How to Plan a Wedding Social

wedding image by Mat Hayward from

A wedding social is a fundraising event with origins in Manitoba, Canada. The social is a chance for the bride and groom to raise money for their honeymoon, wedding or for any future plans such as buying a home. In return, the guests get a chance to win prizes and enjoy the social event. Wedding socials are also know as Winnipeg Socials, Manitoba Socials or Fundraising Socials.

Choose a venue. In Manitoba, socials are usually held at a Royal Canadian Legion hall or a community center. At a Legion hall, the staff will usually run an affordable bar for you. At a community center, you will need to get a liquor license and sell your own liquor. Talk to your local Legion and community centers and compare the services and costs. You'll also want to consider their capacity compared with your guest list.

Plan your menu. Traditionally the menu consists of deli food such as cheese, pickles, crackers, bread, kielbasa and other deli meats. The food is served at midnight. You might find it easiest to prepare the food the day before the social if you are preparing it yourself.

Book a DJ to play at the social. Ask some of your friends or family members for DJ recommendations. You may also find a DJ by searching online or in the phone book. Ask the DJ, if you prefer, to include typical social songs such as "Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy" and "Cotton-Eyed Joe." You may also want to choose a song for the bride and groom and one for the wedding party.

Pick some prizes to sell as raffle items. Raffle items include one grand prize item valued between $400 and $600 and smaller items valued between $100 and $350. You can ask local companies to donate the prizes, and you can purchase others (because this is a fundraiser, you want to get as many donations as possible).

Recruit some friends and family members to sell raffle tickets and 50/50 tickets. Raffle tickets are usually sold while people are at their tables, and 50/50 tickets are sold at the door. The tickets come in pairs, and when they are sold one goes to the purchaser and the other into the drawings (keep the raffle and 50/50 tickets separate). At the end of the night, one ticket is drawn for each raffle prize as well as for the 50/50 drawing. Those with the matching numbers are the winners. The raffle prizes go to the people with the matching numbers. The 50/50 pot is split between the winner of the 50/50 drawing and the bride and groom.

Design your tickets for the event and print them. The tickets will need to have the information for the social including the time, location, cost, contact and who the event is for. The standard price for tickets is $10. Print enough tickets as needed but do not surpass the capacity of your hall. Have your friends and family members sell the tickets. You cannot advertise the social since because it is not for a nonprofit organization.