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BMO InvestorLine Study: Canadians Plan to Spend an Average of $15,000 on Their Weddings

- Almost 40 per cent feel they will not be able to afford their ideal wedding

TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 04/23/14 -- 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.

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."

Regional Breakdown:

             Average amount                  % who feel they     % currently
          planning to spend                 will not be able       investing
                  on future                    to afford the specifically to
            wedding/average Average cost of     wedding they   pay for their
Region     number of guests       honeymoon      really want  future wedding
National        $14,761/100          $5,272               38              28
Atlantic        $11,573/120          $3,541               32              28
Quebec            $8,448/77          $3,278               43              21
Ontario         $14,547/106          $4,905               35              31
Prairies        $27,239/135         $18,703               34              28
Alberta         $24,360/115          $4,969               40              40
B.C.             $14,177/82          $4,836               40              21

The survey was conducted by Pollara between April 11th and April 15th, 2014 with an online sample of 500 adult Canadians who are not currently married but at least somewhat likely to get married in the future. The margin of error for a probability sample of this size is +/- 4.4%, 19 times out of 20. Data has been weighted by region to representative of the Canadian population.

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About BMO InvestorLine

BMO InvestorLine is an online investing service that provides clients with two ways to invest online. Clients can choose from BMO InvestorLine's top ranked Self-Directed service that provides tools to help investors make independent decisions on how to invest. BMO InvestorLine's other service, adviceDirect™ provides investors with online advice and investment recommendations for their portfolios. Clients have access to trading, quotes and account information 24 hours a day through a website or Automated Telephone Trading. BMO InvestorLine also provides users with third party research, along with leading edge tools that are informative and easy to use. As an all-in-one investment source, it is a constantly evolving, cost-efficient platform that is fully compatible with tablets.

BMO InvestorLine Inc. and BMO Ligne D'action Inc. provide this commentary to clients for informational purposes only. The information contained herein is based on sources that we believe to be reliable, but is not guaranteed by us, may be incomplete or may change without notice. The comments included in this document are general in nature, and professional advice regarding an individual's particular position should be obtained.

An adviceDirect account is a non-discretionary fee based account which offers investment recommendations. adviceDirect does not provide portfolio management by a portfolio manager. The client makes their own investment decisions and manages their own investment portfolio. adviceDirect does not offer discretionary, managed accounts.

BMO InvestorLine Inc. is a member of BMO Financial Group.

® Registered trade-mark of Bank of Montreal, used under licence. BMO InvestorLine Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of Montreal Holdings Inc. Member - Canadian Investor Protection Fund and IIROC.

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