Whenever given an invitation by email, it is appropriate to respond in the same manner. Decline an invitation by email whenever you want to graciously turn down an offer to attend events such as dinner parties, bridal showers, and other social events. Declining appropriately shows appreciation for the invitation, while possibly preventing you from hurting someone's feelings or from not being invited again in the future. Turn down a an invite via email in less than fifteen minutes.
Start the email by recognizing the generosity of the invitation. For example, the beginning of your message may be written like this: "I cannot tell you enough how much I would love to attend your event..."
Include an honest explanation for not attending. Even if you do not have any desire to attend the party or event, providing a sincere reason will make your declination less offensive to the person who has sent the invitation. Tell the person if you have previously made plans that prevent you from showing up or if you have work obligations at this time.
Close the email by thanking the host again for the invitation and asking to be included in future events. For example, the closing of your email may appear like this: "Once again, I want to express my gratitude for being included as one of your potential guests. Please know how deeply I wish to be able to attend. I hope to be included in your future events."
Follow up after the date, asking how the event went. This shows an authentic interest in your host and the event.
Send a small gift to the host to show your gratitude for the invitation when unable to attend.
Waiting to respond to an invitation, so that you can decide between other events on the same date, may discourage hosts from including you in their future events.