What to Write in a Belated Birthday Card

Category: Thank Yous

It’s normal for anyone to forget their loved ones’ birthdays. We sometimes get so busy that we barely have time for ourselves, let alone recall important dates and events. We may even forget to send them a birthday card!

Our friends, brothers, sisters, and life partners want us to be the first to send them a birthday card on their special day. In case we forget to send them, they might feel ignored or hurt. In such cases, belated birthday wishes can be the best option to express how thankful we are for them or let them know that we haven’t forgotten.

Here’s insight into some of the best belated birthday wishes to your spouse, friends, parents, siblings, or even employees.

Step #1: Text or Call

Send them a note letting them know their birthday gift is on its way, but may be late. Ask if they have time to talk on the phone or via video chat tomorrow (or whenever their birthday is).

Step #2: Choose Your Gift

Select a present that is easily accessible and in stock, and have it delivered as soon as possible. Many gifts are available right away, especially if you’re thinking about sending one via mail or ordering online. Consider giving an “experience” gift, such as tickets to a baseball game or a concert.

Step #3: Excuse the Lateness and Express your Birthday Wishes

So, after weeks, months, or even years of procrastination, you’ve finally decided to write that long-overdue birthday note. You’re going to do an excellent job!

First, apologize for the lateness of your birthday note while also expressing gratitude. Refrain from explaining the note’s lateness. A simple sentence should do. An example of such a note can be:

Accept my sincerest apologies for the lateness in wishing you a happy birthday. We want you to know how much we appreciated the time we spent together last December.

Step #4: Be Sincere and Apologetic

It’s sometimes best to be sincere in your belated birthday card greeting. Taking responsibility is one of the most effective ways to avoid wounded feelings and repair a relationship.

These are some ideas for what to write when you’ve forgotten someone’s birthday or are running late with a birthday card or present. Some of the best examples include:

  • I know this isn’t the first time I’ve disappointed you, and it won’t be the last. I like your willingness to accept me as I am, flaws and all. Happy birthday, although a little late! I apologize for the delay in sending this message.
  • I apologize for not being able to reach you in time to wish you a happy birthday. Nonetheless, I have the opportunity to wish you a happy belated birthday.
  • Sorry for the late birthday wishes, but at least you won’t have to wait another year to receive birthday wishes, happy belated birthday.

Step #5: Choose Your Gift Accompanying Card

Make them laugh, and their frustration or wrath will fade, especially if you show them that caring, personal touch. You can also try to buy your way out of trouble.


sample belated birthday card and envelope

Giving something large, high-quality, or extravagant can be an excellent way to demonstrate that you mean what you say and that you care enough to express it. Aside from gifts, spending quality time with them is also another great option. Take them on a one-of-a-kind adventure, just the two of you. Try an excellent restaurant, a picnic, a couple of hours spent over coffee, and a fun day excursion are also some of the options you can try out.

Step #6: Choose Your Ideal Message

Who do you wish to send a belated birthday card to? Here are some of the belated wishes to different people in your life; don’t forget that the way you end your message is important too. Meaning, if it’s a close relative, perhaps signing “with love” would be ideal; in other cases, an “I love you, darling” may be better.

A Belated Birthday Wish to a Friend

  • I may have missed the actual day, but I’ll never forget to wish you a wonderful birthday. To you, dear friend, belated love and hugs.
  • Here’s to you and the incredible year ahead of you. May all of your hopes and dreams come true! Happy birthday, though a little late!
  • It’s not that I forgot about your birthday; it’s just that I don’t think you ever get older. I hope you enjoyed your special day!
  • Okay, I made a mistake. I somehow missed your birthday since time got away from me. I hope you had a wonderful day and that the next year brings you much joy.
  • The distinguished guest is always the last to arrive. So here I am, offering you a belated birthday greeting. I hope you got the most out of it.
  • Although my birthday greetings are late, they will never be insincere. I hope they all had a wonderful birthday!

Belated Birthday Wishes to Your Wife/Husband

  • We’ve reached a point in our lives when we don’t have to prove ourselves to each other; our love is mature. Even if I am late, I am honored to be a part of your special day—happy birthday, dear, a day late.
  • All I have to give is my apologies for being late. And a guarantee that, even if I am late, I will always be there for you, no matter what. Sweetheart, I wish you a happy birthday.
  • We may be preoccupied with our own lives, oblivious to the fact that they are vital. But, in the end, we do unconditionally love each other—honey, happy belated birthday.

Belated Birthday Wishes to Your Girlfriend

  • Your birthday may be considered a special occasion by the rest of the world. But every day with you has been notable for me. I realize I’m late in making my wish, but love doesn’t care about being on time. Our connection is based on much deeper feelings—sweetie, happy birthday. I wish you all of your dreams to come true.
  • You were always the hare in our relationship, and I was always the turtle. Despite my delay, you know that nothing matters to me more than your special day. A belated happy birthday, sweetheart.
  • I know you’re upset, but I always know how to make you feel better. I am yours to command, from your favorite candy to your favorite jewelry. My darling, a belated happy birthday.
  • I chose to be the last since I couldn’t be the first. Because I prefer to avoid crowds whenever possible. Now put a lasting smile on your face and give it to me. Baby, have a wonderful birthday.

Belated Birthday to Your Boss

  • I wish you all the best for a prosperous, happy, and healthy life. To an exceptional employer, a belated birthday to you.
  • You’ve been a fantastic boss as well as a lovely friend. I apologize for missing your special day. Happy birthday, although a little late.
  • Happy birthday, boss, although a little late. May God continue to bless you with prosperity in all areas of your life.
  • Even though it is late, this birthday greeting is full of warmth, love, and sincerity. May you achieve success in both your personal and professional lives this year. Happy birthday, although a little late.
  • Sending belated birthday wishes to the world’s best boss. I hope your birthday was just as memorable as you. I wish you a happy belated birthday.

Belated Birthday Wishes to a Family Member

  • I apologize for not attending your special day. I wish you a belated happy birthday and continued success.
  • Families are the most vital links for a reason; time doesn’t matter; only feelings do. You know you’re always in my heart, even if I’m late. Happy birthday, dear.
  • My wishes may not have arrived on time, but punctuality is not required in families. I’ve always wanted the best for you, and I continue to do so now and forever. Happy birthday, my dear, although a little late.
  • For all the right reasons, you’ve always been my favorite in the family. Please accept my apologies for being late; nonetheless, I always pray for the best for you. Brother, have a wonderful birthday.
  • I’ve known you since you were born, and I’ve watched you develop into a lovely human being. Although I am late, you have always been on my mind and in my heart. Happy belated birthday.

Step #7: Work on Your Reminders

Although it is never too late to send a belated birthday card, it is imperative never to explain your lateness next time. Ensure you mark important dates on your calendar or place a reminder to help you remember.

Also consider automating your birthday cards with Handwrytten to avoid ever being late again!

Final Thoughts

Birthdays are one of the most important days in an individual’s life and failing to wish your loved ones a happy birthday might hurt their feelings. However, even if you forget, there’s always an opportunity to send a belated birthday card or gift to console your friends and family.

Make a happy birthday video or give them a belated birthday card. Ensure you put the above tips into consideration while sending your next belated birthday card, and there is no doubt that you will experience exceptional results.

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