Decline invitation phrases:
1. I regret to inform you that …
2. I’m unavailable on that day …
3. I’m afraid that I’m obliged to …
4. Unfortunately, I will be …
5. Sorry, but I am busy on that day …
6. I’m afraid I can’t make it then.
7. Much to my regret, …
Sample sentences to decline an invitation:
Regretfully, we need to inform you that we are unable to accept your invitation owing to a prior engagement.
Unfortunately, I’m unable to attend owing to another meeting on that date.
Unfortunately, I need to decline our meeting as I shall be out of the country on 5th January.
I’m afraid I won’t be able to make it on Saturday as I already have something on.
Unfortunately, I will be out of town on the 17th and therefore will not be able to attend the conference.
With reference to your letter of the 16th May, I would like to inform you that I will be unable to meet you on 20th May.
Much to my regret, I’m obliged to cancel our forthcoming meeting, owing to a sudden illness. I apologize for any inconvenience caused, and I will contact you as soon as possible to arrange another meeting.
In reply to your letter of 16th May, I would be pleased to meet you but would prefer if the meeting could be postponed to 20th May.
I’m afraid I will need to cancel the meeting on Friday. My team leader just told me that I need to present our new product on that day. How about meet you next Friday?
Unfortunately, I will be out of the country for three weeks. May I suggest I get in touch with you on my return to arrange another appointment?
I’m afraid that I’m obliged to change the date of our meeting, due to a problem with my car.
I wonder if I might ask you to postpone the meeting to 5 pm on the same afternoon.
I’m unavailable on that day. I suggest we postpone the meeting to the following week.
I will be pleased to meet you on Monday but would prefer it if it could be postponed to later in the day.
I’m afraid I won’t be able to make it after all.