25 Best Responses to a Declined Invitation

You want to share a special moment with friends and family, so you plan an event.

But, when you send out invitations, some people don’t respond the way you hoped they would they decline.

If someone declines your invitation to an event it can be disappointing, but it’s important to remember that this isn’t a personal rejection.

People have their own lives and schedules and sometimes your event just won’t fit into their plans.

When responding to a declined invitation, it’s important to be understanding and gracious.

A simple, “Thank you for letting me know” is all that is needed. Don’t take it personally or pressure the person to explain why they can’t attend. 

To learn more about how to respond to a declined event invitation, read on.

Understanding the Context

When someone says no to your invitation, stop and think for a moment. There are lots of good reasons they might need to do this.

They might already have plans, need to be somewhere else, or just have a lot going on in their life.

Know that it’s not about you. Everyone is juggling their stuff, and sometimes there’s just no room for more.

What you can do is be kind and show you understand. This keeps things friendly and opens the door for future get-togethers.

Here’s a simple way to respond to someone who can’t make it:

Hey, I totally understand you can’t come to the party. Thanks for letting me know! Hope everything is okay with you, and let’s try to catch up another time.”

1. Acknowledge the decline

Thank the person for letting you know that they won’t be able to attend your event.

This shows that you appreciate their response and respect their decision.

You can use phrases like:

  • Thank you for letting me know.
  • I appreciate your honesty.
  • I’m glad you told me in advance.
  • Aw, that’s a bummer, but I completely understand.

2. Express Your understanding

Show empathy and understanding towards the person’s situation. Avoid being pushy or judgmental.

Say something like:

  • I completely understand, or I completely understand your decision.
  • Of course, I understand your situation.
  • I totally get it.
  • I understand where you’re coming from.
  • no problem, Maybe another time.

3. Don’t ask for details

Unless you are very close to the person, don’t ask for more information about why they declined your invitation.

This can be intrusive or uncomfortable.


  • No problem, I hope to see you soon
  • That’s okay.
  • Okay, maybe some other time.

TIP: Don’t ask again unless you get EXTREMELY clear signals that another invitation will be welcome.

4. Offer an alternative

If appropriate, you can suggest another way to connect with the person, such as meeting for coffee or having a phone call.

This shows that you still value their relationship and want to stay in touch.


  • Maybe we can plan something else soon
  • Let’s catch up for a coffee or something.

You can also check: 45 Ways to Ask Someone if they are Free to Meet You

5. Reschedule the event:

If the person’s absence is causing a major issue or if you really want them to be there, you can consider rescheduling the event to a date that works better for them.

Showing that you’re willing to accommodate their schedule can demonstrate how much their presence means to you.

However, this should only be done in special circumstances.For example:

  • “We can move the event to another date if that works better for you.”
  • “Let’s find a time that works for everyone.”

6. Invite them to another event

If you have another event coming up soon, you can invite the person to that event instead.

Keeping the door open for future interactions and showing that you still want to include them in your plans can help maintain a positive relationship. Just be sure not to be too insistent. You might say:

  • I’ll miss you at this event, but I hope you can make it to the next one.
  • I’ve got another gathering in a few weeks, I’d love for you to come if you’re available.
  • No worries about this time, there will be more opportunities to celebrate together in the future.
  • I’ll keep you updated on future events, maybe the timing will be better.
  • We have another event coming up next month, would you like to join us?
  • We would love to have you at our next event.

7. Maintain Boundaries

Respect their decision, especially if they’re not a significant part of your life.

It’s not necessary to follow up with further questions or to make them feel guilty for not attending.

Everyone has their own limits and respecting those is key to a healthy relationship.

If they decline persistently, respect their choice. You can say something like:

  • Whenever you’re up for it, just let me know!
  • I understand completely, take care and we’ll touch base in the future.

8. Bigger Picture

Remember, one absence won’t define the significance of your relationship.

Life is full of opportunities for connection, so don’t get disheartened if someone can’t make it to a single event.

Celebrate with those who can come and keep your spirits high. Events come and go, but true friendships and family bonds will remain intact regardless of attendance.

Stay positive and look forward to creating more beautiful memories together in the future.

9. Handling Emotions

It’s natural to feel a little disappointed when someone declines your invitation, but it’s important to manage those feelings without projecting them onto the other person.

Keep a positive tone and don’t let it affect your mood or the event itself.

It’s just one occasion, and there will be many more. Always keep the door open for future interactions without pressure.

You can also check: How to Reply When Someone Says What’s Up: The 34 Best Ways

Final Thoughts

Respecting a person’s decision to decline an invitation is crucial for maintaining a good relationship.

Life can be unpredictable, and there will always be another chance to connect.

Just remember to keep communications open, be understanding, and continue inviting without expectations.

This way, when the time is right, you’ll both be able to enjoy each other’s company.

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