Frank Gillibrand, for the prosecution, said that Andrew McNeill, 31, attempted to throttle Paula Kew with a scarf as she returned home from visiting her parents to show them her wedding dress.
He only failed because of the arrival of his sister-in-law at the house he shared with Miss Kew in Camberley, Surrey.
"McNeill had some financial problems. That indebtedness is suggested to be part of the motive for what happened," Mr Gillibrand told the jury.
Mr McNeill, denies a charge of attempted murder on 12 February last year.
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