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Annika
Expert November 2020

Am i being a jerk/cheapskate??

Annika, on October 10, 2020 at 7:14 PM Posted in Etiquette and Advice 0 37
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I want to post this on the forums because I want to make sure I'm not overreacting or being rude.

So we need servers for our lemonade bar and food, and a "friend" who is helping me plan said that she could find us some help if we just told her how much we will pay. For context, she plans tons of events for schools and her church and is very good at it but she is much better off than we are so a lot of times her view of a budget is ridiculously expensive for us. We aren't able to afford a professional server and we are self-catering and because we are doing it buffet style where everything is single serve, we need a server according to new COVID rules from our venue. We are able to pay $8 an hour (since we need two servers that will be $16 an hour out of pocket for us) and will feed them of course.

Anyways, apparently she feels that the amount we are able to pay will get us "a 14 or 15 year old who may not know how to serve properly...if you are really serious about being safe you need to pay at LEAST $10-$12." First of all, I've been working in food service since I was 16 so I don't understand why that age is a reason to not hire someone to put ice in cups and hand people a skewer. Secondly we accepted this "friends" help to save money on a wedding planner since we are on a tight budget and since she has stepped in we have had to shell out hundreds of dollars in florals and decor and changed my vision because she "knows how to do these things." I mentioned this to my mom and she said that we should just have my aunts, uncle and cousin do it since "families are supposed to help with the wedding...parents and siblings no, but aunts and uncles and cousins should help, plus your aunt can't sit still anyways." I'm sorry but I am under the impression that asking family to help at your wedding, that they spend money to travel to, is EXTREMELY rude, no matter how they are related. If they were in the wedding industry and I hired them, that's a totally different story, but not just because they'll be there, and especially not if my mom isn't willing to help with anything.

Am I being a jerk for not asking my family to serve at our wedding? Should I pay more, or is that reasonable? We don't need a professional, but I don't want to be a cheapskate and our budget can't handle much more of these unexpected costs.

37 Comments

Latest activity by Annika, on October 17, 2020 at 10:50 PM
  • C
    VIP January 2019
    Cassidy ·
    • Flag
    As an adult with bills to pay, I would not take 3-4 hrs out of my Saturday to make $8 an hr.
    If she finds you someone in the service industry who knows why they’re doing when it comes to food service they are taking time away from a busy shift to work your wedding.
    If she finds you a couple of teenage kids who might be more likely to goof off and make a little extra spending money, I think $8 is plenty. And as far as the 14-15 age range, that is not legal age to work so unless you have a family friend who doesn’t mind their child helping out I don’t know that you’ll find someone that age to “hire”No you are not rude for not having your family members work for during your event. You are correct That they should be able to enjoy themselves. But I guess that could depend on your social circle (because my cousin had his guests pot luck cater his wedding 🤷‍♀️) so your mom and her family May be used to that type of thing. Since it’s your venue’s new policy do they have any suggestions as to where to find the servers they now require? I hope you are able to find a solution that works for you
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  • M
    Expert October 2022
    Michele ·
    • Flag
    If this "friend" is causing your budget to skyrocket and only gives you suggestions you can't afford, fire her asap and go back to your original vision and budget.
    Age is irrelevant as far as filling cups and whatnot. As long as they know food safety procedures, you are fine. $8/hr is gracious and no need to go over that if you can't afford it.

    Some family and friends would love to help out if you need, but don't expect that they will unless they ask you what help you need. If no one is willing and the venue requires an outside service as many do, then go ahead and hire help. Usually local high school/college kids are more than happy to earn a couple dollars.
    • Reply
  • Annika
    Expert November 2020
    Annika ·
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    Thank you for your insight! I agree that most adults would not agree to that little. When she came to me about finding a couple of servers, she implied it would be someone from her church around 17-20 years old, who are maybe home for Thanksgiving and wouldn't mind a few extra bucks, such as her own daughters in that age range. ANd while yes, 14-15yr olds can't get a job in a store or fast food, they can babysit or do odd jobs, and since I would know them it wouldn't be an issue. I am glad to hear that family should not work at my wedding. I was very upset when my mom said that. They have not other than a bartender which wouldn't work as we aren't serving alcohol.

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  • Annika
    Expert November 2020
    Annika ·
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    Unfortunately we are 48 days out and I dont have the means to re-plan the whole wedding.


    Thank you for your insight! I didn't think i was being unacceptable but I wanted to get more opinions.
    I totally agree, i just don't want to put my family out!
    • Reply
  • Kristen
    Rockstar November 2020
    Kristen ·
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    I agree with this right here. I wake up early Saturday mornings as a teacher on occasion to proctor the SAT because to sit and read some instructions and pass out/pick up tests I make $25/hr. Easy money. I would not do it for like $50. Adults have bills to pay or just in general higher mindsets for spending. As a teenager to me $8 was a lot of money but not at 38 not so much. I would say that if you are on a tight budget I would take the teen help and you spend $12 at most. As she said teens may be a little silly but as long as they get the job done that is what matters but you can let them know for the day the expectations and what not. I mean do not expect 5 star service. Even for my friend's wedding pre covid she had a lot of "help" that was not great but because it was what she could afford it is what it is. If we want higher quality we gotta shell out the money.

    I do agree I would not ask family because they are there to enjoy your day. I mean you know them better but if they offer to help that is one thing but I would not ask. I ended up hiring a DOC because I did not want to put work on my MOH who should be enjoying my day as much as me ya know? I feel she is already taking the time to be there and support me on my day I do not want her working.

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  • Super August 2020
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    No, you are not being a jerk for not asking your family to serve at your wedding. I think it would be much more jerkish if you DID ask them to serve.
    [Side note: who's doing the cooking, set-up, and clean-up for the wedding? It sounds like you are asking people to do some things for you, even if it's not during the wedding.]


    If you need a server because of new COVID rules from your venue, you should check with them to see if there are any requirements for the people serving the food because there might be. I wouldn't be surprised if they want the person to have a food safety certification and/or be over 18.
    Minimum wage is $12/hr in my state, so $8/hr doesn't seem like enough, but if that's legal where you are (I know this is under the table, but I think minimum wage is still a reasonable standard to hold yourself to) and you can find a couple of college/high school students to work for that much, I don't think there's anything wrong with it.
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  • Annika
    Expert November 2020
    Annika ·
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    I completely understand. Like I said in my original post, she implied it would be high school/college age kids from her church, possibly even her own daughters who are in college and senior year of HS. We don't expect professionals, our wedding is pretty casual and the job is very simple. We just can't afford to hire a team of servers because of the venues rules for a already individually serve buffet for a whole afternoon.

    I agree. They haven't offered, my mom told me to put them to work and I feel that is very rude.

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  • Annika
    Expert November 2020
    Annika ·
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    I'm glad you agree with me! Helping beforehand is one thing, but on the day of? Not cool. My friend and her little team are doing all the food and prep for us, but they offered their services and I will be compensating them for their time.

    I would be surprised they didn't mention that along with the other legalities we went over, but that is a good idea to check!

    Thank you! Our minimum here is $7.25 and most places pay $8-$11 for a entrance level job. We felt that $8 was reasonable for the type of job and in regards to our budget. Thank you for your input!

    • Reply
  • Michelle
    Expert May 2021
    Michelle ·
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    Agree. Minimum wage should be noted, and is an appropriate pay for serving. Where I live, servers minimum wage is a bit lower than other jobs. Which I think is silly, but whatever lol. I do think it’s a good place to guide you on what is the reasonable pay for this type of thing.

    It is not rude to not ask your family to help, but graciously accept their help if they insist.

    Most importantly, don’t let your friend push you around and talk you into to doing things your not comfortable with. Sounds like she is not providing the positive supportive help you need.

    I totally understand all the surprise costs of weddings. I was always that person thinking it was crazy how much money people spend on weddings, but I have now experienced how it happens lol

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  • Kristen
    Rockstar November 2020
    Kristen ·
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    I think she would choose good kids and that would be a happy medium. Trust me I know about spending last minute money for the day ha ha ha. I think that is the best way to go and then you keep the venue. I would not have family do it and if your mom asks (pending if you choose to accept your friend's offer)that you have found someone and that you want family to enjoy.

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  • Annika
    Expert November 2020
    Annika ·
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    Thank you for your input! We wanted to be reasonable, but also not put ourselves out either as we too have bills.

    I agree, what I had a problem with was my mom telling me that they should expect to help, but not her.

    Thank you, I am trying to compromise with her. Unfortunately not having support is the common theme of my wedding lol.

    OMG yes, I cannot believe how much they cost!

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  • Annika
    Expert November 2020
    Annika ·
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    Thank you for your advice!

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  • Melle
    Rockstar June 2019
    Melle ·
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    I actually don’t see anything wrong with getting a teen to do that job I mean teens do jobs handling food all the time. When I was 18 my first job in college was $8 an hour back when that was the min wage where I live
    • Reply
  • Annika
    Expert November 2020
    Annika ·
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    Same here, I worked for $7.25 at two different food jobs at age 17 and 18. While I do agree that it is not enough to live off of, I think it is fine for a teen at home wanting some extra money on the weekend doing a fun odd job! Thank you for your response!

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  • Samantha
    Devoted September 2020
    Samantha ·
    • Flag
    Honestly, I had to ask 2 people last minute to help serve because I had buffet style. The 2 people was my cousin and my aunts bf and they did it. I don’t know if they were upset, but they never said anything to me. I instructed them to grab their plate first and they were fine with waiting.
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  • Super August 2020
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    Not really related, just FYI.
    In places where the minimum wage for servers is lower than it is for everyone else, it's based on the assumption that the servers will be tipped and that the tips will make up the difference between their wage and the actual minimum wage. If the tips don't cover the difference, the employer is supposed to.
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  • Annika
    Expert November 2020
    Annika ·
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    I'm glad that worked for you! Having family help would be cheaper for us, but I would rather let them socialize since our event is very short and they may miss the chance. Thank you for your input!

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  • Michelle
    Expert May 2021
    Michelle ·
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    This is not fully accurate. I know many servers where I live, employers are not obligated to top up to regular minimum wage. I am not in the states. And yes it is because tips happen, but it is still worth mentioning since people CAN get away with paying servers ect less than standard minimum wage. There’s no need to say it’s not related. It was a simple comment.

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  • Kelsey
    VIP September 2020
    Kelsey ·
    • Flag
    I would not ask your family to work your wedding. Its a pet peeve for me. I went to my cousins wedding a week after mine and she did this for her bar. It was a disaster, I know you said you aren't having a bar but bear with me for this example. They had barrels of beer and they didn't know how to work them. So the barrel leaked on the floor and only had foam coming out. Now that is kind of gross and not right. Just saying an experienced bartender this would not have happened most likely. The leaking of beer or any beverage is a disaster waiting to happen for someone slipping and falling.
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  • Annika
    Expert November 2020
    Annika ·
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    Oh dear that does sound like a disaster! I would feel so bad if I asked family to work at my wedding, then its not a fun memorable day for them, and you dont want to start your marriage off with disgruntled family!
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