EPI-Events

EPI-Events: What Makes Us Different?

Event planning services are often the kind of thing people don’t think about until they need them. But when there’s suddenly a wedding or corporate event to plan, finding the event planning company that best fits your needs becomes a priority.

As a top event planner in Toronto, EPI-Events offers exclusive global expertise, unmatched knowledge, and years of experience planning events of all shapes and sizes.

Global Expertise

Although our founder Lilia now operates EPI-Events in the Greater Toronto Area, she was actually born and raised in France. Growing up in the cosmopolitan atmosphere of 20th century France, Lilia learned several languages and decided to apply her knowledge to a new career. She began her event management and planning journey organizing both small and large events of throughout France, New Zealand, and Australia. Through this experience she has amassed an intimate knowledge of global event trends.

Years of Experience

Lilia gained many years of experience on her own in the international event planning industry. More recently, Lilia decided to bring that talent and expertise to her new life in Canada. Here she founded her own event planning business, EPI-Events. What’s more, Lilia has built an expert team of professional event planners, taking advantage of years of combined event industry experience.

The team at EPI-Events has experience in all kinds of events, including corporate services like product launches, holiday parties, and trade shows. We are also experts when it comes to more intimate, special events – like weddings. This collective knowledge allows EPI-Events to deliver high end, elegant and luxurious service with a French touch – no matter the affair!

Unmatched Knowledge & Creativity

Thanks to the years of shared experience between the EPI-Events team, we are able to draw on unparalleled knowledge and creativity. No problem is too big, and every crisis can be averted with the EPI-Events management team in your corner.

For example, while planning a wedding a client wanted and amazing backdrop for their vows but couldn’t afford it in their budget. The expert EPI-Events team were able to tap into their extensive creativity and found an incredible solution – on budget and on time.

But helping create something amazing while staying on budget isn’t the only area our knowledge and creativity shine! On another occasion, a bridesmaid ripped her dress while getting ready. But thanks to our experience, problems like these are anticipated. All the necessary materials were already on hand, and the dress was repaired in no time.

Guests were completely unaware, and the bride couldn’t have been happier!

Now based in the bustling heart of Toronto, Lilia and EPI-Events are excited to share our passion, creativity, and unique global insights. Let us help you create an event that will be talked about long after it’s over!

With a little effort and creativity, everything is possible! To discuss planning your next social or corporate event, contact the EPI-Events team today!

5 Cool Holiday Party Venues to Consider this Season

The corporate holiday party season is almost upon us! Are you looking for the perfect venue to host your employee appreciation event this year? Try one of these unique and exciting event venue options for your office holiday party!

The Rec Room

Food, drinks, games, and more! The Rec Room offers an exciting and fun environment to escape reality in for a few hours! With video games, ping-pong, live entertainment, and more, this venue is a great place to hold a corporate holiday event. What’s more, it can be privatized to leave your employees free to have a fun night together.

The One Eighty

Sitting atop the 51st floor of the Manulife Centre, The One Eighty is a restaurant and bar with the most stunning views of the Toronto skyline. What’s more, the elegant atmosphere provided by The One Eighty makes is a classy locale for any cocktail reception or corporate event.

The Westin Trillium House, Blue Mountain

Just two hours northwest of Toronto, nestled amid beautiful landscapes, lies The Westin Trillium House, Blue Mountain. Offering a rejuvenating experience in one of the most stunning travel destinations in Ontario, this venue is located in a pedestrian-only village. With all sorts of activities to consider, like skiing, shopping, and exploring, this is one holiday party venue you shouldn’t overlook.

Cruise Toronto

Specializing in cruises for elegant weddings, company socials, and private parties, Cruise Toronto can make your holiday office party something worth remembering. The cruise will take you and your guests in and around Toronto Harbour and the Island lagoons to provide you with the best city views possible. What’s more, they offer casino, karaoke, and entertainment packages to spice up your holiday event.

Mildred’s Temple Kitchen

Located near downtown Toronto, deep in the heart of Liberty Village, Mildred’s Temple Kitchen is a foodie’s dream come true! With a commitment to locally sources, seasoned ingredients, the food is nothing short of delicious. And with a bright and industrial, yet warm, inviting, and relaxing atmosphere, your employees will be talking about your holiday party long after it’s over! What’s more, Mildred’s is happy to handle private events.

There are so many incredible options for corporate holiday parties in and around the Toronto area we couldn’t possible name them all. No matter what style of holiday event you’re looking to throw, EPI Events can help you find the perfect venue to host it. Are you looking for a fun and exciting way to show your employees how much you care this holiday season? Contact us today, and let’s start planning your holiday party now!

7 Fun Corporate Team Building Ideas

Are you starting to notice some slumping shoulders – and slowing productivity – around the office? It may be time for a team outing!

The right team building activity or event can have a profound impact on the morale and efficiency of your team! But with so much already on your plate, and so many options to choose from, how do you pick the right one?

Luckily, Toronto is full of unique and exciting team building opportunities, and EPI Events is here to help you sort through them all!

1. Karaoke

What better way to get people to come out of their shells than some good old-fashioned karaoke? At around $50 an hour, this option gives you a lot of team-bonding bang for your buck. And with 1,000s of songs to choose from, everyone can have a great time breaking out of their comfort zones!

2. Beer Lessons

The brewing of beer is chemistry elevated to an artform. From IBUs, to AA%s, there’s a lot to learn – and taste! Great for large groups, Batch offers a space to rent that can fit up to 200 people. That means you can bring along all your team members to sample the suds!

3. Escape from Casa Loma

Escape rooms in Toronto, once a booming new fad, are now a dime-a-dozen – but the one at Casa Loma is in a league of its own! This Prohibition-themed dungeon escape features particularly difficult puzzles and costumed performers to complete the immersive experience.

4. Cirillo’s Culinary Academy

With 2 locations in Toronto, Cirillo’s is a trendy culinary school and a great place for a team building exercise. Groups are divided to tackle a 3- or 4-course meal in a hands-on cooking class, encouraging teamwork and good communication. All while fostering fun with food! Even better – you get to eat what your hard work creates!

5. VR Gaming

For an experience that’s truly unique, take your team to totally new worlds with virtual reality! Located in downtown Toronto and Richmond Hill, VR Rulez offers games in a variety of genres. From virtual sports, to a zombie apocalypse shooter, classic racing, and more, there’s something to fit every company culture.

6. Bubble Soccer

Sometimes you just need to let your people cut loose and have some fun! Forget everything you know about soccer – this game has more in common with bumper cars. Bubble Soccer Toronto provides all the equipment needed and has both indoor and outdoor locations across the GTA.

7. Axe Throwing

Get in touch with your inner Neanderthal and dominate the office water cooler for years! With a few businesses around the GTA to choose from you’re sure to find a location near you. Once all the various and necessary safety precautions have been explained, you’ll be ready to show off your axe wielding skills to the whole office.

Most people learn best when they’re enjoying themselves. Providing your team with opportunities to practice their leadership and teamwork skills helps make your workplace communication more effective. You can help promote trust among your employees by letting them work together outside the hierarchy of the office.

For more corporate team building ideas, or help in any aspect of planning your corporate event, don’t hesitate to contact us today!

Why Should I Hire an Event Planner for My Wedding?

When it comes to the wedding planning process, you could be anywhere from “I have no idea what I’m doing,” all the way up to “I should quit my job and make planning weddings my career!” If you find yourself more at the confused end of the spectrum, hiring an event planner may seem like a no-brainer. But even if you’ve felt in control since the beginning, a planner can take your ceremony and reception to the next level.

Check out these 4 reasons you should hire a wedding planner for your wedding day!

1. Planners take a lot of responsibility off your plate

Wedding planning is stressful and takes a lot of time – far from the romantic experience everyone expects. There’s a lot to keep track of: vendors, catering, invitations, and more – to say nothing of meddling family. Hiring an event planner for your big day can help ease the pressure you may start to feel as things pile up. A planner can do the heavy lifting for you, leaving you stress free and enjoying the process.

2. Planners can help with budgets and contracts

A planner can help you make the most of your wedding budget, no matter how much you’re willing to spend. Their experience allows them to stretch your money because they know what’s important and what will get the most impact. What’s more, they deal with legal contracts on a daily basis and can take the guess work out of speaking with your vendors.

3. Planners have tons of insider knowledge & advice

Wedding planners are always talking to florists, caterers, DJs, hair stylists, and vendors of every variety. They can recommend the vendor cream-of-the-crop for your perfect day – so you don’t have to spend hours reading reviews on Google. Even better, thanks to these insider relationships, your planner may even be able to negotiate deals that wouldn’t otherwise be available to you.

4. Planners fight for your vision, and keep things on track

Possibly the most important perk of hiring a planner is having someone in your corner, who’ll fight for your vision. It’s common for vendors to tackle more than one wedding per day, or per weekend. But an event planner is focused only on your special day. They can bring it all together and will uphold your wedding vision start to finish – from the first days of planning to the day of the wedding.

Some couples are super creative and can do a lot of their own planning. Others have a strong vision and a flair for decorating. But some couples haven’t put a lot of thought into what they want, don’t have the time to devote to planning, or simply don’t know where to start.

Whether you need a full service wedding planner, or just some support with “day of” coordination, EPI Events can help! Contact us today, and let’s get to planning your special day!

5 Great Corporate Holiday Party Ideas

It’s almost that time of the year again! Time to let your employees know just how much you appreciate all their hard work and celebrate the successes of the past year! So, instead of handing out gift certificates or candy canes, this year try something different – an office holiday party! Better than any gift ideas, a corporate holiday party can – and should – be an exciting and memorable event.

Amidst the wrapping paper, hot chocolate, and gingerbread houses, it can help boost your employees’ morale, help them build stronger bonds, and feel valued and appreciated.

Ideally, whatever sort of holiday office party you decide to throw, it should be removed from any of your company properties. That way your employees and their guests can disconnect from work and have some fun!

But if you’ve been throwing the same old office holiday event every year, it might be time to break out of your rut and try something new and exciting! That’s why we’ve got 5 great ideas for your next corporate holiday party, right here:

1. Tubing

Not everyone knows how to ski or snowboard, but anyone can sit in a tube! There’s no need to fight against the winter conditions when you can use them for some fun. And what’s more, you can end the evening with a warm dinner near your tubing location. All in all, this is a great way to release stress and have a ton of fun! Try places like Kitchener or Blue Mountain.

2. Retreat Day

Another out-of-the-box idea for a fun office party is a spa day with some outdoor activates. Nothing quite eliminates stress like a day of pampering! And like tubing, this sort of event can be topped off with a nice warm meal, and perhaps a firework show. You might also mix in a gift exchange or “secret Santa.” Try the Muskoka area for this sort of event.

3. Themed Costume Party

Who says costumes are just for Halloween? Break the mold with a holiday themed costume party! You can go with a spooky theme, but you certainly don’t have to. Ask your guests to arrive dressed as their favourite literary, television, or holiday character. The possibilities for holiday cheer are endless!

4. Game Night

Board- and table-top games have seen a recent surge in popularity, and as such, several themed bars and coffee shops have opened to meet the demand. Try Toronto’s Time Capsule Board Games Café & Bar, or Brew Wizards Board Game Café. Of course, a game night doesn’t just have to be board games – you could also go bowling or visit an adult video game arcade, like Dave & Buster’s.

5. Boat Cruise Dinner Party

Our final corporate holiday party idea is something you might not consider during the winter months – a boat cruise dinner. Though the cold weather keeps many people away from the waterfront, it also means demand and costs are lower. Most businesses running these kinds of cruises during the colder months operate boats with heated interiors, offering a cozy place for food and drinks. This makes it an ideal and often overlooked option.

No matter what sort of event you choose for your office holiday party, EPI Events is there to help you get each of the details just right! Are you in the market for an exciting way to show your employees how much you care this holiday season? Contact us today, and let’s start planning your holiday party now!

Office Holiday Parties Have A Great Effect on Productivity

The holiday season comes right at the end of the calendar, just as your team is getting tired after a long year. Yet, despite their weariness, this season is marked by good spirits and general happiness. That makes it the perfect time to thank your employees for all their hard work and dedication throughout the year. Showing your gratitude with an office holiday party helps your employees feel appreciated and recognized. These feelings help them maintain their motivation and high level of productivity through the upcoming year.

Overall, a company party brings a number of great benefits for both businesses and their employees. Here’s just a few:

Start the Year off Right

One of the benefits of an office holiday party is that it lets people have a good time and blow off a little steam. A great party helps your employees build their excitement and passion for your company, which improves their productivity. After the holidays, your employees will have the energy to start the new year off on the right foot.

Build Teamwork

Strong teamwork skills are critical to businesses in any industry. But they can be difficult to build and reinforce if your employees only interact in an office setting. A holiday party offers people the chance to “let their hair down,” and discover each other outside their work duties.

Boost Corporate Image

A hidden benefit of an office holiday party is the impact it can have on your business’s image and reputation. When you throw a holiday party, your employees recognize the effort you’re making to create a good work environment. They can see your concern for their well-being. This encourages them to talk positively about the company, and their caring management.

Improve Employee Retention

Happy employees are loyal employee! You’ve got an incredible team, whose skills you rely on daily. When you show your team that you appreciate all their work, they’re more likely to stay with you. And with their help you’ll continue to see growth.

High Quality Employee Prospects

Not only do office holiday parties help you retain your most skilled workers, they help attract the best new employees. Showing your gratitude for your employees is a sign of a healthy corporate culture, one others will want to join. With a reputation for supporting employees, the best people will be knocking down your door for the chance to sign up.

There are countless benefits to throwing a work event like an end-of-year office holiday party. What’s more, those benefits extend beyond even making your employees happy and improving productivity. Are you looking for an exciting way to show your employees how much you care this holiday season? Contact us today, and let’s start planning your holiday party now!

Tips for Planning a Small Budget Wedding

Planning a wedding isn’t easy, and planning a cheap wedding can be even more difficult.

Wedding costs can get expensive, with budgets doubling or tripling if you’re not careful. But that doesn’t mean you can’t plan an elegant wedding on a small budget. Bride and groom will just need to be willing to compromise and work hard.

Try these tips to tie the knot without tightening your belt.

Venue

The venue is easily one of the priciest items in your budget. Choosing a less expensive venue for your ceremony and reception is an excellent way to keep your budget down. You can also try to find venues that provide catering themselves, which accounts for another large portion of your budget. Another low-cost option for your big day is a space provided by family or friends, like a large garden or cottage.

You could also try working with a restaurant, as they are likely to charge less than the combined cost of a traditional venue and caterer. They also already have a waitstaff, so you can save on servers as well.

Catering

Another item on your budget with a big price tag is catering. In general, you have two options: buffet and seated dinner. Though the cost for both options will depend on the number of people on your guest list, buffet tends to be cheaper. There are several options for drinks, including a BYO option, or providing drinks yourself to save money.

If your food and drink budget is a little tight, consider asking guests to help out in place of a gift.

Wedding Dress

One great option to help keep your dress budget down is to shop online. Otherwise, seek out the sales! With a little hunting, you can find a gorgeous discount dress on sale, sometimes up to 70% off.

Flowers & Décor

Work with your greatest asset when it comes to the flowers and decorations: friends and family! You can create stunning flower bouquets on your own, or buy some gently-used second-hand decorations. Keep in mind that you can resell many of your own decorations, provided they aren’t damaged. Renting décor is also an option to consider, but this can become expensive quickly.

Need a little more advice to help keep your wedding budget from spiraling out of control? Contact us today, and let’s make your affordable wedding dreams come true!

A Wedding Planning Checklist for a Perfect Wedding

Planning the perfect wedding isn’t an easy task – especially without a professional wedding planner to help you. In fact, the help of a wedding planner can make everything a lot easier!

However, if you’re determined to plan your wedding on your own, be sure to use a detailed wedding checklist to make sure you hit each of those important milestones on time!

You’ll need to be patient as you start planning, and you can’t let the stress get to you as your big day approaches. Just keep your beautiful day in your mind, and remember that when it’s all over you’ll be married to the love of your life!

To help make sure you get everything just right, try following this simplified wedding planning checklist:

 

1. Define a budget for the wedding that you won’t exceed

No one likes deciding on a budget for their big day, but it’s an important part of the planning process. Decide what’s most important to you for your wedding day, and how it may impact your budget. For example, do you need to balance a large guest list with affordable food?

2. Choose a theme

It’s wedding idea time! Your personalities, sense of style, and tastes should be on full display here. Will you throw an elegant party? Perhaps you want a Caribbean theme? Will you have your ceremony indoors or out?

Feel free to express yourselves. Let your creativity shine through every aspect, from colours to décor and beyond!

3. Choose a venue and catering

Wedding venues’ bookings fills up fast – especially if you’re interested in the more popular locations. Popular caterers’ schedules also fill up quickly during the wedding season. Do your research, but don’t wait too long. Be sure to allow about 50-60% of your budget for these expenses.

4. The wedding dress

Finding the perfect dress is about as personal an experience as there is. Take your time to find your dream dress. But be sure to leave enough lead time for dress fittings and alterations!

5. Book your photographer, cameraman, DJ or band, & any other entertainment

Just like with the venue and caterer, these sorts of wedding vendors book early. Waiting too long will see your options shrink and leave you without your top choices.

6. Send invitations

Everything begins to take shape as you meet with your venders; everyone is ready to deliver your vision for a perfect wedding. That means it’s time to send out those wedding invitations!

7. Choose your flowers and decor

With your theme firmly in mind, it’s time to decide on your flowers and decorations! Create a continuity with your theme, colours and décor to build a stunning atmosphere.

8. Coordinate all the little details

As your big day arrives, it will feel like there are a million little things that need to be taken care of. From who’s holding the wedding bands, to final payments, and everything in between. Work with your friends, family, and wedding party to make sure each of those small details are taken care of!

Want more informations? Please feel free to contact us for a free consultation.

How Much Does a Wedding Cost?

Many Canadian couples start hearing wedding bells and thinking about that big day early on in their relationship. Some even start saving as soon as things get serious. And why not? Your wedding is an important milestone worth celebrating!

But if you’ve never been exposed to the financial side of planning a wedding, it’s easy to be shocked by what you find. It turns out becoming “bride and groom” is a lot more complicated than simply saying “I do,” and those expenses add up quickly.

The final bill all depends on the couple’s vision, and their possible wedding budget. It can easily run from $10,000 to $100,000. In fact, according to The Knot’s 2018 Real Weddings Study, the average wedding cost is around $34,000!

A more useful question to ask yourself is “How much am I willing to spend?”

The best way to help yourself determine a realistic budget for your wedding is to create a list of costs – and stick to it. Just keep in mind that you may have to make compromises in certain areas to stay within your budget.

Get an idea of what you can expect with this breakdown of the most common wedding expenses and their average prices:

  • The most expensive items on your list will undoubtedly be the venue and caterer. Combined, these expenses will take up about 60% of your total budget. This will most likely include drinks, and a larger price tag for an open bar. But it won’t include the wedding cake or entertainment. When it comes to venues, high-end banquet halls will be more expensive than smaller locations. That said, the pricier locales usually include rentals, tableware, and basic amenities.
  • The wedding dress is another large purchase. On average, brides spend well over $1,500 for their dress. There’s a lot to keep in mind here: veil, handbag, shoes, alterations, etc. And remember, the more intricate your dress, the more expensive it will be to alter.
  • For vendors like the photographer, cameraman, DJ, and other entertainment, you should expect to pay between $2,500 and $3,000. An experienced DJ alone can cost upwards of $1,750.
  • Flowers and décor are a must for any wedding day. But with so many small details, it can be easy to lose track of your expenses here. Pay close attention and expect to pay between $1,000 and $2,000.
  • Many couples book hair and make-up professionals for both the bride and her bridesmaids. For just the bride this expense can start around $300 or $400. The cost only goes up as you add service for the bridesmaids.
  • Invitations, Save-the-Dates, programs, and other small details add up quickly. From determining how many you need, to having them printed, to factoring postage – and more – you can expect to pay $300 to $400. Of course, email invites are an inexpensive – and environmentally friendly – option as well.
  • Another expense you should consider, which can help save you time and money, is a wedding planner. With many service options to choose from, from full A-Z planning to day-of help, hiring a wedding planner takes the stress out of the day and just makes things easier.

One last bit of parting advice to leave you with: Be sure to allow yourself some wiggle-room in your budget. You never know what kind of incidental expenses may pop up!

If you’re ready for some help tying the knot, don’t hesitate to contact us today!