Tag Archive | wedding tips

10 Stress-Free Tips to Hosting a Holiday Party


Relax…you really can handle this!  Hosting an event can be quite stressful, especially if it is not something that you do on a regular basis.  The details of the event can be overwhelming.  That’s why we, at Events By Epic, wanted to offer you a few tips to minimize your anxiety when preparing to host your holiday party!

Time for Family Showing Love And Romantic Home

#1 – Remember WHY you are hosting the Party! Being too consumed by the details of the day can cause you to forget why you are having it to begin with…to connect with family and friends. This approach could cause conflict and/or hinder a relationship with a family member.  Although important, the time shared and memories created is matters more than compliments received about how beautifully decorated and well coordinated the holiday party was.

If you find this to be too difficult for you, consider hiring an event planner who can focus on the details of the event while you connect with family and friends.


#2 – How Much will this Cost? Determining how much you have to spend is always the best place to start.  Married couples should be sure to discuss this step together.  Holiday parties often bring up other unexpected expenses that are not technically associated with the event itself.  However, you do not want a leaky toilet, broken hand rail or porch step, when you have guest coming over.  Considering all cost will help you determine how many people and who you invite.

Tip: To share the cost burden of the event, ask others to contribute.  Have a potluck!  It will take a bit more coordination, but it prevents you from scaling back the event.

Girl Wondering What To Do About A Problem

#3 – Who’s on the Guest List?  I know that you would prefer to have one epic event (no pun intended…well sorta), but you may have to consider having 2-3 smaller ones if you do not think your guest will mesh well.  When those who attend the event simply appreciate the fact that you invited them, they often make the event better and enjoyable for all.

Tip: Consider having smaller gatherings; one for family, one for friends, and another for co-workers.  Perhaps meet your co-workers at a restaurant and everyone pays for themselves.

To Do List Clipboard For Organizing Tasks

#4 – Make a List and Check it Twice!  The details and “to-do’s” are typically not what causes you to go from 0 to 60 on the anxiety charts.  It’s the unknown that is stressful.  “What or Who am I forgetting?” Before doing anything, take some time to make a list of your “to-do’s”.

Tip: There are many cool apps that you can add to your phone or tablet so that you can add to the list while on the go.  Evernote, Trello, and Podio are a few apps that we use to to stay on task.

christmas decoration

#5 – Decor & Space Planning  You know how many people your home will hold for dinner.  Need more space?  A well decorated folding table is an inexpensive way to extend the dinning room table.  Minimize decor on the tables to allow room for food.  Rearrange furniture to improve the flow.

Tip: Be sure to consider space for entertaining before and after dinner.  In a smaller space?  Its ok.  If you are planning to play games or need room for dancing, remember to ask a few people to help you turn the room, prior to the party.  This ensures that they are prepared to do this quickly without much interruption.


#6 – Set The Mood!  The right music and lighting is always a pleasant addition to any event.  Spend some time creating a playlist prior to the day.  Think about the amount of time people will be over and add enough music to last the entire time.  To change the mood, you may need multiple playlist to use before and after dinner.  Manage the volume so that it allows for conversation.

Tips: Pandora and Spotify are great apps to use if you do not have time to create playlist. Consider turning off the overhead lights and infuse lamps with varying color bulbs. Hours prior, open windows to allow fresh air in. Be sure to reset the temperature prior to guest arriving.

Preparing A Plate Of Sashimi In A Japanese Restaurant

#7 – Prepare Ahead of Time. Prepare and cook as much as possible before hand.  Prepare plenty of snacks, drinks, and appetizers in a different room (if possible) from where you will have dinner.  This will allow your guest to snack just in case something takes longer than anticipated.  When you are organized and prepared, this allows for you to spend more time with your guest.

Tips: Assign someone to restock the goodie bar (an older son or daughter, niece, nephew, etc.) so that you do not have to stop preparing dinner or welcoming and connecting with guest.


#8 – Dinner is Served!  A buffet is the most efficient way to serve lots of people.  Oven-to-table servingware is a great option to increase efficiency.  They help keep the food warm and present much better.  Consider labeling where you will place each dish.  This ensures that those who are assisting you place items where you intended.

Tip: Be sure that they table is away from the wall to allow access to all sides of the table.  This will keep the line moving and prevent longer wait times.  Consider making the plates and serving those who are “wiser” (some may call then older) prior to opening the buffet.  This allows them to get their plate and get a seat before the rush begins.

Fingers Family and christmas

#9 – Make it Memorable! Traditions are cherished and remembered.  Add a special touch to your day by incorporating a tradition that your family has held onto for years.  If you do no have any, there is no greater time than the present!  Create one!

Tips: Do a family craft, such as making personalized ornaments, Sing songs together, tell favorite stories, play your favorite game, no matter what you decide, the experience of it is what matters most.

Welcome mat

#10 – Prepare for Guest  From the time your doorbell rings the first time, your role is to welcome them and make them feel comfortable and at home.  Make essential items accessible so that they do not have to ask or search for them, such as extra toliet paper, plunger, paper towel, socks, etc.

Tip: Consider renting a coat rack for about $20.  They usually come with hangers. It beats piling coats on a bed and allows for access if they need to run out or leave early.

Washing Plates As Part Of The Daily Chores

Bonus: “You don’t have to go home, but its time for you to leave here.”  It’s has been a GREAT, but long day and you are getting sleepy.  You don’t want to be rude and ask your guest to leave. There are subtle things you can do to signal that the party is over.  First, put an end time on the invite (You did send invites, right?).   Lower the music or turn up a main light, mood changes in the room can send the appropriate signal.

Tip: Purchase ‘to-go’ containers and put them out at the end of the party.

Tidy Up a Bit: Leave the heavy cleaning for the morning. However, you can do a few things to minimize your workload.  1) Create a tub of soapy water and place dishes inside of the tub, 2) check floor and furniture for stains so that you can treat them immediately, 3) Take of the trash and recycle to minimize those smells consuming the house.



EventsByEpic.com | Info@EventsbyEpic.com | 630.492.0077


DIY Brides: 5 Tips to Planning a Wedding with less than 6 Months to Go.

 Images By Marc Anthony

Traditionally, June is one of the most popular months to get married.  We know that there are many DIY Brides (and Grooms) out there, who decided to “take the bull by the horns” and started to plan your own wedding.

If your wedding is in the summer of 2015, you should have at least done the following by now:

  • Picked a Date
  • Set a Budget (Overall and Itemized)
  • Picked Venues (Ceremony & Reception)
  • Hired a Wedding Planner (if not, Go to EventsByEpic.com)
  • Selected and meet your Officiant
  • Started Guest List

With about 6 months to go, this is crunch time!  6 months may seem like a long time, but it will go by really fast.  You are looking at your to-do list and thinking “that’s not so much” but not considering the 10 steps it will take to do each of the 10 “To-Do’s”.

Progress in the next 2 months will significantly impact your stress level in April.  Spend the next 30 days finalizing the following and it put you in a position to walk into the end zone when it matters:

Update Your Budget

By now, you will have a more realistic view of how much you have to spend. Prioritize and balance the budget based on need.  Do not overlook the value of a photographer and videographer.  Hire Them Now!  The good ones book quickly!  You may think that flowers are more important, because you want the ceremony to look beautiful.  There are creative and less expensive ways to decorate.  However, if you have a poor photographer / videographer who does not properly capture the key moments, has poor editing skills, or even worse, you cut them from your budget all together, you may regret not having the memory of grandma walking down the aisle, or a dance with mom or dad, which years later you realize that is what made your day most important to begin with.

Finalize Wedding Party

They don’t just stand there and look pretty (or handsome).  Pick a team who is committed and able to support you in the days and months leading up to your big day.  There is a difference between willing and able.  It takes time, money, and effort (and sometimes talent).  Do not be afraid to set expectations up front.  Most people do not really know what they are saying yes to when they agree to stand with you.

Click Here Bridal Guide did a great job in providing an overview of the roles and responsibilities of the wedding party.

What will you Wear?

Brides…I know you may be holding out for the perfect dress, but this is the time to narrow your choices and make a final selection.  As you know, the style of your dress impacts your decision when selecting your head piece, veil, shoes, lingerie, and accessories…all of which, you should be buying now as well.  There is no greater stress than wondering what you will wear.

Grooms…Consider the colors.  Will you where a tuxedo or a tailored suit? Vest? Bow tie? Begin to research stores or fabric to determine ship time on custom pieces.  Starting this early will give you options.  If you find what you really like, finalize it.  Usually, you can wait until 4-5 months out, but it is better to get what you want than to look for it later and can not find it.

Finger Licking Good

Schedule an appointment with your cater to taste the food.  If you do not like it, this gives you “a little” time to make other arrangements.

 Remember the Marriage

Most importantly, sign up for pre-martial counseling.  Some of you may think you know everything about who you are engaged to, and that may be true.  However, pre-marital counseling helps you ask and answer the tough questions to prepare you for better or worse.  It is better to know the plays and your role (and what others expect you to do) before getting into the game.

Shameless Plug…this is why we advocate hiring a wedding planner.  Allow them to focus on the details of your wedding, while you focus on the details of your marriage.  

Discuss Honeymoon Destinations.  This is not just a vacation, but a time for the two of you to get away to get to know one another even more and for the first time as husband and wife.

Let’s Get To It!

This is the first post of a series that will help you think through and prepare for your Epic Day!

If you have any questions, please let us know.

EventsByEpic.com | Info@eventsbyepic.com | 630.492.0077

10 Tips for Choosing Your Wedding Vendors


Take Recommendations Lightly

A friend’s good word goes far, but there is no one caterer, band, or florist perfect for everyone. Compatibility is key: Do you have the same taste and temperament as the advice-giver? If not , proceed with caution. And never use all of the same vendors that a friend did — it can leave your wedding feeling like a repeat.

Let Your Passions Drive Your Priorities

Arm yourself and your fiancé with notebooks, and spend a week recording anything you encounter that grabs you, whether it’s a color on a sign, a song on the radio, or a dessert at a restaurant. Then compare notes. Does food dominate your list? Did he jot down only song titles? You’ll see on paper what matters, so you can budget for the most important.

Create a Guest List That Reflects Real Life

When you’re narrowing down the invites, think about your present (and future) relationships rather than the past. Is this someone you want in your life in 20 years? If so, invite that person. The others are negotiable.

Chat with Recent Clients

Once you’ve edited the list of potential vendors, ask to talk to a few of the couples they’ve worked with in the past year. It doesn’t matter if a bride 10 years ago loved someone; their staff and resources have likely changed since then.

Note Your First Impressions

Be aware of how potential vendors deal with your initial contact: How do they react, how quickly do they respond, and how do they conduct themselves? If a band tells you to come to a wedding to check them out, it ’s a hint that they may invite strangers to your event, so make sure they understand that your day is for invitees only.

See Beyond Your Own Style

Look for a diverse portfolio when you’re hiring any vendor. You want to see a body of work with a consistent level of quality — not a one-trick pony who can only do, say, boho. You might not like a Glee-centric birthday party, but if the work can still wow you, imagine what the vendor could do with a theme you love.

Know When Familiarity is a Good Fit

In some cases, a vendor having an existing relationship with a venue can be a big plus. They’ll already know about any shortcomings — like if the space needs a generator or is challenging to load into — and how to work around them. Alternatively, if you’re having doubts about your vendor, you can ask the venue manager about her experience with them. Questions about how they treat people behind the scenes and if they handle stress well can tell you a lot. With a photographer, though, the first time at a location can be charmed. Someone who’s seeing a space with fresh eyes may bring more spontaneity than a lensman who’s already shot the same backdrop for 10 other couples.

Hire People Who Accept Your Budget

Whether you’re in for $9,000 or $9 million, find a team that will creatively rise to the occasion. The best will be able to suggest savvy budget-trimming swaps. So if you’re asking for pricey peonies when they’re out of season, a resourceful florist might suggest lush, fully opened garden roses instead.

Look For a Team Player

You want to collaborate with someone who will listen and create an event that isn’t just beautiful but reflects you two as a couple. For instance, skip a barn wedding with cowboy boots if neither of you has ever ridden a horse. When your future children look at your wedding album and ask, “Why did you get that cake?” you’ll be able to say, “Your dad and I used to go to this great restaurant and…” The right vendor will create moments where your guests think, “This is so Jane and John!”

Don’t Be Afraid to Walk Away

When you’re not happy with a vendor, wait until you can articulate your concerns in a non-emotional way. Express the problem, and then ask for a solution. Depending on how they react, it may make sense to part ways. If you have a contract, you’ll likely have to pay a fee, but it may be worth it to move on to someone who’s a better fit.