This Site Will Pay For Your Wedding — While Betting On Your Divorce

Photographed by Winnie Au.
What if we told you that you could get $10,000 to help pay for your nuptials? Seems like a great deal, yes? There's just one catch: Get a divorce and you'll have to pay back the money — with interest.

The Washington Post reports that a new Seattle startup called SwanLuv is offering to do just that. Here's how it works: SwanLuv reviews your relationship and sets an interest rate based on your compatibility. If the marriage works out, congratulations — the money is yours, and have a great life. If it doesn't, you owe the debt — and then some.

Okay, but can we learn a little bit more about the couple-selection process or the interest rate? No. The company's cofounder Scott Avy won't divulge any of those specifics, but promises the interest rate "won't be too crazy."

That sounds a little shady, but Avy insists that SwanLuv isn't just some ploy to profit from your misery. He says that the money recovered from loan repayment in the event of a divorce will simply be used to fund the nuptials of future optimistic couples. Profits will be driven by advertising.

“We’re not forcing anyone to sign up,” Avy told The Post. “The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. I’ve gotten hundreds of emails telling me how meaningful this is.”

Over the past few decades, the costs of weddings have skyrocketed. A survey of 16,000 brides by XO Group, which owns TheKnot.com, found that the average cost of a wedding (sans honeymoon) was $31,213. In a place like Manhattan, that number is closer to $75,000.

With numbers like that, it's no surprise that tons of couples are interested in SwanLuv's offer. Meanwhile, according to Census Bureau statistics, roughly 40% of first marriages in the United States end in divorce (despite a small decline in recent years), so it makes sense that SwanLuv has created a business model based on splits.
Avy says that the idea for SwanLuv came to him when a recently engaged roommate complained about wedding costs.

“Swans, they mate for life,” Avy told The Post. “That’s what we’re trying to get behind, everlasting marriage.”

Everlasting marriage — funded by inevitable divorce. Makes sense...kind of.
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