Decline an Invitation to an Event | Letter-Writing Guide

Tips

An expression of sincere appreciation will help soften your negative response.

Steps

1. Express appreciation for the invitation, mentioning specifically what you were invited to do in a specific event on a specific day.

Sentences
  • Thank you very much for the invitation to attend your conference on October 13.
  • We were delighted when we received the invitation to your parents' anniversary celebration on May 26.
  • I was honored to receive your invitation.
  • We are pleased that you would include us in your plans for next Sunday.
  • Thank you for the note inviting us to the reunion next March.
  • Thank you for inviting us to Helen's graduation party next Saturday.
Phrases
  • appreciated your thinking of me
  • appreciated your thoughtfulness
  • are pleased that you
  • for inviting us to
  • it was kind of you to
  • lovely to hear from you
  • so very kind of you to
  • thank you for
  • thank you very much for
  • the note of invitation
  • the invitation to
  • to receive your invitation
  • was flattered that you would include us in
  • was touched you remembered me
  • was honored to receive
  • were delighted to receive
  • were so pleased to receive
  • your kind invitation
  • your very kind letter
  • your plans for

2. Express regret that you are unable to accept the invitation. Briefly mention the reason without elaboration.

Sentences
  • I am very sorry that I have to decline the invitation, but I am scheduled to participate in a conference in Springfield on that day.
  • Unfortunately, your invitation was missent, so I didn't receive it until yesterday. I am sorry, but I simply cannot make it.
  • I wish I could be with you on this occasion, but we will be attending our daughter's graduation on that day.
  • Please accept my apologies. I have a pressing business engagement that evening.
  • I regret that I will not be able to attend on October 24th, since that is the day we leave for Europe.
Phrases
  • am very sorry that
  • am so sorry
  • am unable to
  • another longstanding engagement
  • had already accepted
  • have to decline
  • is not possible for me to
  • must regretfully decline
  • on this occasion
  • on that day I
  • please accept my apologies
  • regret that I cannot
  • that is the day
  • was already scheduled to
  • will be attending
  • will not be able to
  • will be unable to
  • will be out of town
  • will be away
  • wish I could be with you
  • would have loved to

3. Express good wishes for the event's success.

Sentences
  • My sincere wishes for an enjoyable and informative evening.
  • Thanks again and have a wonderful evening.
  • Best wishes for success. I hope I can attend next time.
  • I am sure the conference will be rewarding for all.
  • I hope everything turns out well for your meeting.
  • Best wishes to you all. Please let me know how things turn out.
Phrases
  • a resounding success
  • a memorable occasion
  • a most enjoyable evening
  • am sure that
  • best wishes for success
  • enjoy a delightful
  • enjoyable and informative
  • have a wonderful
  • hope things go smoothly
  • hope everything turns out well
  • hope it goes well
  • hope I can attend next time
  • rewarding for all
  • sincere wishes for
  • sounds well worth attending
  • sure it will be
  • to your complete satisfaction
  • will be an outstanding success
  • wish you all the best
  • wish you well

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