Invite Cancellation Message: Meaning, Tips and Sample

Sending an invite cancellation message can be daunting. However, if done the right way, you could help save the person’s time and make them feel good about it.

This article highlights why and how to write cancellation messages with an appropriate sample to guide you. Let’s get started.

An invite cancellation email is a formal and courteous method to withdraw from an appointment.
Photo by Oksana Berko on Unsplash

What Exactly is an Invite or Event Cancellation Message?

An invite cancellation email is a formal and courteous method to withdraw from an appointment. It is written to cancel or postpone your online or offline meeting. Sending an invite cancellation message serves two purposes:

It serves as an act of formality. It is an official yet a friendly way to advise the recipient of the change in plans and offer an apology in advance.

Reasons to Write a Cancellation Message

Sending an email is often more convenient than calling to cancel. Typical instances in which you should send a meeting cancellation email include the following:

  • You are unable to attend the invite due to illness.
  • Due to scheduling issues
  • Inability to arrive on time due to traffic
  • Your plans have changed to the extent that the appointment is no longer relevant.
  • You are currently tied to other business or family obligations.

All participants have email addresses, and all participants check their emails. This makes email the ideal medium for canceling a meeting at any time and for any reason.

In addition, an email does not necessitate an instantaneous reply. It allows the recipient to absorb what you’re saying fully.

An email, in contrast to a phone call, will nearly always reach the recipient at the most suitable time. Call them if you want to make sure the other person has seen the cancellation message. As a general rule, an email will do the trick.

How to write an Invite Cancellation Message in 6 Steps

Consider the other person’s perspective before ending an appointment. Consider all the inconveniences this may give them, and use your best diplomatic and apologetic skills to lessen their dissatisfaction.

Courtesy, timeliness, and reasonableness are the three main guidelines for writing a meeting cancellation email template.

1. Draft the email yourself

Don’t delegate this to your assistant. It is preferable to take the time to compose it yourself, or at the very least, use your email address. You can ask your assistant to remind you to send this email if necessary.

2. Give notification in advance

Second, you should give plenty of advance notice when canceling an appointment. Canceling an invite thirty minutes before the arranged meeting is impolite.

Make it possible for someone to change their schedule with ample notice. You must have a compelling justification for sending a last-minute email. Use online calendars like Google Calendar to stay organized and to help you remember things.

3. Give a solid justification

You must justify your absence. If you don’t, someone might assume that you just chose to cancel. They can start to think that you are not a trustworthy person. To make the message concise and direct, you don’t need to provide a particularly in-depth explanation.

4. Suggest a new time for the meeting

It will be apparent that meeting this individual remains essential to you if you propose a new time. Despite the necessity to cancel the appointment, act as though you are still interested in it. Offer a couple of time slots while remaining open to objections.

5. Conclude by expressing gratitude

You should express your gratitude for their attention to your predicament at the conclusion of your email.

Appreciate that they took the time to read your email, and you might even be able to convince them to change their mind.

6. Send your invite cancellation message quickly

Once you’ve finished writing your email, don’t review it again. The sooner you press the Send button, the simpler and more likely it will be for your correspondent to modify their itinerary.

Rescheduling a meeting with several individuals requires doing well before the scheduled time. It could also be quite challenging to do it at the last minute.

Finding a time that works for everyone requires a lot of work. It can be beneficial to either request that each participant offers a date and time or to recommend a few times yourself.

Additionally, be ready to be adaptable because not all the periods you provide may work for the participants.

Use the Cc (recipients can see each other’s email addresses) or Bcc (you keep the recipients’ email addresses secret) options in your email software. This is to avoid having to email each meeting participant separately.

7. Send a personal email apology note as a follow-up

Send a follow-up email to see if the person accepted your recommended time slot and to avoid resentment.

You should apologize again, thank the receiver for understanding, and invite them to respond to your cancellation email. You can use a call to action to determine if they have accepted your email.

CTAs such as Please send a text, call or ask them to RSVP can help you know where you stand.

Sample Letter for an Invite Cancellation Message

[Senders Name]

[Address line][State, ZIP Code]

[Letter Date]

[Recipients Name]

[Address line][State, ZIP Code]

[Subject: Normally bold, summarizes the intention of the letter] -Optional-

Dear [Recipients Name],

Given our initial delight at your acceptance of the invitation, we are incredibly disappointed to cancel.

Due to our son’s upcoming engagement and wedding, we had to postpone the meal. We promise to have another dinner party after the wedding. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience.

Sincerely, [Senders Name]

[Senders Title] -Optional-

[Enclosures: number] – Optional –

Cc: [Name of copy recipient] – Optional –


Sending a short, polite, and apologetic message that explains why you’d like to cancel an invite is always the best way. The more politely you follow up, the more likely the invitee will accept your apologies.

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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