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How much would you pay to find your happily ever after? Your now and forever? Your one true love? Dropping over $60,000 in the name of love sounds excessive, but finding “the one” may set you back a pretty penny and highlights the need for budget awareness.

According to the 2017 Cost of Love study, the cost of a budding relationship through to full bloom is $66,444.09, up 7% from last year. The fifth annual study totalled the average costs associated with a one-year dating period, a one-year engagement period, as well as the cost of an average Canadian wedding, including a honeymoon.

“While we understand that each relationship has its unique circumstances, finances have to be considered when preparing for life’s milestones, including finding love,” says Leonie Tait, Vice President of Marketing at RATESDOTCA.

The modest increase in the cost of love year over year could be attributed to rising prices in restaurant food, which led to more expensive dinner dates and event catering for weddings compared to the prior year.

Is wedding food eating at your wallet?

As dining out becomes more expensive, so does our taste in food.

It can be said that the expectations of restaurant food have been increasing with the rise of “foodie” culture. As a result, the bride and groom may wish to stand out at their wedding by creating a distinguished food experience for their guests. Venues may also find that they are being pressured to offer unique, trendy foods, resulting in higher catering costs.

“Many people nowadays want to move away from serving ‘standard’ wedding food – the mashed potatoes, chicken and steamed veggies,” Tait adds. “Social media may also play a role. People are influenced by an influx of images, which in turn creates a competitive culture to keep up with the latest trends.”

The cost of love at first swipe

For the first time, the study also includes the costs of online dating as this way of “meeting someone” becomes more popular. It’s been reported that 36% of Canadians between the ages of 18 and 34 use online dating services. We determined the average cost to be $215.78 for a year-long subscription to a paid online dating service.

So you found the one. But at what cost?

To find the total cost of love in 2017, we analyzed the average cost of a relationship, considering everything from fancy dinner dates to casual movie dates, engagement rings to engagement parties, wedding attire to venues, and to top it all off – a honeymoon.

Check out the possibly heart-wrenching figures broken down in the following infographic.

One Year of Dates = $11,537.74

12 Fancy Dates = $3,666.72 24 Casual Dates = $547.59 12 Movie Dates = $550.20 2 Weekend Getaways = $1,323.05 1 Beach Vacation = $3,712.62 Other Expenses (flowers, new wardrobe) = $1737.56

  • Nice dinners + theatre tickets
  • Average cost per date = $305.56
  • 12 takeout dinners + 12 coffee dates + year-long Netflix subscription
  • Average cost per date = $22.82
  • Movie tickets + concessions
  • Average cost per date = $45.85
  • One-night stay + $100 credit card bill
  • Average cost per getaway = $661.53
  • Seven-night stay at Caribbean resort + flight
  • Average cost per person = $1,856.31

One-Year Engagement = $12,505.79

  • Another year of dates = $4,764.51
  • Engagement ring =$4,858
  • Engagement party =$2,000
  • Other expenses (flowers, new wardrobe) = $883.28

Tying the Knot = $42,400.56

  • Bride Attire =$1,741
  • Groom Attire = $400
  • Ceremony venue =$2,823
  • Reception venue =$17,102
  • Other expenses (rings, flowers, entertainment, photography, stationary, etc.) = $17,348.06
  • Honeymoon =$2,986.50

How to subsidize the cost of love

Don’t let these numbers give you cold feet. Thankfully, there are ways to subsidize costs and keep the love alive:

Build a newlywed nest egg

Establishing a budget between the two of you is important to starting your life together on the right foot. Meet with a financial advisor or use budgeting apps to create a dedicated savings plan. This way, you can manage any debt the two of you may already have, and avoid accumulating any more from wedding costs.

Reward your relationship

Get a rewards credit card that can earn cash back towards gas or groceries, or even points towards travel to help you pay for that honeymoon. To make things go by a little faster, create a joint account with multiple cards so both you and your significant other can make purchases that contribute to the rewards pool. But make sure that you are able to pay off your balance in full at the end of each month.

Invest in your future together

While looking forward to, and saving for, things like buying a house, a car and starting a family, you may want to look into high-interest savings options like GICs and TFSAs to give your savings a boost. As a bonus, make an agreement to put all cash wedding gifts into your savings as well.

To find out more about the Canadian Cost of Love and how it's changed over the years, read the following: Cost of Love in Canada - 2016 Cost of Love in Canada - 2015 Cost of Love in Canada - 2014.


The RATESDOTCA editorial team are experienced writers focused on sharing stories and bringing you the latest news in insurance and personal finance. Our goal is to provide Canadians with the information and resources they need to make better insurance and financial decisions.

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