Monday, January 3, 2011

The Social: Is it worth it?

We are throwing a wedding social in March to raise money for our wedding, specifically I would like to cover the cost of our open bar. If you are wondering what a social is then you haven't been reading my posts!

Five years ago we threw a social in my sister and her soon to be husbands honor. If you ask her it was a lot of work for a small profit. So why should I bother?

From my experience with helping people throw their socials and listening to others, I have come up with a short list of things that are needed to make it worth 'bothering':

  1. Be honest with yourself. - Do either you or your FI have enough family, friends and acquaintances that want to pay to attend a party in your honor?
  2. Do you have a wedding party that is willing to help sell tickets and find prizes?
  3. Do you or your friends have connections with retail companies to get free prizes? Or do your friends and family want to donate prizes?
  4. Are you willing to put in the energy to plan this, on top of your wedding?

In my case, I can answer yes to all of these questions. When we threw my sister's social the answers were more unsure maybes. We were young, university students that weren't living in their home town nor had we lived in this city long enough to develop enough connections. The majority of people we thought would attend were students like us, from our home town. And then we decided on a long weekend date as that was a very popular time back home to have socials, as everyone was back visiting family and liked the opportunity to attend a social and catch up with friends. Big mistake. The social was in the city and our friends were back in our home town.

Luckily my sister and her husband were still able to make a profit because of their hard work but I've heard stories of couples that had their friends stand out side of the venue the night of and pull people in as it was dead.

That would be a nightmare for me.

To break even you will need to cover the rental of the venue (usually between $1000 - $1500), the DJ ($500 - 1000), & miscellaneous costs (at least $500). Approximate costs $2500. If you can cover this with your tickets sales, everything else you make that night, on alcohol, silent auctions, etc, will be profits.

As this is definitely an uniquely Manitoba tradition I have never read other wedding blogger's experiences. I would love to hear about other's do's and don'ts.

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