5 Tips for a Great Staff Christmas Party

5 Tips for a Great Staff Christmas Party

With Christmas on its way, it’s time to get excited about all the events and parties that the holiday season brings. And this includes your staff Christmas Party. If you’re the one who has been chosen to plan it this year, you’ll be under pressure to deliver an even better event than the years before. But don’t fret, there are lots of great ideas you can incorporate to make it the best party your company has ever seen. Just follow these 7 tips to help organize a great staff Christmas party this year.

Find An Impressive Venue

You want your colleagues to be impressed by the venue you’ve selected. For that to happen, you need a space that has gorgeous décor like grand chandeliers, a full-size theatre stage, a spacious lobby, on-site professional staff, and amenities. Plus, you need the space to be large enough to fit all the staff comfortably, and one that can be easily adjusted if needed.

Get On-Site Catering

You want the night to go off without a hitch, and to do that you need on-site catering. Having a chef who can come up with some holiday culinary masterpieces for your staff Christmas party will make all the difference. By having on-site catering, you can feel rest assured that the food will be made hot and served fresh right out of the kitchen. And if there are any last-minute additions or changes you need to make, you have the chef right at your fingertips.

Offer A Variety Of Festive Drinks

The on-site bar needs to be stocked with all the most popular spirits and beers, but you also should add some holiday touches to keep it exciting. That includes spiked egg nog, holiday punch, and mulled wine.

Offer Parking & Have Taxis Arranged

You want everyone to have the most amazing night, but you also want the night to end safely. Your venue should include enough parking for all the designated drivers, but also have taxis ready for those who plan to let loose. Have the venue staff arrange some taxis to arrive throughout the night, or set up a desk where you can have someone arrange taxis for those who need one.

Crank Up Holiday Tunes And Old-Time Favourites

Nothing is worse than a party without good music. What you need is a mix of upbeat holiday classics and some classic favourites that everyone will enjoy. Hire a DJ who can put together an amazing mix of music to keep the party going. The venue you choose should also offer an amazing sound system in the main room, along with an outside area and side rooms for more quieter conversation.

When you need to host the best Christmas party of the decade for your fellow staff, we have you covered at St. Elias Centre. We not only have a stunning event hall for hosting, but we also have free onsite parking that can accommodate over 400 vehicles. In addition, you can enjoy on-site catering with a top-rated chef, on-site bar, professional event staff, and a team that will ensure your needs are met and that you have support every step along the way. Book now to reserve your Christmas party!

Pros and Cons of a Wedding Gift Registry

Pros and Cons of a Wedding Gift Registry

Part of the wedding preparation involves making some decisions about the wedding gifts. You and your future spouse will need to give some serious thought as to whether you wish to receive gifts at the venue or sign up for a gift registry at a store. And while it’s often easier to sign up for a gift registry than having to worry about physical gifts during the night of your wedding, a registry isn’t for everyone. So, if you’re at this stage of your wedding planning and are unsure about how to proceed with the gift set up, check out these pros and cons of a wedding gift registry first before deciding.

The Pros

Ease of Use for Your Guests

Not everyone loves the idea of shopping for a gift – it can be frustrating and challenging just trying to figure out what to get. A gift registry makes it much easier for your guests – especially for those who have no idea what you would like.  They can simply login online, see what items you have suggested, and choose from the selection available. Guests can be satisfied knowing that they will be selecting a gift you love.

Saves Time

Not everyone has time to shop for themselves, never mind for others. Deciding on what to purchase and then shopping around for the item can take lots of time and can also mean having to endure hectic malls. You will be doing your guests a favour by saving them time and effort with a gift registry.

Avoid Duplicates

Having three toasters, five sets of wine glasses and four cutlery sets isn’t exactly practical, but it can happen when it comes to wedding gifts. When you receive duplicates of the same item, it can become awkward asking someone to provide a receipt to return their gift. A gift registry avoids this all together – once someone purchases an item, another person cannot go ahead and buy the same one.

Multiple Items

Some of your closer relatives might want to get you multiple items. A gift registry makes that easy since they can choose as many of the items they wish and make you a complete gift basket.

The Cons

Lack of Choices

Some couples don’t always take the right numbers into account, not selecting enough gifts in the registry. This can leave some people in the dark and out of luck, resorting to handing you money or buying you a gift that’s not on the registry.  Both could cause issues if you didn’t plan on collecting gifts or large sums of money at your wedding.

Some Prefer Different Options

Many wedding guests prefer to give money or heartfelt personalized gifts. If you only set up a registry, this can make it difficult for others to access – especially those who are not Internet savvy like your great-grandmother. So, if you do decide on a registry, consider also having a money box or gift table that one of your trustworthy bridesmaids or family members can take care of in case any surprise gifts arrive.

Decisions, Decisions

With a registry, you must decide what types of gifts you want and need. It can be a challenging and overwhelming process if you’re the type of person who has everything or doesn’t like receiving gifts in the first place.

Wedding registries are not for everyone, and each couple should take careful consideration to determine whether it’s the right option for them.

5 Party Decoration Tips

5 Party Decoration Tips

Need some decoration ideas for a big venue? We have you covered! These 5 party decoration tips will make the largest venue feel more intimate while impressing your guests for any celebration.

Tall Table Centres

Large event spaces often come with tall ceilings. To make the area feel more intimate, you can introduce tall table centres. Think decorated tree branches, or even helium-filled balloons stemming off of a beautiful floral centerpiece. The more height you can add to the tables, the lower the ceiling will feel, providing a cozier environment.

Create Sections

You can use satin curtains or decorative screens to section off areas that will not be used to create more intimate areas. This allows you to create separate sections for dining, dancing, and mingling.

Test the Sound

Bigger spaces also may create different acoustics. Always test the sound a day or two before the event and make adjustments where necessary to best fit the theme of your party. This includes testing the DJ booth equipment and any microphones that will be used throughout the event.

Keep the Bar Flowing

Always plan ahead on how you would like the alcohol to be served. The last thing you want is for long lineups at the bar, so if you have an open bar or cash bar setting, make sure to staff accordingly. Also, you may want to opt to include table service if people will be sitting throughout the event. This can help keep the bar flowing and also provide your guests with some time to rest their legs after dancing.

Meet and Greet

When guests first arrive, you don’t want them lost outside of the property. Light the way with lanterns and provide signs and directions to the parking lot and into the venue. It’s also wise to have someone who can meet and greet guests and direct them to the coat check, bathroom and to the event area with a smile.

To have your party go off without a hitch, make sure to plan ahead. And when you need the perfect large venue space for any celebration – a wedding, family reunion, work function, or just holiday event, join us at the St. Elias Centre in Ottawa. We have a beautiful and elegant event hall that can be sectioned off as you need, along with onsite catering, bar staff, and stunning décor and grounds. Whatever your party needs, we’re here to help make it a memorable and enjoyable occasion for everyone.

Plan the Perfect Halloween Party at the St. Elias Centre

Plan the Perfect Halloween Party at the St. Elias Centre

When it comes to hosting a Halloween bash, we know how important it is to have the perfect venue. You need one that has the right amount of space, thrilling acoustics, stunning décor and devilishly good food and drinks that will wow your guests and get them into the ghoulish spirit of Halloween. So if you’re getting ready to organize the party of the year then let us help you plan the perfect Halloween party at the St. Elias Centre this fall.

Shake It Up

Halloween parties need plenty of space for dancing, the costume contest, and to hang all the spooky decorations required. At St. Elias Centre, our entertainment venue is the perfect size to invite all of the thrill-seekers on your list to your Halloween bash. With the option to section off rooms, you can host an intimate event or a massive one – it’s up to you!  

A Monster Parking Lot

Your parking situation will never be a horror scene at St. Elias. We have ample parking with over 400 spots at no charge. So, there’s no need to worry about monsters causing mayhem on the streets; we can accommodate all your parking needs.

The Deadliest Bar

To plan the perfect Halloween party, you always need a well-stocked bar with on-site bar staff that can keep your party going all night long. We have exactly what you need and can shake up the deadliest drinks and cocktails for all your guests to enjoy.

Food to Die For

Whatever your catering needs, we have you covered at St. Elias Centre. Our executive chef is ready to create the best food to die for – from appetizers to spine-tingling mains, for your Halloween party. You can take the worry out of the menu planning with our talented and convenient culinary staff on site.

Crazy Attentive Staff

Our onsite staff is here to help you plan the perfect Halloween party with their crazy attentive skills that will leave you impressed. They can take care of your needs to ensure that you and your guests have the best night celebrating the spooky and thrilling spirit of Halloween.

Make it a new Halloween tradition by hosting in our space here at St. Elias Centre in Ottawa. We have everything you need to host the most thrilling party of the season. Contact us for Halloween theme ideas and tips on how to make your event the best in the city.

5 Signs You’ve Found the Right Corporate Event Venue

5 Signs You’ve Found the Right Corporate Event Venue

Planning a corporate event comes with many moving parts, and one of the most important is finding the right corporate event venue that will meet the needs of your business and make your job easier. The venue that plays host to your corporate event can make or break the success of it, so it requires careful consideration. Factors like space, parking, in-house catering, among many others are just a few of the essential ingredients that are often necessary. At St. Elias, our multi-purpose centres are created with this in mind and have the services and facilities to make any gathering a success.

To help guide you during your venue search, we’ve compiled five signs that will show that you’ve found the right corporate event venue.

Reliable and Trustworthy

Have you ever booked a space to find out it was nothing like how it was advertised and isn’t functional for your needs? Many of us have been there before, and it’s not pleasant when you’re the event planner. Since it’s not always possible to physically visit a venue before the event, it’s important to be able to rely on the information provided.  You need a venue that provides honest and reliable pictures, quotes, and details. It’s also important to have professional, helpful staff and planners on hand who are willing to show you around beforehand and work directly with you to ensure that all of your requirements are met on time.

Properly Equipped

A corporate event space needs to have plenty of chairs, tables, and outlets available for attendees. It should also have a podium, microphones, projector screen, and audio/visual capabilities. Every business event will have different requirements, so a venue that has all the equipment on hand to meet a wide range of business services is very important.

Multitude of Room Options

Having one large room that can easily be split into separate break-out rooms is a must when looking for the right corporate event venue. A venue that can easily be adapted to your growing and changing needs throughout the event will make your job easier when and if last minute changes are required.

In House Catering and Beverage Selection

Food is a pretty big deal when it comes to corporate events. Having a venue centre that prepares and caters food in-house and can provide a decent selection of beverages is also a must. This will ensure that the food is fresh out of the kitchen, with enough flexibility to cater to the needs of your attendees.

Reputation for Excellence

Finding a venue that prides itself on its reputation for professional customer service, quality cuisine, and five-star meeting services is crucial. To ensure a smooth business event, you need the best of the best in business event services. So, take the time to research reviews from previous customers and events to get a clear and accurate idea of their reputation from past experiences.

Here at St. Elias Center, we check off these signs, and much more. With professional and attentive services, a well equipped and flexible event space, in-house catering, beverage services, and luxury touches, you won’t be disappointed. Contact us today to talk to one of our event planners to help you get started on your next corporate event.

Plan Your Family Reunion at The St. Elias Centre

Plan Your Family Reunion at The St. Elias Centre

A successful family reunion begins with the right venue to host your entire family. And at St. Elias Centre, we have everything you could possibly need to have a memorable celebration with your clan! If you’re looking for the perfect venue then look no further. Here are 5 reasons to plan your family reunion at the St. Elias Centre this year.


Stunning Décor

Your family deserves only the best. And they will feel like royalty when they enter the St. Elias Centre grounds. With beautiful landscaping and lobby entrance, the soaring high ceilings and large shimmering chandeliers will welcome your entire family. Our hall is designed to exhibit both elegance and class.


Abundant Parking

It’s important to have on-site parking to accommodate your family members as well. And that’s why we have over 400 parking spots to house all your family member’s vehicles. And the best part is that it’s free and steps away from the front door.


On Site Catering & Bar Service

At St. Elias, we are happy to cater to all of your needs. That’s why we have our very own executive chef on site who can create the perfect menu of your favourite spreads that the entire family will love. And let’s not forget that it’s a party. When it’s time to let loose, dance and delve into some delectable drinks, our bar staff are happy to serve you. We have a fully stocked bar that can ensure everyone gets their favourite refreshment.


Top Notch Staff

Our staff are here to help make your family reunion the celebration of a lifetime. Both professional trained and incredibly friendly, they work hard to make you look good and keep your family happy. Whatever you need, our staff will be happy to help!


Large Accommodating Space

We can fit any size family, big or small into our event hall. And we’ve recently renovated our facilities to add even more space. With over 11,500 square feet of hall space, we can accommodate any size event. The walls can be partitioned off if needed and there is a large theatre stage for entertaining.

A family reunion is a big deal. And at St. Elias Centre we recognize how important it is to provide tailored service to suit your family’s celebration needs. Let us impress your family with the party of a lifetime.  Book your family reunion with St. Elias this summer.

Choosing the Perfect Flowers for Your Wedding

Choosing the Perfect Flowers for Your Wedding

A wedding is not quite a wedding without the glamour and personal touches that you incorporate throughout the big day. And the best and easiest way that couples express their style and unique taste is through floral designs and arrangements. Whether it’s big and bold arrangements, or simple elegant touches of colour – flowers are made to illuminate the beauty of your wedding day and of course, impress your family and guests. If you’re searching for the perfect theme and combinations to express your unique style, let us help you decide with these quick tips on how to choose the perfect flowers for your wedding.



You can never go wrong with the classic and elegant look of roses. They’re the symbol of love and beauty. But beyond your standard red velvet rose, you can find more than three thousand varieties available year round! You can find a variety of sizes, colours and types of roses that can add the perfect touch to match your wedding day theme and style.

Tulips are also a classic favourite and represent the happy luscious spring and summer time. With a wide range of colours and vibrant hues to choose from, they’re the perfect choice if you’re keen on making your setting bright, fresh and fun.

Whether it’s orchids, hydrangeas, cala lilies or peonies – you can really work any of these classic flowers into any type of arrangement and feel happy about the outcome.



Greenery and lots of it is a trend that’s gained momentum over the last few years and continues to be a favourite for couples. You can get creative with Ivy, wrapping it around pillars and even stringing it together with lights over the head table for a natural, organic look.

Wildflower bouquets combined with rustic wooden settings and big ferns are popular choices as well.



Decorative kale and cabbage can make stunning centerpieces for your tables. The simple combination of purples, greens and white are eye catching and are guaranteed to impress your guests.

Alternatively, moss and berries can be arranged to create a unique earthy appeal and design. Indoor miniature trees can also act as both décor and barriers to create an intimate garden setting.

Choosing the perfect flowers for your wedding can be more challenging than many people think. If you feel stuck on what to include for your wedding day, consider each of these popular types that will suit your style and venue best.

The Wedding Season Dilemma

the wedding season dilemma

With wedding season closing in, the summer calendars are filling up fast. Although a wedding is traditionally a one-day event, there are wedding showers and bachelorette/bachelor parties that also add to the wedding experience. This means that your summer weekend availability may be dwindling before your eyes. It’s important to not overstretch yourself and to properly prioritize your attendance this summer. Here are some key points to consider:

Are You in the Wedding Party?

If you have committed to being in the wedding party, then it is pretty much guaranteed that you are along for all of the scheduled activities. It is entirely possible for you to be in more than one wedding party this summer, and some of the dates may even conflict. Be open and honest with everyone and attend all events that you can without overstretching yourself.

What Can You Afford?

 Weddings can be costly to attend, especially for weddings that are out of town. Travelling to attend a wedding can involve hotels, extra food, and the travel expenses associated with actually getting there. Be realistic with your budget and don’t be afraid to say no if you can’t afford it.

Give Time for Summer Relaxing

If you find that every single weekend is booked up with some obligation or another, then your summer is going to pass you by in the blink of an eye. Summertime should involve some element of relaxation and time spent with your family and loved ones having fun and enjoying the beautiful weather. If you overextend yourself with wedding obligations then you may miss out on your summer entirely. It’s OK to say no on occasion to retain some of your sanity and have a relaxing moment to recharge your batteries.

Two Wedding Invites on the Same Day

As your life likely consists of multiple social circles and extended family, the chances of having double wedding duty on the same day in the peak of wedding season is certainly a possibility. Discuss with your immediate family or spouse which invitation is more obligatory to oblige and respectfully decline the other. You do not have to disclose that you are choosing another wedding over theirs, you can simply say that you are legitimately booked for that weekend but would love to take the new couple out for dinner when their wedding hype has settled down.

Wedding season is fun, exciting and exhausting. But don’t let the stress of it ruin any of the fun! Just be organized and pragmatic with your decisions and enjoy the season.

The Small Things Make All the Difference

the small things make all the difference

It’s very easy for your wedding day to be one huge blur. With so many fine details in play that you have been obsessing over for months or even years, it’s very easy to let most of the day pass you by without even noticing all of your hard work be implemented. While your guests enjoy the fruits of your labour, you fret about the next thing on the schedule and hope that it goes off without a hitch. Here are some tips for all wedded couples to be for surviving the day and savoring every minute of it.

Enlist the Help of Your Venue

Some venues are simply more helpful than others. With any luck you have decided on an Ottawa wedding venue that has excellent staff who are ready and willing to help out in order to make your day special. Whether this mean helping set up the centrepieces or ensuring that the proper dietary needs of guests are properly met, any small thing can help ease the bride and groom’s stress. Have a discussion with your venue in advance to see what their ability to help on the day of is.

Make Lists in Advance

The last thing you want is last minute panic of “ahh! Did Charlie pick up the boutonnieres for the groomsmen?” or “oh my gosh where did Tracey put my ‘something blue?’” To avoid this chaos, make lists and distribute them to everyone involved. The lists can very clearly lay out what the task is and who is responsible for completion of each task. With everyone knowing who is responsible for what it takes a lot of the guesswork out of the day. It doesn’t hurt to provide your wedding venue with a copy of the list as well so they know who to go to for questions on specific items.

Put Some in Charge

Once the day has started, it can be expected that the bride and groom are going to be very busy talking with friends and loved ones, cutting and eating cake, dancing, and giving speeches. So if something minor goes wrong, there should be a designated person who is tasked to handle any small problems. Have a discussion with the venue prior to the wedding day and let them know who this person is and that they should be contacted for any necessary problem solving during the wedding day.

Although it may be difficult for the bride and groom to take a back seat on the execution of the day, really it is for the best. Don’t let stress overwhelm you and rob you of your precious memories that are being made!

The Perks of a Summer Wedding

The Perks of a Summer Wedding

Are you in the midst of planning a wedding and getting caught up on what time of year is best?  Any season will have pros and cons, but summer just seems to hit all the right notes. With access to the outdoors and flowers in full bloom, a summer wedding can be the perfect fit for any type of wedding theme imaginable. But those aren’t the only reasons – check out some of these other special perks of hosting a summer wedding.

More options for venues

With a summer wedding, you have a lot more options when it comes to venues. You can enjoy the outdoors under a beautiful terrace, impress with a rooftop venue, astound with a golf course theme, or even take your wedding out into the forest or country. Plus, you can mix and match indoor and outdoor settings and get the best of both worlds.

Great for photos

One of the biggest perks of a summer wedding is that you’re not limited to only indoor photos. Natural light and beautiful landscapes can really set the scene for some spectacular shots. Plus, you can even embrace the sunshine and get tat natural glowing tan for the big day.

Ample dress options

Your bridesmaids can enjoy having a wide selection of beautiful and airy dresses to choose from. You will also have more of a selection of wedding dresses and can go with a shorter style if you please. And you won’t have to worry about dragging it through the snow and dirt that builds up in the other seasons.

No contending with the weather

Rain rarely prevents anyone from coming to your wedding, but a huge snow storm can. Winter weddings can hinder accessibility and travel to your venue. And a wedding is little fun without the guests!

Stunning arrangements

With flowers in full bloom you can be guaranteed to have stunning floral arrangements and full extravagant bouquets. You can also use natural greenery such as hanging vines and gardens to accent your floral designs or outdoor venue.

Plenty of Light

Summer promises longer days of light, which is perfect for an afternoon or early evening outdoor wedding. Plus, you won’t feel the pressure to rush and get your photographs in before it gets dark out. You can save that for the dancing!

Summer weddings are a popular choice and for good reason. Just don’t wait too late to book the venue, as summer is a busy time and you want to ensure you don’t miss out on having the perfect setting.

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