How to Politely Decline An Invitation

Published on 07/28/2021

One of the more difficult things of all time is how to say ‘no’ to an invitation without feeling bad about the situation. Whether your social calendar is jam-packed, you simply do not want to attend the event, or maybe you just want some time to yourself, it’s totally OK to say no to any kind of invitation. A lot of the time, especially during the holidays or wedding season it seems as though the invitations just keep flying in. But we’re here to let you know that you do not need to be a people pleaser or feel like a terrible person if you cannot accept each and every invitation. Not exactly sure how to decline the invite? Have no fear, we’re here to help you. Keep reading to see how you can politely decline the next invitation you receive.

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How to Politely Decline An Invitation

Don’t Ignore The Invitation

First things first, whatever you do, do not ignore the invitation or pretend that you never received it. Most of the time the host or hostess needs to know whether or not you’ll be there. Not only is it rude but ignoring the invitation shows that you don’t know proper etiquette, and you might be left off the guestlist for the next party. Experts also suggest that you don’t wait until the last minute to RSVP. As soon as you know that you won’t be able to attend, let the relevant people know.

Be Honest

The next tip requires a bit of honesty. However, it’s best not to be too honest, especially if you simply do not want to go to the baby shower or 40th birthday party. Additionally, you do not need to lie or come up with some random excuse. Experts also suggest that when it comes to being honest, it’s best not to go into too much detail. Simply let the host or hostess know that you already have plans. Keep your explanation short and to the point – this should be more than enough as a response. The last thing you want is to come across as if you’re coming up with every excuse under the sun.

It’s Okay To Say No

This is super important for people who get anxious when declining an invitation. Oftentimes we feel obliged to do the right thing even if it is not good for us. However, in any situation, it is 100% fine to say NO! The best is to first thank the person for the invitation, let them know you are honored to have been invited and then you can politely tell them you are unable to attend. No matter how hard it may be to do so, whether it’s a friend or colleague, they should understand.

Consider Sending A Gift Or Card

If you need to decline an invitation to a formal event such as a wedding, graduation party, or baby shower, it’s always polite to send a card or gift anyway. A gift with a note explaining how you regret not being able to celebrate with them at their special event is a great gesture. It’s more than likely they will appreciate it.