As various types of consumer lending dry up, a start-up is recruiting banks to finance an unusual niche that it says can yield lasting customer relationships: engaged couples looking to pay for their wedding receptions.

Wedding Payment Plan LLC of Nowell, Mass., arranges loans of up to $25,000 for that purpose. It has been doing business in its home state since January 2007, and Scott Almeida, its chief executive, said he hopes to expand into four other New England states over the next year or two, and eventually nationwide.

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