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Household Finances From the first date to ‘I do,’ love now costs $43,842.08

Diamond engagement ring and other wedding costs.

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All you need is love, right?

It turns out The Beatles may have severely underestimated the cost of that first feeling of butterflies to the walk down the aisle.

Love actually rings in at $43,842.08, according to RateSupermarket.ca, which has calculated the price tag of the typical modern relationship - from a one-year courtship, followed by a one-year engagement to the wedding day.

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The figure, which was arrived at through detailed number crunching and released last week, might be something to keep in mind as Valentine's Day approaches.

The dollars and cents look at romance certainly took RateSupermarket.ca's president, Kelvin Mangaroo by surprise, but he said there's a serious message in it, too.

"Money can impact your relationship," he said. "So always try to make wise financial choices in the end."

The Toronto-based independent financial products comparison website pegs the price of courtship at $6,936.74. That includes a dozen "fancy dates" (nice restaurants and theatre tickets), a dozen movie dates, 36 "casual dates" (take-out food, coffee and movie rentals), weekend getaways, a beach vacation plus random other expenses for things such as "apology flowers," treats and new clothes.

The engagement period rings in at $9,944.34, which includes more dates, an engagement party with a price tag of $2,000 and the big ticket item, a ring with an average estimated cost of $3,500. (The popular wedding website TheKnot.com estimates that cost at around $5,000, but RateSupermarket.ca pointed that that it doesn't consider rings purchased from lower-end retailers such as Walmart.)

Oh, and the wedding? Well that's another $26,961.

The website contemplates everything from the invitations ($384) to the bride's gown ($1,847) to a photographer ($2,206) to the venue ($9,255) and the honeymoon ($5,470).

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It was an eye-opening exercise for Mr. Mangaroo, who is engaged, but hasn't really started planning the wedding. But he said like any other budgeting exercise, spending on romance needs to be disciplined and isn't diminished by finding deals.

"There are always ways you can save money if you really want to," he said.

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