Building on Southern Hospitality
By Nancy Jackson | Photos by Kaitie Bryant Photography
Over the course of his life, Lee Epting learned the ins and outs of the catering and event business to help make others’ dream weddings and events become a reality. Epting Events has assisted countless friends and community members to make their perfect events come to fruition.
Treat others the way you want to be treated. It’s a simple sentence most individuals grew up hearing from parents and teachers on a regular basis. However, this golden rule applies to so much more than just being kind to those around you. It also applies to the good, old-fashioned Southern hospitality that the Epting family was raised on, and it is what Epting Sr. founded his company on. The Southern charm and graciousness, coupled with years of experience and expertise, has helped family-run Epting Events grow to become the company anyone would hope for to help plan a special event.
A strong sense of authenticity and genuine desire to get things right can be seen in the fine details of any event or venue prepared by the Eptings. For Athens Cotton Press, a venue owned by Daniel Epting, the chief operating officer of Epting Events, authentic period bricks were dug out for the front of the building. Daniel Epting and about four other employees then cleaned and sorted through those bricks for weeks to be sure that the design would have the right texture and tones to blend with and complement the early 1900s industrial-era architecture of Athens. Athens Cotton Press will mark its fifth anniversary in 2020.
On the horizon, Daniel Epting is set to open his newest venue, South House, in the Chase Park Warehouse. The venue is designed to suit 80-100 guests and will be ideal for family-style rehearsal dinners or larger cocktail parties.
Over the years, Epting Events has come to be the go-to company for weddings and parties throughout Athens and the Southeast. It has slowly yet surely changed the event business for the better with its revolutionary ideas and willingness to adapt to any last-minute changes to help give clients an amazing event from beginning to end.
One event in particular came to Epting’s mind as he reminisced about the various weddings and parties spanning his 75 years.
“In the early 1970s, wedding [receptions] in Athens were typically held at the home or the Taylor Grady House, as there weren’t as many options for venues,” Epting Sr. said. “As we set up for the reception, a woman carrying the wedding cake stumbled and caused the cake to shift and crack. While she panicked that the bride and groom would be furious and heartbroken, I stepped outside and picked fresh azalea flowers from the garden and placed them to cover any cracks in the cake. Nobody in the ’70s was putting flowers on cakes, which helped make us a little unique.”
The Eptings’ ability to think on the fly and rise up to meet a challenge are part of what makes Epting Events different from other event companies. The family draws on each other’s strengths and experiences to create a memorable experience for clients.
“We like the challenge of being in a field, a tent or an old barn and making it different. We became known for being able to move around,” Epting Sr. said. “We go the extra mile to make things right. If a baby starts crying, then you help babysit. We never say it’s not our job – we go the extra step to fix the problem, and that’s appreciated.”