GoFundMe bride ‘not a money-grabber’
WHEN Natalie Borg and Richard McMurray got engaged last January, they quickly realised just how expensive their dream wedding would be.
After saving for around a year, the Edinburgh couple were still short by £4500 ($AU8200), so they decided to turn to crowd-funding.
"We've done the math and are still short of (and running out of time!!!) to cover our outgoings for our planned wedding on Saturday 27th April 2019," Ms Borg posted on GoFundMe on January 18.
"Despite throwing all our wages at the wedding costs, selling our belongings and taking as many extra shifts at work as are available we are still falling short of our final bills.
"As we can't put off the wedding for another few months - (everything is booked) we are asking in lieu of any wedding gifts if you are able to please contribute anything to our costs for the day that would be amazing.
"Final payments we are still trying to cover are mainly for the venue, photographer, cake and dress alterations. We have no honeymoon budget and not worrying about this just want to be able to cover our bills for the day so it can go ahead."
But the backlash was fierce.
Over the past 19 days, just £565 ($AU1028) had been raised thanks to donations from 21 people.
But in an even bigger blow, the couple's plight was picked up by local media - and the public backlash has been brutal on Twitter and other social media sites.
Many members of the public have argued the couple shouldn't tie the knot at all if they can't afford a wedding, while others have branded the couple "cheeky" for asking for donations.
"There are loads of people out there that are struggling to pay to get married, like myself and my partner! 15 years we have been together and we love each other very much and we would love to get married but we know that we cannot afford it but you don't see us setting up a GoFundMe page and expect other hard working people out there to pay for our wedding!
"Here's some advice - get a job, work your a*ses off and save like everyone else and stop scrounging off other people!!! People like you anger me!!" an angry GoFundMe user posted on the site.
The backlash has been so intense Ms Borg, 36, has publicly defended the crowd-funding campaign, pointing out she had simply asked guests to donate instead of bringing gifts on the big day.
"I think if people had done a media campaign to pay for their wedding I would think that's pretty cheeky, but if it's to pay for the day instead of presents, it's fine," she said, according to Metro.
"We don't have a honeymoon booked, we've just booked two weeks off and will chill out and go out for walks to the beach. We're not money-grabbing people, we're people that have worked really hard for our big day.
"I shouldn't need to hide anything, I'm just a normal person and not a money-grabber."
She also added updates on the GoFundMe page, explaining the pair were "not asking people to pay for our wedding".
"Our GoFundMe page was shared with close friends and family as an 'option' to send us some cash towards costs rather than buying wedding presents we don't need," Ms Borg wrote.
"We are not asking people to pay for our wedding - we have paid for two-thirds of it (and counting) over the last year through honest hard work.
"GoFundMe has a specific section for newlyweds to list under so as not to detract from its other widely shared charitable causes.
"Our post was never aimed at the wider general public and the platform was an easy way for us to receive funds from our close social circle. Everyone has different opinions and wants for their wedding and we just planned ours how we wanted it."
She also thanked wedding suppliers who had already offered their services.