Wedding socials - are they worth the fuss?

Some socials can be a little dead. This zombie bride and groom are all smiles at their themed bash.
Photo Credit: Photo by: Celia McLean

You rent a hall, audition a band, and decide on decorations

You buy a dress, get a hair appointment, and spend an hour on your makeup. You make sure the buffet is set up properly and the bartenders are ready to go. You’ve spent months planning this night.

And all you can think is “I hope I make enough money!”

That’s right, I’m talking about wedding socials.

They’re a Manitoban thing, no doubt about it

I’m sure you’ve been to one or two in your time. You know – the cheesy music, the prize auction, the bologna slices and cheddar cubes. A time honored tradition in Manitoba, the social allows the bride and groom to celebrate their engagement while making some money for the big day at the same time.

But just how much money can you really make? For all the effort it takes to plan a social, is the reward worth it?

“It’s totally worth it. It was a great bonding experience with the family and wedding party,” says Judy Celones via email. Celones and fiancé Charles Herscovitch threw their social in January to prepare for her May wedding. It may have been fun, but what about the cash?

“Well, we spent about $3000, and made about $3500 after all was said and done,” says Celones.

That’s it? Celones says her social took about two months to plan, and she only profited about $500. Profits can vary from social to social, however.

“We sold out our venue, which had a capacity of 400. We also didn’t buy any of our social prizes, but spent a lot of time and energy writing letters to businesses,” says Kerilee Raven, via email

Raven and fiancé Scott Vermeire’s February social was very successful, but she admits it was a lot of work.

“Total expenses for our social came to $3000. At the end of the night we counted over $8000. So we made about $5000 in profits. Overall it was huge stress, and a huge amount of work, but we literally wouldn’t be able to afford to get married for several years if it wasn’t for the social money.”

Couples have socials for different reasons, but making money and celebrating are the two main ones. For some couples having a small wedding, a social is a great excuse to celebrate an engagement without maxing out your guest list.

“We’re looking forward to being able to invite everyone and anyone we know, without having to wonder whether there’s room for them on the guest list,” says Jenn Shaw, who is planning her April social with fiancé Sean Geisbrecht.

“We know we won’t be able to invite every single friend to our wedding, so it’s really nice to be able to invite everyone in our lives.”

It seems that socials are a toss-up – you might get lucky and make a ton of money, but you’ll probably have to work pretty hard to get there.

Or you could barely break even, but you might have a great bash. Either way, if you’d like more information about socials and advice on throwing your perfect party, visit

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Emily Baron Cadloff of Red River College

  • User since Oct 27th 2009, 09:37