If you recently became engaged, you both are probably pondering a Manitoba tradition: to have a wedding social. What is a wedding social? It’s a fundraising event to help the bride and groom raise money for their wedding, honeymoon or to just start out their life together as a married couple. It’s a Manitoba tradition. As thanks the guests get a night out with chances at some great silent auction prizes, some cheap drinks and a late night snack.
Spring is the busiest season for socials. So in order to book the date you want you have to decide fast what you are going to do.
First you have to decide if you will have the much needed support (of both time and money) from family and more importantly, your wedding party.
You can decide to do the much simpler “bar” social. No liquor license as the staff will run it all for you. You can focus on your silent auction tickets, door tickets and mingling with your guests. Overall the cost is quite reasonable but the amount of funds you may raise will be conservative.
Or you can decide to rent a hall or community club. Which leads into the liquor, liquor license, food, etc. A bit more costly initially, but the return can be tremendous. Honestly it will be a lot of work. For both the couple and the wedding party. But if you have the friends and family to support you and come out for the social then this would be the better option.
Make sure the tickets are clear enough for the info needed including location, date, time and who the event is for. Standard tickets go for about $10. Print what you need but do not go over capacity of the hall. If you like you can also print “support” only tickets for those who want to show their support but will not be attending. Also take note if you are allowing children to come they DO count towards the capacity number included in the hall. Get your friends and family to sell the tickets but remember only nonprofit organizations can advertise their event.
Silent Auction Prizes
The trick to a great social is the silent auction and the prizes. Most will have themes with a couple of grand prizes. The money a great batch of prizes can generate is tremendous. Keep the small prizes at a value of $100-$300 with the grand prize at about $400-$500.
Now to find your silent auction prizes. The first thing you want to do is ask yourself, your fiancé as well as friends/family if there is a chance to get donations from work or from companies everyone does business with.
Can you get prizes from services needed at the social? Can your DJ offer a prize? How about who you get to supply the late night food? At Harvest Bakery and Deli we offer a voucher for a photo image cake (valued at $50) when you order our traditional social food package for 250 people or more! Remember companies will require a letter of request as well as a voided ticket. Accept whatever donation is offered with much enthusiasm, because no one is required to donate.
Now as for the raffle tickets like 50/50 or bottle draw. Those tickets will be offered to guests at their tables with someone walking around and selling them. The 50/50 is usually sold at the door with 50% going to the winner and the other 50% going to the bride and groom.
When hiring a DJ ask your friends and family for recommendations. You can also check online and look at the reviews. Music can make or break the mood at any social. People who are happy and having a great time tend to spend more money. And it keeps people moving and having fun.
Traditional social food is deli style meats, cheese and pickles. Tossing a sandwich together quickly using ham, salami and garlic sausage on some great Winnipeg rye bread is the most popular choice. Served about 11-1130 pm. Some people have opted for pizza or have made their own food like hot dogs. If ordering traditional deli food ask if you can save some money by plating the food yourself.
Call around for options, pricing and quantities.
Great resources to help you with organizing, pricing, donation lists and support are Manitoba Socials and All Things Wedding in Manitoba: Socials Group (both found on Facebook). For traditional social food pricing please call us at HARVEST BAKERY AND DELI 204-489-1086. We have one of the most competitively priced packages in Winnipeg!