Cancel or Postpone an Invitation • Example Letters, Plus Guides and Samples
Make your message brief, but let the reader know that you regret having to cancel or postpone the invitation.
How to write this cancellation letter:
- Tell the reader why you need to cancel or postpone the invitation.
- Either suggest other arrangements or tell what other arrangements you are making.
- Close with an expression of gratitude or anticipation for a future meeting.
Example Letter #1
I am so sorry to have to withdraw our dinner invitation for next Friday. John became very ill yesterday and is in the hospital. He appears to have suffered a mild stroke, but we won't know more until his test results come back. We were both looking forward to seeing you, but are sure you will understand the situation.
I look forward to inviting you again when things have settled down a little.
Example Letter #2
We were pleased when you accepted our invitation to our July 10 dinner party, so we hope you can understand how disappointed we are to cancel it. Few things would cause us to cancel a party, but our son has just announced his engagement, and the happy couple has decided to get married on that weekend.
We plan to have another dinner party sometime after all the wedding. Until then, we apologize for any inconvenience and look forward to seeing you again.
Example Letter #3
Due to a conflict with a family commitment that night, I regret that I will be unable to attend the Doe Corporation's annual Christmas party. I didn't realize when I accepted the invitation that Johnny's school play was the same night, and we would both be very disappointed if I didn't attend. He has been practicing his part for weeks.
I am truly sorry to have to miss the party because it is one of the highlights of the holiday season. I hope I will have another chance to attend next year. Thank you so much for your kind invitation, and please accept my sincere apology for being unable to attend.
Example Letter #4
I'm sorry but I won't be able meet you for lunch Friday. I must complete a project by Friday afternoon, and I can't guarantee that I'll be done by lunch. Could we reschedule for Monday or Tuesday? Please give me a call. Thanks for thinking of me. I look forward to hearing from you.
Example Letter #5
I was looking forward to your group's coming to tour the plant next Tuesday, but am afraid we will have to postpone the arrangement. We have received some rush orders which involve the use of hazardous chemicals, and have been forced to cancel all tours for the next two weeks.
I apologize for the inconvenience this causes you, but am confident that you will understand that the safety of our workers and guests is of paramount importance. If you would still like to tour the plant at a later date, I will be happy to schedule another time and date.
Example Letter #6
I deeply regret having to withdraw my invitation to you to speak to the student body of Springfield Middle School. I am afraid that the recent newspaper publicity has led to a flood of calls from parents who are concerned about their children being exposed to anything controversial, and we have been obliged to cancel the assembly.
I thank you for your willingness to donate your time, and apologize for any inconvenience or embarrassment this cancellation may cause you.
Write Your Letter Step-by-Step
1 Tell the reader why you need to cancel or postpone the invitation.
Sample Sentences for Step 1
- I am terribly sorry, but since we invited you and your wife for dinner, we have both fallen ill and feel that we need to postpone our plans.
- Because of a scheduling error, I will not be able to meet with you on March 16, as I originally suggested.
- I have recently learned that my mother is having serious health problems, and my family has asked me to fly to Springfield to be with her. I regret that I will have to postpone our meeting until I return.
- Recent mismanagement of funds has forced us to postpone the awards banquet.
- Because of a high priority project that is due Saturday, I won't be able to keep our luncheon appointment Friday.
Sample Phrases for Step 1
- am obliged to postpone
- am terribly sorry
- am so sorry that I will be unable to
- because of a scheduling error
- due to the unavailability of
- emergency meeting has been called
- feel that we need to postpone our
- has necessitated a change in our plans
- has forced us to postpone our
- has been sent out of town unexpectedly
- have recently learned that
- regret having to postpone our
- serious illness of my
- since accepting your kind invitation to
- sorry to have to forego a
- will be unable to attend
- will be leaving town on
- will not be able to meet with
- won't be able to keep our appointment on
2 Either suggest other arrangements or tell what other arrangements you are making.
Sample Sentences for Step 2
- As soon as Jane is feeling better we will be in touch to make another appointment.
- We are hoping that you will be able to reschedule your presentation for June 16.
- I will call you when I get back so we can schedule another time for our meeting.
- Please take good notes for me at the conference. We will talk when I get back.
- Please let me know what would be a good date to reschedule the open house.
- I am very sorry to have to miss this engagement. Please let me know if another similar opportunity arises.
Sample Phrases for Step 2
- a little uncertain at present
- as soon as things settle down we will
- as soon as she is feeling better we will
- call you as soon as I get back
- call you when I get back
- call you as soon as he is feeling better
- can you reschedule for
- have to postpone this indefinitely
- if a similar opportunity arises
- love to take a rain check
- perhaps we could plan on
- perhaps we could reschedule for
- please let me know when would be a good time to
- please let me know when
- schedule another time for our
- unable to make any definite plans at present
- we hope you will be able to
- we will talk when I get back
- will call you next week to discuss
- will be in touch soon
3 Close with an expression of gratitude or anticipation for a future meeting.
Sample Sentences for Step 3
- Again, thank you for your thoughtfulness.
- We appreciate your willingness to help out. We hope that we can work with you again soon.
- I am truly sorry for any inconvenience this may cause you, and I am definitely looking forward to the open house.
- Maybe we can attend the next conference together.
- I hope we can reschedule our appointment very soon.
Sample Phrases for Step 3
- always look forward to
- appreciate your understanding
- appreciate your kindness
- appreciate your friendship
- are all disappointed but we hope to
- enjoy our association with
- hope you will be able to make it on
- hope we can reschedule
- hope you will be able to
- hope to see you soon
- hope this will be a brief postponement
- know you will understand
- look forward to getting together soon
- look forward to participating later
- looking forward to the
- sorry for the inconvenience
- thank you again for your
- thank you for understanding
- trust we can attend the next
- were looking forward to
- your kind hospitality