Startup Bets Up to $10K Your Marriage Will Tank

SwanLuv will pay for wedding—but you pay it back, with interest, if marriage fails
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 17, 2015 12:23 PM CST
This Dec. 30, 2011, photo shows a bride on her wedding day at Aquatic Park in San Francisco.   (Kate Harrison Photography/Kathryn Kalabokes via AP)

(Newser) – Looking for someone to pay for your nuptials? If you're certain your marriage will last for eternity (or at least until that death clause kicks in), a Seattle startup has some cash for you. SwanLuv will be open for business by February, and it will give eligible couples up to $10K for their wedding day—but if the marriage goes down the tubes, that money has to be paid back, with interest, the Washington Post reports. This "casino for marriages," as SwanLuv co-founder Scott Avy compares it to on GeekWire, will come up with an interest rate based on an undisclosed set of compatibility criteria—Avy tells the Post the number "won't be too crazy"—and money eventually brought in by any doomed unions will be put toward paying for future weddings. Avy adds that only one party will have to pay if a marriage ends due to abuse.

Of course, the company is trying to put more of a positive spin on it. "Swans … mate for life," Avy tells the Post. "That's what we're trying to get behind, everlasting marriage." But skeptics just don't think signing up for such a scheme will end well—and that's not even counting those who have to endure a crumbling marriage plus additional debt. "It's almost trying to bribe couples to stay together because of money—and that is not a good thing," a relationship counselor tells Huffington Post UK. "The only winner here is the company itself," a dating expert adds. Avy deflects criticism by noting that no one's arm is being twisted. "They’re signing up for it," he tells GeekWire. "We're not forcing them." (Here's one way to beat SwanLuv's system and keep your marriage steady.)

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