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Canadians plan to spend $15,000 on their weddings: study

weddingJuly 8, 2014 - As wedding season kicks off and couples across the country exchange vows in front of family and friends, BMO InvestorLine has released a study showing that Canadians plan to spend, on average, $15,000 on their weddings and invite an average of 100 guests. However, the study also found that almost 40 per cent of respondents who envision getting married at some point in their lives do not believe they will be able to afford their ideal wedding.


July 8, 2014
By BMO Investorline

Those planning on getting married who are between the ages of 18 and
44 plan to spend the most, at an average of $18,150. Those who are 65 or
older will be spending the least, at $4,901.

Further, the study found that Canadians plan to cover 60 per
cent of the costs associated with their wedding by drawing on
investments or other savings that either they or their partner have.
They will rely on the following other sources to cover the remaining
costs:

  • The bride and groom's parents (13 per cent of costs)
  • Credit cards and/or lines of credit (13 per cent of costs)
  • Contributions from friends via gifts or donations at bachelor parties or 'Stag and Doe' events (five per cent of costs)

"Much like having children, the purchase of a home or
retirement, your wedding is a key life event that can be a significant
expense – not only for the couple but potentially for parents and other
family members as well," said Julie Barker-Merz, CEO, BMO InvestorLine.
"Regardless of who's covering the costs of your big day, it's critical
to get the most of your savings by investing early and wisely.
Additionally, it's also important to have open and transparent
conversations with your soon-to-be spouse and other loved ones regarding
how the wedding will be financed. This will help avoid any confusion or
misunderstandings on who's responsible for what."

According to the study, only 28 per cent of Canadians who
plan on getting married are earmarking a portion of their investments
specifically to pay for their future wedding. More than half feel they
could be doing a better job of managing their investments to be more
financially prepared for their big day.

Ms. Barker-Merz noted that understanding one's investment
goals, time horizon and risk tolerance is critical to maximizing
returns. BMO InvestorLine's Self-Directed service provides clients
access to a wide array of investment vehicles – such as Registered
Retirement Savings Plans (RRSP) and Tax Free Savings Accounts (TFSA) –
that can allow clients to invest their cash and potentially grow their
savings to get them one step closer to achieving their investment
objectives. For example, effectively utilizing a TFSA is a great way to
save for a key life event, like a wedding, because investments can be
withdrawn at any time and are completely tax free.

Honeymooner Highlights

The study also examined top honeymoon destinations for
Canadians planning a future wedding and found that Hawaii was ranked the
preferred location by 24 per cent. This was followed by:

  • The Caribbean (22 per cent)
  • Europe (18 per cent)
  • Australia/New Zealand (11 per cent)
  • Canada (10 per cent)

Canadians with nuptials on their minds plan to spend an average of $5,272 on their honeymoons.

"With two airline tickets from Toronto to Honolulu costing
around $3,850, and a seven night stay in a five-star hotel running as
high as $ 4,500, it's more important than ever that couples factor in
the full range of their wedding costs to ensure they can afford their
dream wedding and honeymoon as well," stated Ms. Barker-Merz. "Have a
plan and monitor your investments regularly. This will help keep
financial stress to a minimum as the big day approaches."