Belated Birthday Wishes



The best belated birthday wishes contain the right mix of sincerity, remorse and humor to make the people you love feel special, even if your "Happy Birthday" arrived a little late. 

Need ideas? Check out the many examples of belated birthday messages on this page.


BY KEVIN NISHMAS | UPDATED: FEB. 18, 2021


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Whether you need serious or funny belated birthday messages, here's where to start. Simply jump to the section you need, right below.


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Belated Birthday Wishes


Hope you had a truly special birthday. I know I missed your special day but, as far as I'm concerned, every day of the year is special because you were born.

Wishing you a belated happy birthday! Although I'm late with my birthday message this year, please know I wish you well all year-round.

I'm so sorry I missed your birthday. I must have lost my head or something. Hope you had a truly special day anyway.


Belated Birthday Wishes: Belated Happy Birthday Messages

I'm very sorry about forgetting your special day, so please accept this belated birthday wish in the spirit it is given. Hope your birthday was incredible...just like you.

Wishing you a belated happy birthday. Sure, this wish is late, but that's only because I want to make sure you celebrate your birthday a little longer. 

1, 3, 5, 7, 9, I apologize that this birthday wish is not on time! 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, I hope that your birthday was fun.


Belated Birthday Wishes: Belated Happy Birthday Messages

I'm very sorry I'm so late with your birthday wish. Hope you had a wonderfully special birthday all the same!

Although my birthday wish is too late, my best wishes for your health and happiness are good 365 days a year. Hope you had a happy birthday.

Want to keep celebrating your birthday? I hope so...because here's another birthday wish to add to your Facebook page: Happy birthday!


Belated Birthday Wishes: Belated Happy Birthday Messages

Hope your birthday was as incredibly special to you as you are to me. Sure, I know my wishes are a little late but they are nevertheless as true as ever!

Knowing you, your birthday celebration is still going strong, so I know my belated birthday wishes are relatively on time. Hope you're still having a ball.

Wishing you a belated happy, happy, happy birthday. Sorry, I missed your special day.


Belated Birthday Wishes: Belated Happy Birthday Messages

I hope all your birthday wishes came true. Here's one more for good luck —  a little late yet as heartfelt as ever. Happy birthday!

My birthday wish for you, although unforgivably late this year, is that your special day was as wonderfully special as you are.

My apologies for missing the best day of the year...your birthday! Happy birthday!


Belated Birthday Wishes: Belated Happy Birthday Messages

Happy birthday (a little late). Sorry, your birthday just slipped my mind. I hope you still consider me your friend.

Sure, I missed your birthday, but I would never miss the chance to wish "happy birthday" to you! Hope yours was a truly happy one!

A special belated "happy birthday" to a friend who has earned the right to forget my birthday at least once in our lifetime (no expiration).


Belated Birthday Wishes: Belated Happy Birthday Messages

Happy "only a day late" birthday! You can't really blame me — you're so important to me that I thought I would just extend your birthday by another 24 hours.

More than anyone I know, you deserve to have your birthday celebrated at least twice a year. Happy birthday!

Wishing you a late, yet incredibly warm "happy birthday" that you can carry in your heart! Hope you had an amazingly special day.







Belated Birthday Wishes
- Friend -


Late birthday wishes can actually add to your celebration, making your big day last even longer. So...A belated "happy birthday" to you, my friend.

My birthday wishes may have arrived a little late but, as they say, better late than never. Anyway, hope you had a wonderful time on your big day. 

Dear friend, please accept my apology for missing your special day and, of course, my belated "Happy Birthday" to you. Hope you had a wonderful, fun celebration.


Belated Birthday Wishes: Belated Happy Birthday Messages

Here's a belated "Happy Birthday" to a friend who knows the real me, but still likes me anyway. Thanks for being a friend who forgives everything I do.

You have so many great qualities, but your greatest is your capacity for forgiveness. Please forgive me for these belated "Happy Birthday" wishes!

Anybody can remember a birthday, but only your best friend is able to remember your birthday, days and days after it. Happy birthday!


Belated Birthday Wishes: Belated Happy Birthday Messages

I'm so sorry for forgetting your big day. This doesn't mean that you're unimportant to me. It means that you're too close a friend for me to ghost you, even though I feel stupid for missing your special day. Happy birthday (a little late), my friend.

I wish I could turn back the clock, just to wish you "Happy Birthday" on time. But I can't. Hope you can forgive me. Happy birthday, pal!

Wishing you all the birthday joy that life has to offer. I know I'm a little late but, as my BFF, I hope you understand: I'm an idiot! Happy birthday from a very sorry friend.


Belated Birthday Wishes: Belated Happy Birthday Messages

I hope you had a wonderful time on your birthday. I know I wasn't there for it this time, but you should know I regret every second I was late with my birthday wishes. Happy birthday!

Sorry, I missed your big day, so I'll share my belated birthday wishes with you now: May the universe fill your life with unbridled joy. Happy birthday!

Here's my belated birthday wish for you, my dearest friend: may all your dreams, no matter how fanciful, come true this year. 


Belated Birthday Wishes: Belated Happy Birthday Messages

I may be late in wishing "Happy Birthday" to you, but my wish for you is the same all 365 days of the year: be well, be happy, be strong, be yourself. That's what makes you a true friend.

I may be the last to wish "Happy Birthday" to you this year, but you know what they say, right? You should always save the best for last. Happy birthday, pal.

Happy birthday! Although this birthday wish comes to you a few days late, my hope is that it brings you joy every day of the year.


Belated Birthday Wishes: Belated Happy Birthday Messages

If I know you, your birthday celebration is still going strong way after your big day, so my birthday wish for you is not technically late. Happy birthday, BFF.

Happy birthday! Even though I missed my chance to wish you well on your birthday, I hope that you did not miss out on the best celebration ever.

I was in such shock that you're getting older that I couldn't even compose myself to wish you "Happy Birthday" on time. Happy birthday from your lousy friend (and a lousy liar).


Belated Birthday Wishes: Belated Happy Birthday Messages

I have this nagging feeling that you celebrated your birthday just the other day. Oh yeah, it was the other day. Sorry, I'm late with my birthday wishes. Happy birthday, pal.

Hope you had a happy birthday. Even though my "Happy Birthday" arrived after your birthday, I truly hope you're happy 365 days a year. 

Happy birthday! Please, please, please forgive me for being late (and last) with your birthday wishes. Remember, good friends don't let good friends go unforgiven.







Belated Birthday Wishes
- Family -

Need ideas when it comes belated birthday wishes for your family? Below are examples you can use, combine or change to create belated birthday wishes for your brother, sister, mother, father or cousin.


I would do anything for you, but I can't turn back time, so this "Happy Birthday" is, unfortunately, a little late in arriving. Sorry, [bro, sis, Mom, Dad, cous]!

If I could defy the laws of physics, I would turn back the clock and wish you "Happy Birthday" on time. So, a little late than never, happy birthday, [bro, sis, Mom, Dad, cous]!

Happy birthday, [bro, sis, Mom, Dad, cous]! I know I’m a bit late in wishing "Happy Birthday" to you, but I also know you love me so much that I'm forgiven, right? Pretty please!


Belated Birthday Wishes: Belated Happy Birthday Messages

I may have forgotten your birthday, but does this "faux pas" of mine really matter...at your age? Happy birthday, [bro, sis, Mom, Dad, cous], you old fart!

In the spirit of family peace, [bro, sis, Mom, Dad, cous], why don't we just pretend that my belated birthday wishes weren't late at all?! Happy birthday!

Anybody can remember to wish you "Happy Birthday" on your big day. How many people can remember to do it days later. Only family can. That’s right, [bro, sis, Mom, Dad, cous], I just did an amazing thing for you. Happy birthday!


Belated Birthday Wishes: Belated Happy Birthday Messages

Oops, I did it again...I missed your birthday! I wish I could tell you that I forgot your big day for a good reason, but I don't have one. Happy birthday! Do you still love me?

I forgot your birthday but I have a good reason: TDS (Time Distortion Syndrome). I suffer from it whenever I'm embarrassingly late. Sorrrry! Happy birthday!

[Bro, Sis, Mom, Dad, Cous], I know I forgot your birthday this year, so here's an early "Happy Birthday" for next year. Who says I don't love you.


Belated Birthday Wishes: Belated Happy Birthday Messages

Happy birthday! If you were born today instead of yesterday, my belated birthday wishes wouldn't be late at all. As usual, this is your fault.

Happy birthday! Sorry for the belated birthday wishes. I guess I just assumed you wouldn't notice at your ripe, old age. My bad.

Happy birthday! I’m sorry for the belated birthday wishes, but can you really blame me? It's almost impossible to remember your birthday. You look as young as ever, [bro, sis, Mom, Dad, cous]!


Belated Birthday Wishes: Belated Happy Birthday Messages

I have good news and bad news for you. The bad news, as you know, is that I forgot your birthday. The good news? I forgot your age, too. Happy birthday, [bro, sis, Mom, Dad, cous]!

I bet you got a pile of birthday messages on your big day. Now that your birthday, birthday cake and balloons are long gone, who do you think is still celebrating your birthday? Me, that's who. I'm the only one who's still celebrating your birthday. Happy birthday. Feels good, right? 

Because you haven't changed at all since your last birthday and you are as beautiful as you ever were, I forgot your birthday this year. Happy birthday, [bro, sis, Mom, Dad, cous]!


Belated Birthday Wishes: Belated Happy Birthday Messages

Hey, I wasn't "late" with your birthday wishes. I was "fashionably late"... on purpose. Just saying. Anyway, happy birthday, [bro, sis, Mom, Dad, cous]!

In lieu of a surprise party, I thought I'd surprise you with belated birthday wishes. You're family, after all. Anyway, happy birthday, [bro, sis, Mom, Dad, cous]!

You should take my belated birthday wishes as a compliment. You look so good for your age that I forgot your birthday. Anyway, happy birthday, [bro, sis, Mom, Dad, cous]!


Belated Birthday Wishes: Belated Happy Birthday Messages

I was late with my birthday wishes for a very (albeit selfish) reason: I didn’t want to be the first person to remind you that you’re becoming an old fart. Happy birthday, [bro, sis, Mom, Dad, cous]!

I'm a big believer in making birthday celebrations last for days and days. Hence, my belated birthday wishes. That's what makes me a great [daughter, son, brother, sister, mother, father] Happy birthday, [bro, sis, Mom, Dad, cous]!

Happy birthday to the world's best [daughter, son, brother, sister, mother, father, cousin] from the worst [daughter, son, brother, sister, mother, father, cousin in the world. Sorry for the belated birthday wishes!







Belated Birthday Wishes
- Funny -


Hope you had a happy birthday. Yes, I missed your special day by a mile, but I think that this birthday message will make you smile — or am I just in denial.

Hope you had a great birthday. I missed eating your cake on your birthday, so I plan to eat at least two desserts today to make up for it.

Hope you had a wonderful birthday. I'm a little late, so I hope you're on the "better late than never" team. Yaaaaay, late team!


Belated Birthday Wishes: Belated Happy Birthday Messages

Hope you had a happy birthday! There's no excuse for how late I am with your birthday message, but you know I can make one up if I had to. 

Although I lost my mind for all 24 hours of your birthday and forgot to wish  "happy birthday" to you, I hope you'll accept a "belated happy birthday" now as a down payment for a BIG, BIG, BIG birthday hug.

It’s apparent that you have been blessed with many things on your birthday. Unfortunately, a punctual birthday message from me was not one of them. Hope you had an amazing day!


Belated Birthday Wishes: Belated Happy Birthday Messages

It feels like you just had a birthday the other day. Oh yeah, you did. Sorry, I am late. Wishing you a belated happy birthday!

I know I'm a little late with your "Happy Birthday" this year. Don't hate me. I just forgot to remember your birthday. Happy birthday.

Hey, I may be late with your birthday wish, but I’m at least on time with my apology. Happy birthday.


Belated Birthday Wishes: Belated Happy Birthday Messages

A real friend takes you drinking on your birthday to make you forget your age. I forgot your birthday but we can still go drinking to forget I forgot it. Wishing you a belated happy birthday!

I didn't really forget your special day — I just figured you deserved more than one this year. Hope you had a terrific birthday!

Hope you had an unbelieveable birthday. For me, it's almost impossible to remember your special day. No matter what age you turn, you don't look a day over your last birthday.


Belated Birthday Wishes: Belated Happy Birthday Messages

I wanted to give you your birthday message late, so you would have enough time to grieve the loss of your youth. Hope your birthday was rejuvenating.

This birthday message is not late. It’s unbelievably early — for your next birthday. Hope your special day was as incredible as you are (yes, I'm buttering you up)!

I'm sorry I missed your birthday, but you've had so many that I've lost count. Wishing you a belated "happy birthday!"


Belated Birthday Wishes: Belated Happy Birthday Messages

A belated "happy birthday" to my favorite person in the world. Sure, technically, I forgot your birthday. In reality, though, I was once again just fashionably late for another BIG event.

Lately, you have been on my mind — a little too late, though. So here's my belated "happy birthday" wish for you.

Hope your birthday was the best ever. I'm very sorry I missed it — it totally slipped my mind. I guess that's what happens when you've had too many birthdays of your own.


I like to be the first to wish people a “happy birthday,” so consider this birthday wish 11 months or so early.

Yes, it's true that I completely forgot your birthday but I think I should get some points for remembering I forgot it. Hope you had an incredibly wonderful special day!

I'm late, I'm late, I'm late for a very important date. And that date would be your birthday. Hope yours was great!


Belated Birthday Wishes: Belated Happy Birthday Messages

Darling, the best birthday wishes are like the best people — they come fashionably late. Hope your birthday was a smashing success!

You shouldn't unfriend me because I didn't remember your birthday. You should unfriend me because I remember your age. Hope you had a wonderful birthday!

Sorry, I missed your actual birthday but I've rescheduled it for, um, uh, today. Happy birthday!


A belated "happy birthday" from your BFF. Sure, I completely forgot your birthday but I promise you that this won't happen again this year.

Violets are blue. Roses are red. I'm too late for this year's party, so think of this "happy birthday" as a year ahead.

Hope your birthday was fantastic! I’m truly sorry for forgetting it. I messed up and I would like to make it right. What do you need me to do for you? Nothing gross, though!


Belated Birthday Wishes: Belated Happy Birthday Messages

A belated "happy birthday" to you, my best, best, best friend. Sorry for the late birthday wishes but you know me: I live in the slow lane — so slow that I'm always behind you and everybody else. That's why I'm way behind you when it comes to celebrating your birthday. 

I'm so sorry for missing your birthday but look at it this way: your birthday celebration is so much longer this year because of me.

Belated birthday wishes are like the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus and Easter Bunny. All come bearing gifts...just not on your birthday. Happy birthday, anyway.


I have good news and bad news for you. First, the bad news: I forgot your birthday. Now, the good news: I also forgot how old you are. Hope your "whatever" birthday was great.

Your birthday is undeniably a special occasion worth celebrating more than once a year! Happy birthday...again.

On your birthday, it's a time for your good friends to celebrate you. After your birthday, it’s a time for your not-so-organized, slightly forgetful, yet well-intentioned, good friends to celebrate you! Sooooo, happy birthday.


Belated Birthday Wishes: Belated Happy Birthday Messages

I assumed that, at your age, you would forget that I forgot your birthday. But I was incorrect — I forgot that you forget nothing except my birthday.   

I hope you had a positively wonderful birthday. Anyway, enough about you. Let's talk about me.

Sorry, I missed your birthday. This is what happens when you don't remind me about it. Try a little harder next year. Anyway, happy birthday!







Belated Birthday Wishes
- Colleague -

Whether you need belated birthday wishes for one of your colleagues or your boss, get inspired by the examples below. Feel free to change these birthday messages, combine them or use them (as is).


Happy birthday! Sorry for sending these birthday wishes a bit late. Hope you had a wonderfully special day. You deserve it.

Happy birthday! Hope these belated birthday wishes find you in good spirits and good health.

A very special (albeit belated) "Happy Birthday" to you! For the record, this doesn't mean I'm late with everything. Just saying.


Belated Birthday Wishes: Belated Happy Birthday Messages

Happy birthday! May the road ahead of you be paved with joy, adventure, health, prosperity and punctual happy birthdays.

Happy birthday! First, I'd like to say sorry for the belated birthday wishes. More importantly, I'd also like to thank you for being such an inspirational leader and mentor for all of us here.

Here's to you: a belated birthday wish that you only know joy and inspiration at work and play. Happy birthday!


Belated Birthday Wishes: Belated Happy Birthday Messages

Wishing you, my favorite [colleague, boss] ever, a belated happy birthday. Sorry for missing your big day.

Happy birthday! I may be late for your big day, but my wish for you every day is always the same: may you feel inspired and alive by whatever you do.

Happy birthday! These wishes are belated, so I will get right to the point (I don't want to be any later): may all your birthdays and tomorrows be blessed with immense joy.


Belated Birthday Wishes: Belated Happy Birthday Messages

Wishing a very special [colleague, boss] an incredibly special, incredibly late "happy birthday" and, of course, incredible joy and health.

You have been not only a wonderful [colleague, boss] but also a great friend. Friends shouldn't miss a friend's birthday. Sorry I missed it. Happy birthday.

Wishing you a slightly belated "happy birthday," [colleague, boss]. May you continue to be blessed with success.



Sending very special, belated birthday wishes to the greatest [colleague, boss] in the world. Hope your birthday was (and today is) amazing in every way, just like you.

Happy "a-bit-late" birthday to the best [colleague, boss] in this company (in fact, in the world). Too much, eh?

Sure, I'm late with your birthday wishes, but I was saving my best birthday wishes for my favorite [colleague, boss] for last. You really are my favorite.







Hints & Tips

If you need a few pointers to write the ideal belated birthday wishes before you check out the examples on this page, all you need to do is take a few minutes to check out the hints and tips right below.


What are the best belated birthday wishes?

Belated Birthday Wishes: Belated Happy Birthday Messages"Happy Belated Birthday" is wrong.
"Belated Happy Birthday" is the right way.

Forgetting somebody’s birthday can make you feel a little embarrassed. Worse, your family or friends may think you don’t care about them enough to remember their special day. They may even be mad at you for forgetting it.

Enter belated birthday wishes, the cure for “birthday forgetitis” whenever you mess up. Sure, you may have forgotten the birthday of someone special but well-written belated birthday wishes can make up for it...big time.

But not all belated "happy birthday" wishes are created equal. Some are too funny or too serious for their own good. What should your belated birthday wishes say? Should it be funny or serious? Should it be apologetic? That depends on how sensitive the recipients are about you forgetting their birthday:

  • If the birthday boy or girl has a good sense of humor and is not mad at you for your forgetfulness, go the funny route with your belated birthday wishes.
  • If the birthday boy or girl has a good sense of humor, but is slightly mad at you for your forgetfulness, you should still go the funny route and be a little bit apologetic with your belated birthday wishes. 
  • If the birthday boy or girl has a sense of humor, but is very mad at you, skip the funny route altogether and take the serious, apologetic path. 
  • If the birthday boy or girl has no sense of humor and is slightly angry at you, take the serious, apologetic path. 
  • If the birthday boy or girl has no sense of humor and is very mad at you, go straight to the serious, apologetic path (and hope for the best).

That's not all you should consider when you write a belated birthday greeting. You should also think about grammar. Yes, grammar. Most people are not aware of the fact that "happy belated birthday" is grammatically incorrect, so you won't see it on this page.

"Belated birthday wishes" or "Here's a belated happy birthday" (or a variation of these expressions) are correct, though. To find out why, read a short grammarist.com article on this very subject.

Ultimately, your goal is to rectify the situation and make the birthday boy or girl feel just as special as he or she would have felt had you sent your birthday wish on time (or more special, if you're really ambitious with your belated birthday wishes).

To virtually guarantee that you've made up for your forgetfulness, the examples of belated birthday messages on this page contain three very important ingredients:

  • Contriteness (the fact that you are filled with a sense of guilt over this blunder of yours and only want atonement from the birthday boy or girl)
  • Self-deprecation (the act of belittling yourself in a funny, almost modest way to show you are, after all, human — and humans are entitled to make mistakes sometimes)
  • Post-birthday jubilation (a demonstration of your excitement over special someone's birthday, even days after the fact)

At the end of the day, belated birthday greetings with a healthy dose of contriteness, self-deprecation and post-birthday jubilation will only make it easier for you to actually be genuinely sorry about your mishap...until the next time you forget someone's birthday.
















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Message Guy
Creator of this site

Kevin, the "Message Guy" who writes the birthday wishes, quotes, poems, toasts and speeches on BirthdayMessages.net, has been a content writer since 1993. He created this site in 2012 to share the power of words with you on one of the best days of the year — the birthday of a loved one.

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