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Wedding socials to crowdfunding…

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A regular feature in Manitoba was “The Wedding Social“… basically a great big party to raise money to help offset the costs of an even bigger party ie “The Wedding”.

You find a cheap hall to hold it in with a crappy music system, your friend’s band would play, you’d charge a reasonable amount for drinks to make a little but not gouge the wallet, food would be rye bread, kubasa and sliced meats, cheese, slap on some mustard and mayo and voila! Oh and there would be pickles – lots of pickles! Plus a generous side helping of chips and pretzels.

Add to this donations of weird and sometimes wonderful assorted items for raffle / draw / bidding wars! Generally it would be a good time full of laughter and cheer while happening to raise some money too. Real people, real times together in a real community.

Then along came crowdfunding… with its global reach, click of a button payments and the pleas to support, share, begging help!

Now I’m all for supporting good causes, helping out a friend but there are some strange ones out there.

Honestly, is it really my responsibility to fund your dream vacation?? Adoption costs?? If you can’t afford these, why do them? So then why do I feel guilty?? Why do I have images of hands reaching out for money grabbing the way street urchins do in Mumbai?

Why do I feel like the complete “Scrooge” for being reluctant to help you with your holiday? For me, it is just being smart, recognizing the reality that sometimes work comes and sometimes it doesn’t – especially when I’m between projects.

If I can’t afford something, I don’t do it, buy it, etc. And I’m certainly not about to ask someone else to pay for it.

I get that it is darn difficult to make money in creative ventures. Heck – when my partner does a play, what he is paid doesn’t even cover the cost of the petrol used to drive for rehearsals let alone make money. It literally costs HIM to indulge his love of live theatre.

The days of government funding the arts are gone, wealthy patrons are few and far between… so yes I think it is rather cool that it is possible to kick-start recording a new album so can completely get behind that one!

But… am I just being an old fashioned fuddy duddy by drawing the line at holidays and adoption costs?

Or should I just stop hankering for the “Socials” of yore and get with the times?

Dust Rhinos CD cover 'Sociable' - My sister's hubby used to be the drummer for this band

Dust Rhinos CD cover ‘Sociable’ – My sister’s partner used to be the drummer for this band & they’ve funded recording CDs through iTunes profits and crowdfunding

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33 Comments

  1. Sarah M says:

    No I really hate those blogs that have a button saying ‘press here to donate to my travels’ or something. I’m all for funding creative endeavors but really writing a travel blog doesn’t count.
    I’ve never in my life come across a pre-wedding fundraiser. Isn’t it easier to say that wedding gifts need to be cash, so that everyone effectively pays for their dinner?

    • I totally agree 😉 Here’s a blog post on the topic, which made me LOL
      http://barbedwords.wordpress.com/2013/09/20/its-not-about-the-money/

      Pre-wedding fundraiser?! That was a new one for me, too. So, on top of buying a bloody expensive wedding present, you also have to pay for the privilege of gifting it??? *Scoff!*

      • Sarah M says:

        Yes that sums up how I feel about it. If you want to monetize your blog there are thing you can do such as attract sponsors or sell things, but that requires work rather than lazily putting up a donate button

      • OK that Barbed Words post on ‘donate’ buttons was really too amusing! Loved it. 🙂

        Flip around frugal Manitoba values to my big fat Indian weddings – some of which are completely over the top and goodness! The person attending gets a thank you gift. 🙂 People scoffing when it only goes on for 3 days, a mere half million spent?! People flew in from only a half dozen countries?! Piffle!

        No wonder marriages bankrupt entire families! And some of the little darlings connubial bliss doesn’t even last past a few years… so then the family shells out again to boy / girl number two?!

        • I heard that it was customary for Indian weddings to intentionally waste a lot of food. Is there anything to that?

          • TheLastWord says:

            There are folks, who always want that extra. To show their wealth. So that no one can say they scrimped. “Lok dhikawa” it’s called. Putting on a show for the people. Who knows how much they have to borrow…..

            So yes, I believe this myth is more than plausible.

          • Let’s just say there are many weddings here that are excessive in every way… and we have two more to attend tonight!

            Or rather the Mumbai receptions for weddings that took place in Rajasthan and UP last week. Because even tho lots of folks did travel for the weddings, you can’t neglect all the people you need to show off for in other cities! 😉

            I’m being a bit harsh as we’ve been to some utterly lovely weddings too but trust me, the ‘big fat indian wedding’ beats the greek version any day! 😉

      • TheLastWord says:

        I have been to one in Ontario. It was quite a different experience for us Indians, brought up on the lavish 5-day Indian weddings.

        My own wedding was a small 1-day affair, btw. Only 300 people. As I said small….but at least it was 1 day. There were people who were disgruntled, I believe. But 1-day was enough for me, since all those rituals and Sanskrit mumbo-jumbo means nothing to me. Weddings, especially in the Indian context, is permission to have sex without the neighbors complaining. The feeding is the bribe. I hear things are changing and there are couples “living in sin”..

        There are plenty of things I want. That Porsche 911 for instance and that island in the sun. Hang on a sec, I need to put a “Pittance for my Porsche” button on my blog.

        • I’ve heard the “Manitoba Social” can be found in parts of Ontario too… I used to think it was common til received rather a lot of quizzical stares…

          Mine also was basically a 24 hour affair – guys n gals did the mehndi shmendi thing together – just friends for that. Then a simple short fera with snacks before a smaller group trooped off to the court. Followed by a party at an artist friends home & studio.

          That the marriage didn’t last before 15 years is another story, but we paid for it and it was completely within our budget.

          Fast forward and I have the pleasure of very happily ‘living in sin’ in India! 🙂

          As for your ‘pittance for a porsche’ button – good luck buddy! 😉

    • Haha! I’m with you Sarah on the ‘press here to donate’ for travel blogs. The crowdfunding for adoption costs is the one I was most uncomfortable with and an incredibly awkward situation all around.

      However pre-wedding fundraisers (aka socials) are common in Manitoba. Usually held a couple months before the wedding with ‘tickets’ / booze way cheaper than going out for a night on the town. And as its friends / community, will always know enough folks to have an amusing time.

      Cash for wedding gifts works but not as much fun as a good ol Manitoba social. 😉

  2. Karolyn Cooper says:

    Last month I contributed to crowd-funding some music, and I found that a huge success. My blog is named after a phrase from a song by Belfast singer Duke Special, and his new album is funded through the Pledgemusic website. In return for my donation, I got a ticket to a special gig. The new songs are beautiful, and I enjoyed the whole experience.
    BUT, if Duke Special asked me to fund his summer holiday, I would tell him to get stuffed!

    • Bravo for supporting creation of more original music! Checked out Duke Special – some good stuff.

      See… helping bring new original music into the world is something that I can completely get behind… especially as most pledge music campaigns include experiences that mean more than just money to you – the fan! 🙂

      But we both draw the line at funding someone else’s holiday… 😉

  3. barbedwords says:

    Thanks for the lovely comments about my post 🙂 Glad to hear we’re in agreement about donating to other folks’ holidays i.e. we’re not doing it! Think the wedding social, on the other hand, is a great idea, really sensible.

    Do you have wedding rehearsal dinners in Canada? I’ve never understood the point of those. You seem to have dinner with all the same people who are coming to the wedding the next day, is that correct? I wouldn’t have wanted to see 80% of my wedding guests two days running!

    • Wedding socials tend to be a lot of fun so the experience alone is worth a wee investment – that you help the couple pay for their even bigger party is a bonus! 🙂

      As for rehearsal dinners, I have a vague recollection of one from like 20 odd years ago. If there was one at my cousins wedding, we missed it. We flew from Mumbai to Calgary and no sooner had my partner posted an update on FB we landed, his phone started ringing off the hook with people he didn’t even know lived there wanted to take us out for dinner!

      As for multi day weddings… I’ve become accustomed to the deshi style of destination weddings. Which is why we are exceedingly careful about which to attend as you are basically captive for days of ceremonies.

      The most recent we attended was delightful – the couple are fab, their family and friends too… so naturally those who also flew in from various parts of the world were cool interesting people. They avoided the most tedious stuff and the pandit (plus his team!) was a complete comedian – playing to his audience and enjoying his moment of fame officiating at a celeb wedding. Best of all – the wedding planner had the details down pat so the last minute stresses were minimized. A good time had by all.

  4. brothervern says:

    Darn! I thought sure, that the general public would be thrilled to fund my retirement!

  5. NancyTex says:

    I am so with you on this one. Before crowdsourcing/Kickstarter became a thing, I received a personal email from a work colleague (both husband and wife worked with me at Microsoft previously, but had since moved on). They had a special needs child with several cerebral palsy. Her email outlined a new experimental therapy – essentially an immersive day-camp experience with a renowned therapist – but the cost was steep. I recall how much, but it was in the thousands, per week. The ask was clear and direct, please help us send X to this camp. Despite not being totally flush with funds myself at that time, I wrote a cheque for $250 and sent it to them immediately. Imagine my face when I saw 4 weeks later that they (mom and dad) were posting pictures from their ‘much needed’ vacation to Costa Rica. In fairness, X did get to attend the one-week of therapy, but I can’t help but wonder what my donation actually paid for…

    • That would burn me up too!

      Even a ‘loan’… it hurt a lot when I leant a substantial sum of money to a friend to help with her sons school fees – at a time when I was between projects and juggling things a bit. We set up a tight payment schedule and she had just started working… then her son didn’t go to school until a year later and I’ve yet to see the final ‘instalment’.

      The charities I support in India are carefully selected to be ones with minimal corruption and maximum monies towards the identified activity – usually education costs for girls.

      So I’ve learnt the lesson that a ‘donation’ / ‘loan’ has to be without any real expectation. Or flatly refuse…

  6. Sue Slaght says:

    I have always wondered how the socials restricted themselves to the Manitoba borders .I grew up in Saskatchewan and you think it would have come across the border.
    As far as donating to someone else’s holiday I say good grief. makes me crazy when I see those buttons. If you want it work hard to get it.

    • It really does seem to be a predominantly Manitoba phenomenon! Though apparently there have been a few ‘social sightings’ in parts of rural Ontario.

      Yeah we all work kinda hard to earn what we do and saving up for a trip is generally a big deal. So to fund someone else’s vacation?!

      The one that actually got me peeved enough to write this post was someone I know asking for funds to support a foreign trip and related expenses for an adoption. I was massively uncomfortable with the plea on so many levels.

  7. Kim G says:

    You need a “like” button. Consider it pressed.

    Saludos,

    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where we agree with you. Why should I fund things you should pay for yourself?

  8. Wow!! I have never heard of a fundraiser for a wedding – but then again, I am not surprised. Personally, I think you are right though. If you can’t afford something, then don’t buy it. If you can afford a huge wedding, then don’t have one. When my husband and I got married in Canada, we held the reception at my husband’s restaurant with about 80 people in attendance. It was nothing fancy, just a great time with good people, good music, good food, and great fun.

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