By: JACK M.
If you’re about to walk down the aisle or maybe just take a trip to the registry office, hold off saying “I do,” at least for a few more weeks. SwanLuv is a new Seattle-based company, and starting in February of this year, they’ll be taking requests from soon-to-be married couples for what seems to be a no-tricks, no-gimmicks, chunk of cash – up to $10,000 – to help with the expenses a dream wedding. And while there are no tricks or gimmicks and no fees, there will be one important condition – you get to keep the cash as long as the marriage lasts. If the marriage ends in divorce–whether it’s after two months, two years or even twenty years –then you pay the money back to SwanLuv, with interest. If, however, like the prairie vole or the swan, you and your soulmate find everlasting love, then the money will be yours to keep, forever, no strings attached. SwanLuv’s website doesn’t have the details yet, but the assumption is that you’ll be able to spend the money on the cost of that perfect bridal gown or the cost of the wedding reception or even the cost of a professional photographer; I doubt it’ll cover any honeymoon costs, but we’ll have to wait for those details.
Swanluv gives couples $10,000 towards their wedding, which they get to keep, but if they get divorced the couple will have to pay back the 10k plus interest.
How couples are evaluated for eligibility, and what the interest rates will be are tightly-held secrets of the company’s co-founder, Scott Avy. And in case you think that Scott is some kind of a fly-by-night would-be businessman with a wacky idea, he’s had a number of other business ventures and a wealth of knowledge, as you can see from his Linkedin page. And Avy and his business partner are in discussions with outside investors who seem to believe that the whole idea is a viable money-making venture. And what makes it viable is the mathematics.
There’s plenty of publicly-available statistics to suggest the probability of the ultimate success or failure of marriage – the ages of the couple, their education levels, financial status, credit ratings and whether or not either party was previously married or lived together are all indicators. There are always exceptions, of course, but statistically, the college-educated, financially-sound couple with a good credit rating and a steady income have a better chance of marital bliss than a couple of unemployed high school dropouts getting married for a third time. Even where you live is an important factor. Kentucky and Nevada, for example, have higher divorce rates than New York or Massachusetts. SwanLuv will take all these factors into account when deciding whether or not to hand over the money, and what the interest rates will be. Ultimately, and as cynical as it seems, it’ll be the cost of failed marriages that will pay for those who live happily ever after. And in addition, Avy hopes to make money from advertising on his website.
Swanluv takes factors such as previous marriages, divorce statistics, education, and income into account when deciding if they will give a couple the $10,000.
So that’s it. If you’re planning on tying the knot anytime soon, check in with SwanLuv in February and fill out the application form. There’s no indication as to whether the offer is only for U.S. residents, but with the cost of getting married averaging over $30,000 these days, every little bit can help. Avy and his new venture have had a fair bit of coverage in the mainstream media, and you can check a couple of articles here and here.