The following scenario has more than likely happened to you: You're standing at the kitchen counter, sipping a cup of coffee, flipping through your daily planner when it hits you: today is a special someone's birthday, and you completely forgot to send a card! Suddenly you are overcome by guilt. "I can't believe I didn't remember," you think to yourself. "Even if I send a card today, they'll know I forgot!"
Even if your birthday wishes are belated, they are always a valuable and cherished way to remember your loved one's special day, so don't panic! Here are our belated birthday card etiquette guidelines to help you through this predicament:
1. Still send that card!
Why? First, if you know your friend or a family member has been wondering where your birthday wishes are, a handwritten card is a thoughtful way to express your apologies for missing the big day. It also gives you a chance to acknowledge responsibility for your forgetfulness in a meaningful way. Second, if you know your friend isn't into the b-day hype, it's still a considerate way to surprise them with something special from their loved one!
2. It's the thought that counts.
Sometimes, it's not about the card itself but rather the message it contains. Taking the time to compose a message that not only acknowledges and apologizes for your slip-up but also honors the individual and their accomplishments from that year is the perfect way to make up for your forgetfulness. Here is a great example you can incorporate into your messaging "I can't believe the time has gone by so quickly that I forgot to send something for your birthday. I hope you had a fantastic day, and know that I'm thinking of you today and always. Let's get together for a birthday celebration as soon as you're free!"
3. Keep it lighthearted.
It's okay to apologize in your message but try not to overdo it. Too many "I'm sorries" will weigh down the original intention of your card: making your loved one feel special and appreciated. To keep the message light and fun, use a little humor to diffuse the situation. Your special someone will appreciate your extra thoughtful message and enjoy hearing from you.
How to Write a Belated Birthday Message to Your Loved Ones
Now that we’ve covered some of the best solutions to make up for a late birthday, let’s move on to the fun part - writing the birthday message! Whether you would like to send a special birthday card or a simple text message, your loved one will be grateful you carved the time out of your day to think about them. Keep reading to get some inspiration below:
Funny Belated Birthday Wishes
- I didn’t actually forget your birthday, I just wanted to make it last longer. Happy Belated birthday!
- Some people call it a belated birthday wish. I call it a surprise! Happy birthday!
- Although I forgot your special day, I want to let you know that you’re on my mind - all the other days of the year! Wishing you the happiest belated birthday.
- You know you can count upon me on everything, except wishing you a happy birthday on the right day. Happy belated birthday!
- Happy day after birthday! Who will wish you a memorable belated happy birthday except me?!
- A belated birthday just means more excuses to keep celebrating! Happy birthday!
Elegant Belated Birthday Wishes
- Happy belated birthday. I would love to make it up to you and celebrate with you this week!
- Happy belated birthday, I hope your celebrations were everything you hoped for, and more!
- I hope you had an excellent birthday and got spoilt by your loved ones!
- Sending you many warm and happy birthday wishes. Sorry I’m late, but I’m looking forward to celebrating in style with you very soon!
- I hope you had a fantastic birthday celebration. Sorry I’m a little bit late to the party, but I hope we can celebrate together soon.
- Sending you my warmest birthday wishes. I hope your special day was everything you hoped for and more!
Belated Birthday Wishes for Friends
- Happy belated birthday to my friend forever! Although I’m not always the best person to remember birthdays, remember that I’ll always love you.
- A belated birthday just makes the celebrations last a little longer. Happy belated birthday to my favorite friend!
- I wish I could time travel back to your birthday. Unfortunately I can’t, so will you forgive me? Happy belated birthday to an amazing friend.
- Birthdays come once a year and end in a day, but our friendship is forever. Happy belated birthday wishes, with all my love!
- I’m sorry you’re receiving this message late, but I just wanted to wish you a happy belated birthday. I hope you had an amazing day celebrating, and I would love to continue the celebrations with you too!
Belated Birthday Wishes for Him
- I’m sorry for forgetting your birthday. Let me make it up to you with extra special celebrations. Happy belated birthday, my love!
- Happy belated birthday to an amazing man. Let’s extend the celebrations to last longer!
- Belated happy birthday, my love! I Even though I’m a little late this year, I promise the celebrations will make up for my lateness.
- I may be wishing you happy birthday a little late this year, but it’s full of love! Happy belated birthday!
- Even though I’m wishing you a belated birthday, remember that you’re always in my thoughts. Sending all my love to an exceptional man!
Belated Birthday Wishes for Her
- Happy belated birthday, beautiful! It’s becoming almost impossible to remember your special day. That’s because no matter what age you turn, you don’t look a day over your last birthday.
- Happy belated birthday to an amazing woman. May we continue celebrating in style!
- You’re the best woman I know, and I’m so sorry I forgot your birthday. But, I promise to make it up to you! Happiest belated birthday.
- To an incredible woman, happy belated birthday. I’m so sorry for being late this year, but I know exactly how I’m going to spoil you to make it up to you!
- Although I’m late to the party this year, please know that you’re ALWAYS on my mind. Happy belated birthday - I can’t wait to celebrate with you.
Belated Birthday Wishes for Your Brother
- Happy belated birthday to my favorite brother. I’m sorry I’m late but I promise you lots of fun celebrations are coming to make up for the delay!
- Having a brother like you is a blessing. But forgetting your birthday is a crime. Happy belated birthday to you! I promise I will celebrate with you so very soon.
- Did I miss anything yesterday? I think It was my amazing brother’s birthday. Sorry I am late, but want to wish you a happy belated birthday. I can’t wait to make it up to you!
- My awesome brother, this is the first time I missed your birthday but I can really promise you this is also the last. All my love!
- Want did I do to deserve a brother as awesome as you? Although I didn’t quite get the timing right this year, remember I’m always thinking about you and love you so much! Happy belated birthday.
Belated Birthday Wishes for Your Sister
- Happy belated birthday to the best sister in the world. I’m sorry I’m late but I promise you I’m going to make up for it. Love you to the moon and back!
- To the sweetest and kindest sister, happy belated birthday to you! I promise I will celebrate with you so very soon, and I’m sorry for my delay - but good things come to those who wait!
- Sister, you mind the world to me, but sometimes I’m just so forgetful. But just because I’m late in wishing you a happy birthday this year doesn’t mean you’re not always on my mind. Sorry and sending you all my love, can’t wait to celebrate with you soon!
- Did I miss anything yesterday? I think It was my incredible sister’s birthday. Sorry I am late, but want to wish you a happy belated birthday. I promise I’m going to spoil you rotten!
- Although I didn’t quite get the timing right this year, remember I’m always thinking about you and love you so much! Happy belated birthday to the most fantastic sister in the world.
Don’t beat yourself up if you have forgotten your loved one’s birthday. You’re only human, and it happens to the best of us! Instead, move on and forgive yourself. Send them a kind message and make sure to make it up to them at a later date. We hope you’ve enjoyed reading our suggestions and have come away with some inspiration!
Need an extra special card for a belated birthday? Check out our awesome collection of pop-up birthday cards that will definitely surprise and delight.