It voiced too good to be true: $10,000 towards your dreaming wedding and the only catch is that you’d have to pay the money back if you got divorced. For couples madly in love and low on funds, this money would make all the difference.

But when it came time for the service’s February launch, interested couples got a nasty astonish: there was no money to give.

SwanLuv was the buzz of the Internet in early December 2015, with the Seattle-based startup announcing its grand plans to help brides and grooms-to-be shoulder the cost of their nuptialspending they bided married. If they got divorced, they’d have to pay back the money with interest. With stars and dollar signs in their eyes, couples signed up en masse, and received this simple email in return 😛 TAGEND

Thank you for registering for SwanLuv. We will send you the application to apply through email after we launch in February 2016.

Follow us on social media for the latest SwanLuv updates. 🙂

Kindest Regards,
SwanLuv Team

The service launched on Monday, the day after Valentine’s Day, and couple’s flush with love were excited to apply for this hefty sum of money. But when they visited SwanLuv’s website and Facebook page, an announcement revealed that it had, in Silicon Valley-speak, pivoted. Instead of offering $10,000 out of its own funds, it would allow couples to crowdfund their weddings via SwanLuv, with the company presumably get a cut of the money raised. And if a couple divorces, they must pay the money back to the donors. Not merely were they not getting money, they would have to do much of the heavy lifting.

When you try to visit, you get a message saying the webpage is not available. But a Facebook post from Tuesday lives on.

On Wednesday, founder Scott Avy took to Facebook to clarify the companys change of heart. He wrote:

Hi All,

We sincerely apologize to anyone we have upset by adjusting our funding platform.

The initial business scheme was to provide a lending model, Receive funds up to $10,000 towards your dreaming bridal for FREE( paid by members that don’t bide married ). “

Due to overwhelming demand( virtually two billion dollars at $10,000 per couple) and unanticipated laws and regulations/ restrictions in the lending space, rather than pull out we came up with a tool we believe still helps couples with their bridal financing.

Before adjusting our funding platform to a wedding crowdfunding model, we released surveys asking our users if marriage crowdfunding is something they would consider. The results indicated a relatively high percentage of users are interested in a wedding crowdfunding platform. We have been working hard on developing the new model Wedding Crowdfunding Platform.”

Unfortunately, under the crowdfunding model our servers have had trouble keeping up with demand. Our apologies if you have had to wait or have been unable to get through to our site. We are currently working on a stable solution to the volume of site traffic we are experiencing.

Kindest Regards,

The Daily Dot shared a post about SwanLuv in December when the concept was initially announced, and a hopeful bride reached out tothe Daily Dot to express her discouragement. Mercedes Aviles of Centereach, N.Y ., was engaged to her fianc in December 2014, and when they heard about this exciting( if cynical) proposal, they were on board.

“I was going to use the money to pay partly for my bridal and to pay for tickets for some family members who I know won’t be able to afford the airfare for my October 2016 bridal, ” Aviles told the Daily Dot via email. “I suppose everybody else, I’ll have to figure it out.”

She was angered by SwanLuv’s assumption that everyone has people they could hit up for fund to help fund their bridal. “If so many other couples as myself had the family and friends to help with our bridals, we would have already run this route , not wait months on end for help from what seemed like a dream come true, ” Aviles said.

“The exceedingly false advertisingit crushed dreamings for a lot of people, ” Zoadona Clerico, another hopeful bride, told The Washington Post . “I am so very sorry that we all got strung along together.”

Aviles also called Avy’s bluff on the survey that was supposedly sent out to gauge predilections. “I never received such a survey and neither did a lot of other people, ” Aviles said. “That’s if they even sent out such a survey.”

Now these happy couples may not get the bridal theyd always dreamed ofbut at the least they can get divorced in peace.

Illustration by Jason Reed

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