Weddings can be costly and are averaging in about $20,000 – $30,000 Canada. But who pays for what?  Couples are steering away from the traditions of specific people paying for certain things, and instead are wanting to pay for the majority of the wedding themselves.  Luckily for us Manitoban’s we can plan to have a Wedding social that can help pay for some or all of the wedding expenses!

Start your wedding social planning by thinking of all the people you and your fiancé would want to invite! Ask your friends and family as well as this will help you determine which venues to choose from as each venue has a capacity limit.


The Liquor Gaming Authority offers a list of venues in Manitoba and can provide the capacity of each hall and can be found here: Venues in Manitoba

Do some online resarch of the venues as you can most likely find the rental prices and additional information online. Also check if they offer services such as security and bartenders. This would be much easier than trying to look and hire.

Some venues also have separate rooms which is great if you want to have food in a  different area and if you are expecting to have a lot of attendees.


If your wedding reception is in the City, your DJ might give you a good deal for booking both events!

Food & LIquor

Food: Some wedding socials bring out food at a certain time of the night, about 11:00 p.m. and some socials are leaving food out all night. Expecting a lot of people to attend? Family and wedding party members can help with the food items by each bringing a dish each.

Don’t forget to leave some snacks on the tables like chips and pretzels. They are always a hit!

Liquor: If you plan on supplying alcohol at your wedding social, you will need to apply for a Social Occasion Permit. The application can be found here: Social Occasion Permit Application . Apply as soon as possible and once the permit is ready it can be picked up at a Liquor Mart. Don’t forget to hire bartenders if they don’t supply it at the venue you choose!


Print your social tickets from Vista print or if you have chosen a company to do your wedding invitations, ask if they could also design and print the wedding social tickets for you.  Get tickets printed  as much the hall can hold. Support tickets are a good idea if as there will be people that are wanting to support but cannot attend the wedding social. It can keep a better track of how many people will attend.

Liquor tickets, 50/50 Tickets, Prize Tickets  

A good way to sell tickets are by packages so that your attendees would have the option to get a better deal without having to buy a la carte! We have seen some socials that give two packaged options. For example a packaged prize of $30 and $50/$40 and $60/$75 and $100. Just remember that the package would have to be worth buying and the more expensive the package the greater the prizes should be!

*Tip: Tickets that are bundled together and labeled can be  placed in zip lock bags. This method will help your guests not lose their tickets by the end of the night!

Purchase your tickets from Party Stuff, Bazaar & Novelty, Dollarama or even kijiji might have a good deal!


Donation letters:  The donation letter with a copy of your social ticket is required for businesses who  are willing to donate. Have your wedding party and family help by sending your letters out. Keep a spreadsheet to be organized listing the businesses, whether or not they will donate,  pick up date, and what they are donating.

Keep in mind that non profit organizations do not donate to wedding socials. Ask for donations from places you are a regular at, like the salon, or restaurants. Other places you can request donations are bowling alleys, golf,  the venue you are booking your wedding, or fitness company where you are a member .

Here are some businseses that will donate to wedding socials:

Academy Lanes – Fill out a request form

Crazy 8 Billiards & Lounge – Email

Energy 106 – Contest

Golf Dome   – Must be in person

Live Love Lash – Email

Love Nest – Must be in person

QX104 – Contest

Rumor’s – Join the birthday club, and fill out form

Thunder Rapid’s  – Mail in

Splatters Paintball – Email

U-Puttz – Email

Keep a list from friends and family who donate as well. This will help in how you will package your prizes together!

Types of Prizes :

Everyone loves to win prizes no matter how big or small. A good idea would be something for everyone.  It will interest the attendees to purchase more tickets!

Support ticket prizes: For those who cannot attend your social but would like to support and purchase a ticket, couples are having a prize or two associated with support tickets. The draw can be done during the silent auction draws at the night of the social.

Door Prize Tickets:  Many wedding socials have door prizes for people just attending. You can have one, two or even a few! Depending on what items you have that are donated or purchased. Some socials even have a draw every hour to get people to come to the social early!

Regular/Grand  prizes – You can have as much prizes as your heart desires. Save card board boxes and use as a base for your prizes, instead of purchasing baskets! You can display more items with this option.

Each regular prize should be around the same price and grand prizes should be a bit more.      

We’ve seen socials that have up to 30 prizes and this can take a bit of time to call out the numbers and have someone go up to claim the prize. If you want to cut down on the time, and have more time for dancing,  list the winning tickets on a board! Another good idea is to list the regular prizes and do the grand prizes live to get the people excited!

50/50 – there are a couple ways this can be done. You can either have tickets that are bought single or in a set (3 or 10) or do the famous arms length/ half arms length. The going rate is $5 or $10! This we suggest is a definite must as someone in that social will be walking away with a wad of cash! Have someone keep track of the money throughout the night, and make announcements of how big the take home amount is !

Below is a list of things you might want to bring:

  • Banner (optional)
  • Tape, pen, scissors, sharpies
  • Signs and lists for ticket prices
  • Signs with phone numbers for taxi cab rides
  • Decoration – Balloons, ribbons
  • Table covers (For easy clean up!)
  • Cash boxes (2), extra cash ($5 dollar bills, lots of loonies and toonies)
  • Stamp for entry
  • List of sold tickets at the front entrance
  • Schedule for people working – front entrance ticket taking, ticket selling for prizes and alcohol, selling 50/50 etc.


We hope these tips help you plan a wonderful and successful Wedding Social! Good luck!