How To Decline An Invitation


How To Decline An Invitation

Have you ever kept your fingers crossed when waiting for your friend to declare the date of her dinner party? If so, then perhaps you know what happens when you are expected to be at two separate functions on one day. Declining an invitation can be so difficult at times that you might end up feeling frustrated at your helplessness. Being polite and rejecting an invitation can be a solution but it cannot be considered complete if not followed with the relevant etiquette. It is quite common that the dates of two get-togethers collide and you have to turn one of them down. However, this turning down has to be neither cryptic nor vague; neither hostile nor overtly apologetic. Please remember that turning down a friend’s invitation for another friend’s function is not a crime; it doesn’t even belittle your friendship with anyone; it is just a matter of personal choice and, of course, the nature of celebration. And don’t worry about your image; politely declining an invitation, citing genuine reasons, can only make you look nicer in front of your friends.

Declining An Invitation

Thank The Host For Invitation
As soon as you receive an invitation, check all possible chances of attending the function. If you have tried everything and still don’t find any option then you have to inform your host at the earliest. First of all, thank them for inviting you over; this will convey your gratitude at being considered important enough. This would assure your host that had it not been for unavoidable circumstances, you would have definitely graced the occasion with your presence.

Think Of All Possible Solutions
Depending on the type of the function, you must think of the number of days that you’d have to dedicate towards the celebration. Once you receive an invitation to a function, it is quite essential that you think of all the possible ways to make it to the function. If it is a family function then you can ask your siblings, your wife or your children to represent in case you can’t make it.

Timely Response
As soon as you get an invitation that you have to decline, call up your host and do the needful within a week or so. This way you can be safe from a situation where you promise them that you will come and then, at the last minute, you realize you cannot go. Check the schedule clearly before responding to such invitations to avoid further problems.

Always Respond
Whether you are going to attend the function or not, you must be responsible enough to let your host know of your decision. This is indeed vital as the host has to make necessary arrangements which depend upon the number of guests that they can expect.

Honesty Still Pays
When you receive an invitation, you should figure out the chances of attending it and provide your reasons honestly. The host, in no case, should feel that you don’t value their invitation. Be it your ill health, your kid’s exams or another event at the same day, you must be honest with your host and fill them in with your reason. Generally, the best way is to tell the host in person but, these days, speaking to them over the phone is also appreciated.

Arrival Delayed
If you can make it to the function albeit with a little delay then it’s better to talk to your host about it. They might have to make arrangements for the same and your sincere efforts at being there might even make them happier than you expect. The host might even shift the dates or re-schedule, depending upon the nature and scale of the event.


    • I’d love to, but unfortunately I’m leaving for New York the same day.
    • I really appreciate the invitation, but I’m extremely sorry.
    • Maybe another time?
    • Sorry, but I’m meeting my dad on that day.
    • Is it ok if I visit you and your family next week? Because I have a tight schedule to meet this week.
    • I’m sorry for the inconvenience caused, but I have another wedding in the family to attend on the same day.
    • I’ll not be able to make it for Gary’s birthday party in June; I have a knee cap surgery in the same month.
    • Due to a previous engagement, I can’t make it for the dinner tonight.
    • Thank you Michael for your invite, but I have an important meeting the same day. My daughter Sara will be present as a representative of our family.

Though it is not considered very nice to decline invitations, certain circumstances in life demand us to do so because of the mixed schedules. The reasons to decline invitations can be many but it is indeed important to stay honest or else you might just have to pay for your lie later. Adopt these ways to leave a good impression on your host and, most importantly, value them for inviting you to be a part of their happiness. Meeting them personally and thanking them is the best way to go about it. In case that is not possible, call them up and inform them in an appropriate manner.