ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico (KRQE) – Patricia Lyke is very excited for next year when her and longtime boyfriend Cody Murray tie the knot. She also wants the first week after that happens to be extra special for the college couple.
“We’re just really looking forward to that possibility of taking that week doing something nice, doing something we’ve never done and just enjoying our first week as a married couple,” Lyke said.
But with money tight, Lyke turned to online fundraising site GoFundMe for help. She posted a page looking for $4,000 for an all-inclusive vacation with a lot of beach time. The expectation was friends and family would primarily be the ones chipping in, but there was a hope strangers might come to the rescue too.
“If someone has an extra couple bucks and they’re like, ‘Hey these kids work very hard, they just want to have a nice week together, maybe we can help em out,’” Lyke said.
But to get a little more exposure, Lyke got permission to post her page on popular Albuquerque trading page 505 Swap. What happened next stunned her.
“So we posted it… initially nothing happened for several hours and then it was just one comment after another,” Lyke said. “People being like, ‘Oh my gosh you’re so selfish this is unbelievable!’, like I can’t believe you’re such a horrible person that you would ask people for money for something that we consider to be not important at all.”
With the negativity piling up, Lyke pulled the post from the page.
“I can kind of understand where they’re coming from but they misunderstood kind of our intentions behind it because it wasn’t us trying to be greedy or anything,” Lyke said. “We weren’t really asking for people to choose between donating to us and a more noble cause. I don’t think they realize we do work very very hard and we do save money.”
What Lyke’s doing isn’t unusual for GoFundMe. The site even has a “Weddings” section for just this kind of thing. On Monday, there were at least seven New Mexico couples with similar pages up.
People KRQE News 13 spoke to in Nob Hill had mixed reactions with some not seeing a problem with asking strangers for honeymoon help, while others thought it was strange.
“If you’re gonna want a more elaborate honeymoon you should be more responsible and you or your husband or wife should save up and do that for yourself instead of relying on others to do it,” said Rachel Atencio.
“If you can afford to help someone that is maybe in need I see nothing outrageous about it,” said Lorenzo Sarracino.
KRQE News 13 reached out to well-known Albuquerque etiquette expert Thelma Domenici for her take on Lyke’s request.
“Traditional accepted etiquette would frown on this,” Domenici said in a phone interview. “Having said that, I think my answer would be there’s an audience that wants to respond to students and help students out. From that standpoint, I think that it is okay.”
Weddings and honeymoons aren’t the only thing people are using GoFundMe for. There are also plenty of people using the site to help pay for wedding and engagement rings.
As of Monday night, Lyke’s page has raised a little less than $400.