A Uniquely Manitoba Tradition: Socials
Wedding Socials - A Manitoba Tradition
The wedding social is uniquely Manitoban and is one of our greatest traditions. The social is usually put on by the wedding party, however many couples are planning their own socials these days.
For decades the social has been a large part of Manitoba rural communities, especially in the Interlake. It served not only as a fundraiser, but as a place where people were able to gather, socialize and just plain have fun. It was, and is, not uncommon for partygoers to travel several towns over to attend a social.
When planning your social, there are many things to consider. We will point out just a few on this site. For more information, please feel free to contact us
When choosing your hall, make sure to get all the details. Do you require your own liquor license? If you are making money from the bar, you will. Or, if you want to limit your own liability with drunkenness (drunk driving, or someone injuring themselves while intoxicated), some halls will keep the liquor sales and have their own license, thus taking on the liability.
If you plan to have a smaller social, up to 150 people or so, choose your venue carefully. You do not want to pay a lot of money for a room that is way to big. Also, it may be a good idea to have friends and family cater the function. Social "late lunches" are usually made up of bread, lunch meat, vegetable platters and cheese, with some other small items.
Choose your DJ or Band carefully. A small crowd is hard to perform for (trust us.. we know) but a good DJ (or band) will thrive in this environment. (Yes, we at Gudlite Entertainment thrive in this type of environment... just a little plug...)
If you want to keep the number of guests low, print only the required amount of tickets and give them to a select few. Make sure you stay on top of things and count the remaining tickets at least weekly. This will let you know if you are making your goals or not.
Now if you are wanting to have a full blown, lots of people (200+) celebration, you need to make sure the venue can hold that many people. Many smaller community clubs can hold up to 150 people, while the larger ones can hole 200 to 400 people. Hotels and banquet rooms may also be a consideration, although many of them will require that they serve the alcohol and keep the sales.
Before you book the hall though, make sure that you can sell this many tickets. Once the hall has been booked, print the required amount of tickets and give them to family and friends to sell. Make sure that the people you give the tickets to will actually try to sell them. If the tickets are just going to sit in their pockets, find someone else. Also, do not have more than one person selling to the same crowd (i.e. two coworkers selling to other coworkers). They will just end up competing with each other and the same amount of tickets will sell as if only one had sold anyways.
The new trend is to sell you tickets online by advertising you social on sites such as Facebook. Sites like this allow you to set up a group for your social that allows people to join.
To make sure your tickets are being sold, check up on sales at least on a weekly basis by calling the sellers and getting the numbers. You will need to know how many tickets have been sold so that you can easily arrange for catering and the amount of chips, alcohol and other supplies will be required. Also, keeping track of sales will let you know if you are reaching your goals. Collect the cash from the sales often. This will not only ensure that the cash is safe, but you can use it to help cover some of the expenses of the social.
Before you begin selling the tickets, make sure you have something that will entice people to come to your social. People love to hear about an amazing grand prize (pick one out early), live entertainment or a DJ with a quality sound system and lights (another plug... sorry). You may even want to print some of the highlights of the social on your tickets.
With a larger crowd, you will want to have at least on security person on hand (This may be required by some venues). You will want security especially if you do not know a lot of people in the crowd. Many halls now offer this service for a nominal fee. Even if you think there will not be any trouble, it is best to have security on hand. They will not only keep the peace, but prevent liquor from leaving (or entering) the premises. This can be a real big problem if the police or liquor inspectors find out.
Also, when choosing your security provider, make sure that their staff are well trained and knowledgeable with the rules and laws regarding socials. It is not a good idea to have a friend or family member act as security as they are not properly trained. You will want to go with a professional in this matter.