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When Frugality crosses the line...

May 20th, 2014 at 05:36 pm

Well it's when what you do affects others. And what you did causes others to suffer or pay more. The easiest example is people who always split the bill in the group and throw in far less than their fair share. I know this because I love to get credit card rewards but more often than not the amount comes up short. Seriously tax and tip people. People who are frugal will budget for a split bill and not mind. People who are cheap will pay for their meal but not the tax and tip. Trust I know from watching the bill of what people throw in.

Recently I went to a wedding that was so obvious they were trying to be "cheap" and save on a big wedding rather than having a wedding they could afford.

During the appetizer time samosas and chicken strips with lemonade, water, and coffee were served (good move no booze so frugal). The catering staff forgot to put out plates, knives, forks, napkins. So people were standing around looking for help and trying to get something to eat off of. But then the lemonade, water, and cups ran out. When I went to ask the catering people they said too bad. There wasn't enough because the couple didn't order enough. CHEAP! Seriously you can scrimp on what you serve but the amount? To not order enough food and drinks?

Then the buffet. It was spicy, no kid friendly food. Personally I ate the food but I like spicy. But again on each table there was one pitcher of water for 10 people. Luckily our table had 8 adults and my two kids. So the one pitcher really didn't have to fill all 10 cups. When we tried to stop the couple of waiters they said they were busy and would get to it. So not enough tap water! UGH. But apparently there was soda but only waiters were carrying around pitchers because there wasn't enough pitchers to leave on every table. There was 140 guest by the way. Then we had to bus the tables ourselves and rearrange the tables for dancing at 8:30. So the couple CHEAPED out and didn't hire wait staff or pitchers for soda! I mean seriously fill a few coolers with ice and throw in bottles of water, soda, juice and put it next to the buffet and let people grab their own. What would it cost? $200 at most! CHEAP! Again the couple cared about themselves and not how to provide enough beverages for the guest. I can accept busing my own table, getting my own drinks, but to not even enough water? Okay it's a bit much.

Then the cake cutting of a tiny cake at 9:15. They didn't have a knife or server so they used spoons to feed each other and "cut" the cake. Fine didn't want to bring a knife or forgot it. However they didn't serve the cake. People had to go up to the kitchen area and get cake from the one server working. I asked for a piece vanilla and a piece of chocolate, and was told there wasn't enough cake for everyone so I couldn't do it. I was stunned. Lucky my piece went to one kid and DH got the other kid another piece. Not enough cake for all the guest? CHEAP. Provide enough food if you are hosting a party/wedding.

I have to say the groom asked me about cakes about a month before and to be "frugal" and save money I suggested a $100 "cutting" cake for photos then sheet cakes at least 2-3 from Costco at $40/each. WTF! CHEAP!

The only bigger insult was the couple trying to hit guests up for cash for their honeymoon. I don't think it often gets worse than that.

Moral of the story? The line between frugality and cheap is thin. It's really easy to cross over and hurt people by being more than just frugal, becoming cheap. Having the expectation that others will provide largess to make up for the lack of your own contribution.

7 Responses to “When Frugality crosses the line...”

  1. klarose Says:

    I didnt find that much wrong with the wedding from my POV. I mean it was rude to run out of stuff, but the other things I have no problem with.

    I had a large wedding, and I didnt have any staff to serve you drinks. You got up, and went to the coolers and got your own drink. Which is perfectly fine and accepted around here. Meal was served like an assembly line buffet, they didnt bring it to you.

    Neither did we hire staff to bust up our tables. My wedding party removed tables for the dancing, and they cleaned up and put away everything afterwards as well.

    What is wrong with having sheets cakes for the guests? The fancy tier cakes are expensive. I had a large but frugal wedding. I had a mid sized tier cake, then had what they call a grooms cake. Which is just a decorated simpler cake. I also had some sheet cakes. If I was to get a tier cake that was big enough for all my guests it would of had to been 6ft tall. lol.

    We ate all of the cake at my wedding. I didnt even get a piece. We had planned for enough, but our friends have a hearty appetite, so Im guessing they all took several large pieces.

    We also "hit up guests" for our honeymoon. It is called a dollar dance around here, and its quite common. You pay a dollar or more, and dance with the bride or groom.

    Every wedding I have ever went to has been like mine. Maybe its just because I live in the simple Midwest. *scratches head*

  2. LivingAlmostLarge Says:

    Klarose, there were no COOLERS, and there wasn't a sheet cake for everyone. I was told there wasn't enough cake period and drinks.

    Ah no, they wanted money put into a savings account and put on wedding invitation please deposit money HERE.

    Nope I grew up with beach weddings and garages. And I've never been to such a cheap wedding. I've always grown up with lots to eat and drink and no problems bussing tables or clearing. Difference? They don't pretend it's a fancy weddings. It's at a cheap hall or beach or garage. We all help set up and bring our own cooler with food and beer. Couple usually does the cake and usually couple of sheets from safeway.

    This couple had one small cake and certainly not enough for 140 people and they didn't plan for everyone to have cake obviously or drink anything.

  3. klarose Says:

    I will reply on your forum post to make it easier.

  4. wife ot the deacon Says:


    Sadly, I feel badly for the bride who probably wanted a wedding and reception full of the frills that brides of today "think" they need. And ultimately, I suppose all that matters is that the bride and groom had a nice time. I would imagine that they liked you enough to invite you and wanted you to share in the joy of the event, looking past a shortage of things. And I've been to my share of weddings, large, small and in-between. And you know what, the last wedding I was at there wasn't even a cake, but a cupcake tree, and my youngest dropped his paper plate with three mini cupcakes on it, they rolled right under the table. And you know what? Some snarky guest made a comment how he "lost" his share and the kid was traumatized about it. If you're hungry when you leave the reception and you need to stop at Mickey D's on the way home, what does it really matter?

  5. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    Any chance that they were planning on fewer people attending? I just can't imagine the couple meant to short anyone or hurt anyone's feelings. If they were my friends I might have tried to dash out and buy some sodas to serve, or gone to the kitchen and filled a pitcher with water and make the rounds of the table. I would have tried to spare them the embarrassment.

  6. LivingAlmostLarge Says:

    klarose, sorry but they had one cake and NO SHEET CAKE. NO foods really edible for kids and multiple parents were all trying to share kid food because it was spicy for kids. And all of us said we would have brought something other than bags of goldfish crackers for kids dinner.

    wife that's exactly it. She wanted all the frills and expense but didn't really plan well.

    They didn't serve kid friendly food. FINE. But tell me and I'll go to safeway on the way there and buy my kids dinner.

    NOPE Joan, they invited 300 guests. There wasn't really a kitchen, just a serving area. They should have shelled out for coolers and drinks.

  7. Broken Arrow Says:

    That's an apt description of where the line is drawn. Thanks for sharing.

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