Look on Kiijiji under their wedding or events section. Sometimes people sell off unused raffle ticket rolls for a fraction of the cost. Or you might find venues offering specials, or even some businesses often advertise offering to donate to your social. You can also look through their buy and sell section. You will be surprised to find lots of new stuff for sale that you can buy as prizes for your raffle. Also you can find DJs, caterers, etc advertising on Kiijiji.
Remember: think outside the box when looking for raffle prizes.
Create an event page as far as 2 months in advance of your social on Facebook and open it up to everyone. This will serve as a good reminder about your social and information on where you can get tickets.
When booking anything like a hall or dj, get it in writing or a receipt for your deposit. There are a lot of horror stories of people not having a dj the night of their social simply because their dj forgot. Get it in a contract/writing and give a deposit and always follow up at least 2 or 3 weeks before your social.
Places to check out for raffle roll tickets (in Winnipeg): Labelle's on Provencher, BJ Toy Sales on Nairn, Party Stuff, Gales Warehouse. Make sure to get clear plastic wrap to bundle your prizes. Walmart usually sells the big rolls in their card section or Michaels has them too, and be sure to clip out their 40% off coupon they offer weekly. Don't bother buying those weaved baskets. It is a waste of money. Instead, start collecting big boxes - wide ones with about 3inches deep work best. These hold your prizes better and are more flexible when arranging. Costco is a great place for free boxes.
Costco. Get a Costco membership. It is only about $55. You can get all your plates, disposable cups and cutlery, bulk snacks, breads, condiments, chips, desserts. They also do deli platters for socials.
XS Cargo is a great place for buying raffle prizes. They always have knockout deals on electronics, furniture, exercise stuff. You can buy several small things and combine them to make a big package for a reasonable cost.
Grand prizes: while big TVs are great to raffle, nearly everyone I know has at least 2 in their house. As well as BBQs. Get something different, then you can mention this as your selling point on your event page on facebook. Look at what hot new concert is coming up on Ticketmaster. Who wouldn't want to win a pair of tickets to Bon Jovi. Spend your money wisely. Or raffle off a treadmill.
If someone donates a prize ie a business, family or friend, be sure to not just package that one item and to add to it to make it more appealing. For example, if someone donates you a Tassimo coffee maker which itself is a great prize but won't look as appealing sitting beside a huge package full of stuff. Think about adding the T cups or even fancy coffee mugs. The bigger the package looks, the more appealing it is. Even if you add stuff from the Dollar Tree, just as long as they are just fillers and not the main prize in the package. As well, it needs to go with the theme. Don't put a fishing rod in the same package as a printer.
Be sure to track all your expenses so you can keep on budget. Also with incoming social ticket sales, put that aside or track that money somehow so you know where your numbers are. I know some people who had started spending these ticket sales money as it flowed in, so they weren't sure how much exactly they were bringing in. Designate yourself or your partner in charge of incoming money and expenses.
50/50. Be sure to track these sales throughout the night because you can make announcements on how much you are have collected. For example at 11:30 you might announce 'the 50/50 is at $800'. This might get more sales to come in. Remember you keep half and the winner keeps half.
Calling raffle numbers. I particularly don't like when people just post the winning tickets. I know they just don't want to stop the party but what happens if the posted ticket number already left for the night, then there is no redraw. I like the excitement of waiting for my number to be called. Also it is fun if you buy different colored raffle tickets. It is fun when the prizes are being announced and all those with not the matching colored ticket already see they didn't win.
Do fun stuff like have your wedding party all wear black fedora hats and the bride and groom wear white ones. Or flower leis. Something to make your wedding party stand out. Create something with stuff you buy at Dollar tree or Dollarama.
Get a banner printed or a huge poster of your names and or picture. Costco photo does poster pics and kiijiji usually has advertisers for banner printing.
Don't spend too much on decor. Some helium balloons around the door, prizes, ticket tables, bar is good enough. Dollar tree sells helium balloons in different kinds, blown up with string for only $1.25 each. Be sure to order ahead if you plan for a big order.
Food platters. I have seen meat businesses advertise in the Lance/Times/Metro for specials on deli packages. Costco, sobeys also do platters.
Check out the Wedding Show at the end of Jan. You might find DJs and venues and other ideas for your social.