the make the focal point at the head table to draw in the entire room.

Special Areas

You can create special areas such as a bar and lounge for a quiet space for people to sit and chat complete with large, rented lounging furniture and big comfy cushions in elegant fabric.

Unique Linen

Your wedding venue will provide linen but you can also provide your own overlays of interesting and colourful fabric to add impact and carry over your colour scheme with more personality and flair.

Glass, Mirrors and Metal

Bring in more sparkle by adding additional glassware, hanging and leaning mirrors against walls and adding more metal in gold or silver.

Enhancing the features of your wedding venue will make the space your own for a truly beautiful and memorable wedding reception.

How to Decorate a Banquet Hall

ottawa banquet halls

If you have an up and coming event at a banquet hall you will want to decorate the room to help set the mood and invite people in with a welcoming atmosphere. Here are three steps to decorate your banquet hall:

Choose a Theme

First you should decide on the theme of your event. Even if you don’t think your event needs a theme, coming up with a basic concept will help you in choosing a colour scheme, decor items and the mood you wish to set. A good starting point is to come up with a few words such as elegant and sophisticated, indulgent and luxurious, casual and comfortable, fun and playful; you will be able to start planning a theme based on the setting you wish to create.

For more sophisticated evenings you can focus on candlelight, flowers, overall lighting and elegant table settings as well as ice sculptures. For more casual evenings you can look for things such as balloons, instead of flowers, fun decor with food and table linens, interesting touches to reflect a theme such as sporty, beach, winter wonderland, etc. depending on the time of year or the reason for the event.

Banquet Hall Assistance

Once you have a theme in mind recruit your banquet hall coordinator to assist with the planning. They can help you by discussing what they have to offer as far as decor goes, and may also know some suppliers they can recommend. They will have planned hundreds of events and will be able to provide you with some great ideas as well as help you coordinate the delivery of decorations, flowers, etc.


Once you have your theme and a list of suppliers you can begin personalizing by developing a comprehensive decor scheme. This is where you get to explore your creative side and start layering on the decorative touches that will make the event special. Your banquet hall will provide you with the linens required for the base of your tables. You can then start adding flowers or balloons, candles and interesting touches such as candelabras, arches, gazebos, specialty seating such as lounge areas, fountains, special carpets or fabric for draping, tents, lattice and all kinds of fun items such as specialty lighting, kites, streamers, mirrors, ice sculptures and anything you can think of to enhance your theme.

Your banquet hall will be transformed and your guests will be impressed.

How to Host the Perfect Engagement Party

banquet centre ottawa

There are not that many occasions in life that are perfectly designed for a big celebration. Engagements are big in the summer as many individuals get down on one knee and ask their loved ones to share their hand in marriage. Sharing this information with all of your friends and family is one of those big moments perfect for a large celebration. Be sure to host a great engagement party with these tips to get you started:

Traditional Hosting

It has always been tradition that the bride’s parents host the engagement party. It was often followed by a party hosted by the groom’s parents. However, it is more and more common for the couple themselves to throw the party and invite all of their friends and both sides of the family for one big celebration. If this is the case it is a good idea to look into using a banquet centre that can accommodate a larger group instead of trying to downsize your guest list to accommodate a smaller venue such as someone’s home or a restaurant. Banquet halls can adjust for your guest list and many offer more intimate settings should you get smaller numbers than expected.


Planning an engagement party is best scheduled shortly after the engagement has taken place. You want to give yourself about a month to plan as well as allow guests to add it to their schedules. Tentatively plan a date with your banquet centre and send out an RSVP within a month of the date.

Guest List

Only those who will be invited to the wedding should be invited to the engagement party. This does not mean to say you have to invite everyone you figure will be on your wedding guest list, but instead to suggest that you should not invite someone to the engagement party and then snub them on the wedding invite.

Engagement Photos

Consider having some engagement photos taken to send out with invitations and to post on Facebook. You can also create a timeline photo display for the party with the engagement photos as the final image.


Make sure guests do not feel obligated to bring a gift. This is not a shower. Simply print on your invites “No Gifts Required” so people know it is not a gift kind of event.

These tips offer the proper etiquette and planning for your engagement party.

3 Tips to Help Make Your Corporate Events Stand Out

3 tips to help make your corporate event stand out

When hosting corporate events you want to keep people engaged, and avoid guests rolling their eyes throughout the entire evening. You don’t want your guests to think that this is just any other corporate event, but one that stands out. Here are three tips you can use to create spectacular corporate events:

History Repeating

Whether you are new to the job or have been doing it for years take a look at what has been done in the past and avoid letting history repeat itself. Instead focus on creating a completely new event with new themes, entertainment, food and venue so that people will feel a little more anticipation at the thought of attending. You can also consider past successful and unsuccessful events and use the positive aspects to help you plan more effectively.

Get Creative with Themes

You may have used themes in the past, but be certain you do come up with a theme that will be interesting and new. Try to look for ways to tie it into the purpose of the event so that it will be clever. Make sure you think everything through from potential entertainment to the food and the venue to the decor so that everything ends up tying in perfectly together. Be as authentic as possible to show you’ve done your homework and that everything is well thought out. Look at the venue and come up with ideas for decor that people will enjoy exploring and find new and interesting details to point out to each other. You can even use humour to get your theme across and for more sophisticated events focus on beautiful details from flowers to chandeliers.

Stimulate the Senses

A good event will stimulate all five senses offering experiences people will enjoy. Use beautiful lighting and other visual details that people will get caught up in. Plan excellent food and drink for people to not only taste but to experience the lovely aromas as the food is served. Make sure music is relevant and ties into your theme and you can even consider ways to include touch such as giving away beautiful spa products.

These three tips will make your event stand out from the past by introducing new ways for people to enjoy themselves at a new venue with an exciting theme and stimulation for all of the senses.

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