Learn how to cancel plans like a lady

We’ve all been there—you’ve marked your calendar for an event or get together and for some reason, you have to cancel. Whether it’s last minute or weeks in advance, canceling plans can leave you with a major pit in your stomach. Because this will happen to the best of us at some point or another, I thought I’d share my own advice on how to gracefully cancel plans depending on the invitation. So, do you cancel by text, formal invitation or email? Let’s get to it…

First things first: Unless you come down with a sickness or have a true emergency that prevents you from being there, try not cancel on the day of the event. Unless it’s an emergency, canceling day-of is never an OK thing to do. Be mindful of how much work the host or hostess is putting into their event. Each situation is unique, so it’s best to be mindful of everyone involved. Tip: If you’re going to be late, make sure to let the host or hostess know ahead of time. Always do your best to be on time!

Is it ever OK to cancel via text?

I know how convenient it sounds to send a quick and apologetic text, but when it comes to canceling plans this is a big no-no. The only occasion where it’s acceptable to cancel by text is if the original plans were made by text. Don’t even think of canceling a formal invitation via text message!

How do I cancel for a formal event like a wedding or shower?

Formal invitations usually precede a shower, wedding, or some sort of once-in-a-lifetime event. If you already know whether or not you’ll be able to attend a formal event, be sure to RSVP by the expected due date. That might require you to send back a response card or make a polite phone call. Respond as soon as possible—especially if the host or hostess is someone you would like to make a good impression on. Plus, it’s just the nice thing to do. If you’ve already RSVP’ed yes and do have to cancel, this warrants a personal phone call to the host or hostess.

When can I cancel via email?

This next section almost goes hand-in-hand with my advice on canceling by text. Only cancel by email if you received an e-vite for an event. E-vites usually give you the option to immediately check ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the invitation. They also allow you to directly message or email the host or hostess. Utilize this tool if you know that you’re going to have to cancel.

Like I said, canceling is never fun. Save yourself the headache and try to only commit to plans that you know you’re able to attend. That being said…

Do you have any advice to share when it comes to canceling plans?

I’d love to hear your opinions in the comments!

XO Lauren

Photos: Lauren Conrad Celebrate
  • Great tips! Thanks for sharing!

  • Great list of tips! Especially being on time to an event or letting the host know ahead of time.


  • Helen Harm

    Great tips! Such good guidelines!

    XO Helen @ http://www.KaleidoscopeSpinning.com

  • Magda

    These tips are great! Thank you for sharing 🙂 When I cancel plans with my friends I try to suggest another date when we can meet. I want to avoid a situation when they feel neglected (and in my opinion this may happen when you just cancel whithout suggesting another day for meeting). It’s ok if you do not agree immediately on a different date, your friends still know that you really WANT to meet them.

  • I love these tips, especially as someone who has been both the hostess on the receiving end of cancelled plans and someone in the unfortunate position of having to cancel plans myself!



  • Such great tips! I hate canceling plans but sometimes life happens and you can’t avoid it, in that case I always try and propose another time to meet even if it’s an event I’m supposed to be attending, that way the hostess knows I’m not just blowing her off!

    xo Bree

  • Thank you so much for sharing these great tips Lauren <3 It's actually never easy for me to cancel plans, no matter if they are big or small, because I hate letting people down or hearing their disappointment 🙁 These tips were very helpful! Thank you again for sharing!

    XO, Elizabeth

  • Haha that is actually such a helpful post! It’s so crazy to think that we stress over cancelling plans, even when something important comes up. This should help 🙂 Thanks for sharing!



  • This is so helpful. I seriously hate canceling plans. It gives me anxiety just thinking about it lol.

    Thanks for sharing this!

    xo Azu


  • My best advice for canceling plans is to get good at saying “no”! That is something that I struggle with a lot. I want to see all my friends and family, but come a few days into the week, I start to stress out with everything I have said “yes” too. Give yourself a limit for the things you will say “yes” to on a week or month basis, then don’t commit to the rest would be my advice. As long as it’s not for something important like a wedding! http://www.chasingbelle.com

  • Honestly this is great advice that I think we don’t think about enough. Thank you! 🙂

    The Golden Days | http://herestothegoldendays.blogspot.com

  • I absolutely love this post and the Ladylike Laws series! So helpful!


  • Yara

    This was such a sweet, honest and helpful article! I absolutely loved it. Just signed up for your newsletter so I never miss one of these articles again!! Thank you so much!! #LadyLike #love