Canada's Condominium Magazine

The bill, please: cost of romance in Canada up sharply

With all the talk about the high cost of living in Toronto, along comes new information, just in time for Valentine’s Day, that might make some love-struck people feel even worse about their finances. Being in love is more than a form of temporary insanity that drives people to crazy, uncharacteristic behaviour as a result of “overestimating” the value of the beloved, as Freud so romantically put it. Being in love is also very expensive. Fortunately, the temporary insanity tends to make us forget the reality that we’re spending all that money.

Still, for those who are already feeling pinched, falling in love will probably only make things worse. Even going out on a cheap movie date, it turns out, will cost you (the guy, the wooer) almost fifty bucks.

A “fancy” date, meaning a nice dinner and theatre tickets, will cost $277.34, average, though this obviously gives a lot of breadth to the definition of “nice” dinner.

These and many other similar downers are found in the fourth annual Cost of Love study from, the online cost comparison resource for mortgage seekers. Should we expect anything more romantic from a mortgage rate comparer? They don’t say so explicitly, but the between-the-lines message is clear: if you’re planning to buy a home, don’t throw away all that money on romance.

How much money? Prepare for a shock. According to, the average cost of romancing in Canada, from first date to honeymoon, is $61,821.60. That is 22.8 per cent higher than last year, for those who are keeping track. It covers one year of dating, one year of engagement, the wedding and the honeymoon. RS says the big jump in costs is largely due to the falling loonie, making travel, mainly to US beach destinations, much more expensive this year.

“While not terribly romantic,” says RS, “it’s important for couples to take economic factors such as the strength of the dollar into account when planning leisure activities and travel. With consumer spending power on a decline, Canadians will see their dollars stretched on fancy dinners and romantic getaways. For couple planning significant financial milestones, this year may be especially hard on the wallet.”

Stretched indeed. In that first year of dating, the average pair will go on twelve of the fancy dates ($3,330.50), twenty-four “casual” dates, meaning takeout food, coffee, Netflix ($521.22), twelve movie dates ($570.96), two getaways ($1,251.50), and one beach vacation ($3,523). Other expenses, including “apology flowers” and men’s wardrobe will cost an additional $1,486.66. Total cost, year one: $10,683.84.

It gets worse. Once the wooer proposes and the wooee accepts, there’s the engagement ring to buy ($4,986.75), many more dates, flowers and wardrobe upgrades ($5,178), and an engagement party ($2,000).

Last but not least, the average wedding in Canada costs $38,973.

A few tips on how to manage wedding expenses include meeting with a financial advisor and setting up a budget, using a rewards credit card for wedding and romance-related costs, and setting up some form of interest-earning savings option like a GIC to save for the engagement ring.

One Year of Dates: $10,683.84

  • 12 Fancy Dates (nice dinners + theatre tickets) $3,330.50  Avg cost: $277.54
  • 24 Casual Dates:  12 takeout dinners, 12 coffee dates, Netflix subscription) $521.22  Avg cost: $21.72
  • 12 Movie Dates ( movie tickets, concessions) $570.96  Avg cost: $47.58
  • 2 Weekend Getaways (1 night stay + $100 credit card bill) $1,251.50  Avg cost: $625.75
  • 1 Beach Vacation: $3,523  Avg cost: $1,761.50
  • Other Expenses (Flowers: $140, Men’s Wardrobe: $1,346.66) $1,486.66

One-Year Engagement: $12,164.76

  • Another Year of Dates + 50% wardrobe update and flowers: $5,178
  • Engagement Ring: $4,986.75
  • Engagement Party: $2,000

Tying the Knot: $38,973

Auberge on the Park-Tridel


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