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10 Useful Scripts to Politely Decline an Invitation

10 Useful Scripts to Politely Decline an Invitation

What do you do when you see the word “RSVP” on an invitation to an even that you do not want to attend or that you cannot attend due to your busy schedule? RSVP means “please respond,” so the inviting party is expecting an answer from you.

We know it is hard to reject people, especially when you receive a wedding party, baby shower, farewell party, or funeral invitation. However, sometimes you are forced to reject an invitation and there is no work around for this.

This is why we have put together a list of scripts that will help you reject almost any invitation courteously, respectfully, and diplomatically, yet concisely.

These scripts are written in a way that will not offend the person making the invite – which is definitely something you want to avoid when you have to politely decline an invitation

Tips on How to Politely Decline an Invitation

Here are some of the best tips to keep in mind when you can’t attend an event and need to politely reject an invitation:


1You must make up your mind and respond – always respond.


2Remember that the answer you give will be taken as final, and it will be awkward to contradict your RSVP, especially if you included a reason when declining the invitation.


3It’s important to be polite, courteous, and respectful when you reply.


4Do not over-explain yourself. A short reason why you will not be able to go to the event is all that is necessary.


5If you decline the invitation, do not make the mistake of going to the event unannounced. It is usually considered to be a rude gesture.


6Do not feel guilty when you politely decline an invitation. You are not declining because you want the other person to feel bad; you are declining because you cannot attend the event.


And remember, be concise, and do not leave any room for interpretation. You cannot attend the event because you have other plans or any other sound reason. It is your right to politely decline an invitation whenever you don’t want to go. Don’t fall into the trap of feeling guilty for not having to attend, so the last thing you should do is feel like a horrible person when you decline to attend an event.


10 best examples to politely decline an invitation

01To decline a birthday party


little lovely girl ballon birthday
Image from Canva – under one-time use license


Dear Jane Doe,
Thank you for thinking about me and inviting me to attend your birthday party. Unfortunately, I already have plans for that night, so I will be unable to attend the party. I know that day is very important to you, so I really hope it will be awesome.
Warm regards,
John Doe


02To politely decline an invitation to a farewell party


Astonished at bartender pouring liquor

Photo by Joel Mathey on Unsplash


Hello Jane Doe, thank you for inviting me to John’s farewell party. Even though I admire and respect our colleague, I will unfortunately not be able to make it to the party due to unavoidable obligations. I hope you enjoy yourselves and have an excellent evening.


03To decline a dinner party


toasting champagne

Image from Canva – under one-time use license


Thank you for inviting me to the dinner party, Jane. I would love to attend, but I am unsure I will be able to due to an appointment I have with my physician. I don’t think I will be able to cancel. However, know that I am with you in spirit. I hope the party will turn out to be the best one yet.


04To decline a wedding party


cupcakes at a wedding party

Image from Canva – under one-time use license


I am so honored to be invited to be a part of your big day, Jane. However, I will probably not be able to attend the wedding party due to plans I have already made for that day. Even though I will be with you only in spirit, I sincerely hope your wedding will be the greatest day of your life.


05To decline a baby shower


crying baby in a blanket

Photo by Tim Bish on Unsplash


Hi, Jane. You won’t believe how happy I am to be invited to your baby shower. However, it saddens me to say that we will be out of town that day and will not be able to make it to the party. I know how much the baby shower means to you, so I honestly hope it will be a one of the happiest days in your lives.



06To decline a lunch invitation from colleagues


sharing food over the meal
Photo by on Unsplash


Hi guys, I feel honored to be invited to this exciting lunch with all of you. Unfortunately, I have a previous engagement that I cannot postpone or cancel. I would have loved to go, but perhaps next time. You have a wonderful time and enjoy yourselves.



Image from Gratisography under CCO License


07To decline a job offer due to salary


Job interviewing black lady

Image from Canva – under one-time use license


Dear Sir,
I want to thank you very much for offering me a position of [job title here] at your company, [company name here]. I feel honored that you have chosen me out of possibly dozens of other candidates. I was very impressed by the company and by your offer, which makes my decision even more difficult. After careful consideration, I must be honest with you and politely decline the job offer because the salary is lower than what I am looking for. It was an absolute pleasure talking to you and your colleagues. I sincerely wish you and your company the best of luck.
Kind regards,
John Doe


08To politely decline an invitation to a date


reject love from a man

Image from Canva – under one-time use license


Hi John, thank you for the unexpected invitation to go out with you. Even though I find you to be a kind and interesting person, I have to decline your invitation due to the fact that I have other commitments. I hope my refusal will not offend you.


09To decline a meeting invitation


two men siting back to back typing on computers

Photo by on Unsplash


Hello guys, thank you for inviting me to attend tomorrow’s meeting. However, as I have a very urgent matter to attend to, I will not be able to make it in time. Don’t wait for me. I am very sorry I won’t be able to make it.


10To politely decline an invitation to a funeral


candles condolences1

Image from Canva – under one-time use license


I am very sorry to hear about your recent loss. Jane was always the most pleasant and caring person I know. The world will never be the same without her. It is with great regret that I have to inform you that I will not be able to attend the memorial service because I am out of town on a business trip. Know that I will be thinking about you and your loved ones during this very difficult and trying time.