According to a new survey, your RSVP could cost you much more than the standard price of a wedding gift.

By Rachel Sylvester
Updated April 01, 2019

Plenty of perfectly acceptable reasons exist to RSVP "no" to a wedding—you could be strapped for cash or under obligation to attend another fete—yet a recent survey shed some light on the real cost of failing to attend a friend or family member's nuptials. The unfortunate truth: Passing on a wedding invitation could set you back much more than the cost of new champagne flutes.

According to a survey from, nearly one-in-five Americans have declined a wedding invitation in the past for financial reasons. Of that same group of respondents who declined, 30% revealed that their relationship with the engaged couple suffered as a result of their RSVP. While the budget-busting nature of weddings comes as a surprise to no one, the survey exposed the social stakes of trying remain financially sound.

"A person should not risk going into debt in order to celebrate the occasion with friends or family," says Bankrate analyst Kelly Anne Smith on the fact that American wedding guests spend an average of $628 on the wedding and associated pre-parties for close family and friends. That cost only continues to climb when travel is involved. In fact, according to Lauren Kay, executive editor of The Knot, "Guests who have to travel to celebrate spend on average $901."

Despite the financial strain and potential threat a simple invitation can pose to existing relationships, most wedding experts agree that it's acceptable to RSVP "no," whatever your reasoning. After consulting with nine wedding experts, revealed that 7 out of 9 pros agreed that financial reasons were a valid excuse to decline a party invitation. However, all nine experts agreed you should always send a gift to the betrothed pair, whether or not you actually attend their nuptials.

Stumped on what to actually give the couple who has everything? Shop our favorite wedding gift ideas here, and rest easy knowing your present will be used long after the "I dos."