Invitation / Response / Decline

A. Invitations


In general, there are two types of invitations, formal and informal invitations. 


1. Formal Invitations


These are generally formal events such as receptions, dinners, weddings, banquets etc. where the invitations are engraved or printed on a card - usually written in the third person with an R.S.V.P. notation. Should you wish to include a personal message, it can be written on the card or a separate sheet of paper.


2. Casual Invitations


Not more events require formal invitations. For more casual events, handwritten invitations can be more personal and sincere. You can include anything in your message but please ensure you have the following:

  • Invite the person to the event;
  • Provide the purpose of the event;
  • Include the appropriate dress code and if any preparation is required; and
  • Give details of the venue, date and time of the event.


B. Invitation to Speak


It is also common to invite a speaker to a business or formal event. In relation to an invitation to speak, be sure to inform the potential speaker quickly that it is an invitation to speak. If you try too hard to promote your company or event at the beginning to make the invitation more appealing, it may look like a junk mail with the invitation buried in the letter:

  • Explain to the speaker what the event is and why it is being held;  
  • Give details of the venue, date and time of the event; and
  • Compliment the speaker of his or her credentials, but do not overdo it to make it sound cynical.


C. Declining an Invitation


If you are declining an invitation, first give your reason for doing so before saying no. This will help to blunt the rejection and ensure that the host will see your explanation:

  • Explain to the host why you cannot accept the invitation in a brief, courteous and even apologetic manner. You are not obligated to give a detailed explanation which might make you sound defensive; and 
  • Express your appreciation for the invitation with a compliment or a polite comment to preserve the goodwill and to make it clear that you are not rejecting the invitation for any personal reasons with the host.

D. Accepting an Invitation


When you are accepting an invitation, first thank the host for the invitation and give confirmation that you will attend. If you need more details or have any questions, then you may ask in a separate paragraph. 




Formal Invitation


Causal Invitation


Invitation To Speak


Declining An Invitation


Accepting An Invitation