Decline an Invitation for Different Events or Occasions by Email

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When you want to write an email to decline an invitation, you must ensure that your words are polite, show gratitude, and offer an alternative option where necessary. Below are samples to aid you.

Sample 1: Decline an Invitation

Acknowledge the invitation and express gratitude for being considered.

Suggested Subject: Regrettably Declining Invitation to [Event Name]

Dear Jason,

How are you? I hope this email finds you well.

Thank you so much for inviting me to your birthday party. While I’d love to attend, I regrettably have to decline as I’ll be out of town at a conference that day.

I hope you have a wonderful birthday!


Sample 2: Decline an Invitation

You may want to state the reason for declining the invitation. It could be it due to prior commitments, health reasons, financial constraints, etc.

Suggested Subject: Unable to Attend [Event Name]

Dear Isabel,

Congratulations on your promotion! I’m so excited to see you advance your career!

Thank you for inviting me to your celebration party, but I’m sorry I’m going to have to decline as I’ll be out of town visiting my parents that weekend.

I’d like to go take you out to dinner if you’d like some time soon, and you can tell me all about your new role!

I wish you success in this new position.


Sample 3: Decline an Invitation

Use polite language and avoid giving negative or dismissive responses.

Suggested Subject: Thank you for the Invitation to [Event Name]

Dear Simon,

I hope this email finds you well. I was excited to learn about the get-together with the guys from college.

Unfortunately, I have to decline as I’m going to be out of town that weekend for a work commitment.

I was looking forward to seeing the guys! I hope we get the chance to do this again soon.


Arthur Blade

Sample 4: Decline an Invitation

If possible, offer alternatives such as attending a future event or meeting up at a different time.

Suggested Subject: Declining Invitation to [Event Name] due to [Reason]

Dear Jennifer,

Thank you for inviting me to your company’s end of year party.

I regret to inform you that I’d have to decline as I’m going to be on vacation with my husband that weekend.

I’d like to get a drink with you sometime soon to catch up.


Jane Doe

Sample 5: Decline an Invitation

End the email on a positive note by wishing the host or the attendees a great time at the event or expressing hope to catch up with them soon.

Suggested Subject: Kindly Declining Invitation to [Event Name] on [Date]

Dear Bruce,

Thank you for thinking about me and inviting me to Daniel’s graduation party.

Sadly, I’ll be unable to attend as I’m taking the kids to visit their grandfather.

Please send Daniel our congratulations on this wonderful achievement and convey our disappointment in not being able to attend. I’m sure it’s going to be a swell party.

Warm Regards,

Samuel Jack

Updated on December 23, 2023

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