One day you’re innocently scrolling through Facebook when you land on a friend’s post thanking everyone for the birthday wishes they sent. All of a sudden you think to yourself, “Shoot. Did I remember it was their birthday yesterday?” Sure enough, your brain forgot to remind you.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- Sincere ‘Happy Belated Birthday’ Messages for a Friend
- ‘Happy Belated Birthday’ Messages for a Close Family Member
- Professional ‘Happy Belated Birthday’ Messages for an Email
- Funny ‘Happy Belated Birthday’ Messages
- ‘Happy Belated Birthday’ Post Ideas for Social Media
If you find yourself in the precarious position of missing someone’s birthday and needing to wish them a “Happy Birthday” after the special day has already passed, it’s okay! Life gets busy and the important thing is that you still take time to wish them a happy day even if it’s a day late.
Here are a few ways you can make up for the fact that you skipped their special day.
Sincere ‘Happy Belated Birthday’ Messages for a Friend
When you send a Happy Belated Birthday message it’s important to come across sincere, creative, and genuinely caring. Whether they’re a close friend or somewhat distant to you, a genuine message can make all the difference in their day—even if it’s a belated greeting.
1. “Happy Belated Birthday to the best friend a girl/guy could ever ask for!”
This message emphasizes how much you appreciate your friend being in your life and is a message anyone would be happy to receive.
2. “I’m celebrating you today and all year through because you’re just that awesome. Happy Belated Birthday!”
You might be a day or two behind in wishing someone a happy birthday but, as always, it’s the thought that counts. Telling your friend how much you think of them will go a long way.
3. “To the best friend ever! Happy Belated Birthday!”
This is short, sweet, and to the point. The complement helps smooth over the fact that it’s a day or two behind.
4. “Happy Belated Birthday! I hope you have a day that is as great as you are!”
This is another message that puts the emphasis on the person and your happy wishes and can be used for nearly anyone—close or distant friend.
5. “You deserve a whole week of birthdays! Happy Birthday Day 2!”
Use this creative greeting and switch out the number with however many days you are late in wishing the person a happy birthday.
‘Happy Belated Birthday’ Messages for a Close Family Member
The hardest “late” birthday messages are to family members. Use these so they know you love them and care and didn’t entirely forget about their big day.
6. “You’re the best [aunt/uncle/grandparent etc]! I hope your [number] year is as great as you!”
This is simple but sweet and endearing and works even if you’re a day or two behind.
7. “Happy Belated Birthday, Mom! You are so much more to me than my mom. You’ve always been my greatest supporter, my cheerleader, and my friend. I hope this year is your best yet.”
Sometimes, the unthinkable happens and you find yourself texting, “Happy Birthday, Mom” a day late. It’s always better late than never, however, and your mom will appreciate your encouraging words just the same.
8. Send a virtual hug
These days, we’re increasingly separated by busy work schedules and physical distance. If you want to send a Happy Belated Birthday message that communicates how much you care, send a virtual hug to that special person.
9. Send virtual flowers
Is there anything better than getting a greeting and flowers? Now you can do both.
10. “I’m so thankful you’re my [Grandma/Grandfather/etc]! You make every day worth celebrating. Happy Belated Birthday!”
Tell the person you love why they’re important to you and let them know that you celebrate them every day of the year.
Professional ‘Happy Belated Birthday’ Messages for an Email
If you need to send a birthday message to a boss or coworker, here are a few things you can do.
11. Donate to a charity they love
Everyone appreciates a donation in their honor—even if it is a day or two after their special day.
12. Send an e-card
Choose a professional e-card that is fitting for a boss or coworker and include a nice message.
13. “A great co-worker/boss should be celebrated all year long! Happy Belated Birthday!”
Happy Birthday messages don’t have to be long. Sometimes, short and sweet works just as well.
14. “Hope each day of the year is just as great as your birthday was. Happy Belated Birthday!”
This message works well if you had a party or celebration for the person where you work.
15. “Here’s to the best year yet! Happy Belated Birthday!”
If you need a message for a coworker you don’t know particularly well, use this message.
Funny ‘Happy Belated Birthday’ Messages
Sometimes the best belated birthday messages are ones that make someone laugh. Use this opportunity to put a smile on your friend or relative’s face.
16. “Happy Belated Birthday, ya filthy animal!”
Everyone knows the reference to the classic Home Alone movie. It’s funny and is bound to bring a smile to the face of your friend.
17. “So, you know how I’m always late all the time? Well, I decided to make it a permanent part of my life and continue the tradition with your birthday. Happy Birthday a day late—or on time, for me!”
If you already have a hard time getting to places on time and your friend knows it, use it to your advantage. Have some fun with your mistake and your friend will probably be amused and thankful that you still remembered.
18. “Did you know it was your birthday yesterday? I bet you totally didn’t know, right? Well, I’m here to tell you. Yesterday was your birthday! Hope you had a great one and if you didn’t, consider today a do-over.”
You might have forgotten to say “Happy Birthday” on time but it doesn’t mean you can’t make your belated message bring a smile to their face.
19. Post a funny gif
There are numerous gifs that work for funny Happy Belated Birthday messages. Choose one that you know will make your friend or loved one smile.
20. Post a goofy picture
Get creative and post a funny picture wishing your friend or loved one a Happy Belated Birthday.
Pro tip: Include a child, pet, or fun props to give your picture extra character.
‘Happy Belated Birthday’ Post Ideas for Social Media
Social media is a great place to post birthday messages. Your friend or loved one is sure to see it and it’s bound to make them smile.
21. “Happy Belated Birthday, [Name]! I hope you had a wonderful day yesterday and have a great day today, too! You deserve the best of every day all year long!”
This message offers a genuine and sincere wish for their birthday and the new year they are entering. It acknowledges that you missed their special day but makes up for it with a happy message for the day.
22. Short video clip
Take a 30-second video of you sharing a happy birthday message for your friend and post it to their social media page. It’s personal and they’ll enjoy seeing you speak to them.
Pro Tip: Include something unique and fun in the video. For example, have your child or your pet help you wish your friend a happy belated birthday.
23. Post an old-time photo
Find the earliest picture you have of the two of you or of the person alone and post it with a short message like, “Happy Belated Birthday! Can’t believe I’ve gotten to have you in my life for [number] years! Here’s to the next [number]!”
24. Post a GIF
Even though the majority of GIFs are used as funny punchlines, there are some you can utilize to wish someone a happy belated birthday. Post one you think your friend will enjoy along with a message wishing them all the best for their new year.
25. “Happy Belated Birthday, [Name]! I hope this year is even more amazing than last year and that you see all your hopes and dreams come true! Keep on reaching for the stars!”
Use this message for someone who has been working toward specific goals in their life. This greeting tells your friend that you not only care about their birthday but that you care about their goals, interest, and life, as well.
26. Send a voice message
If you don’t want to post something publicly, consider sending them a voice greeting instead. Message them through a social media platform they use and wish them a happy belated birthday.
Pro Tip: Spice up your message by singing “Happy Birthday” or having your child or a friend join you in the greeting.
27. Send a digital gift
Most social media platforms give you the option to send digital gifts such as a gift card. Send a gift card directly to your friend through their social media account and attach a message wishing them a happy belated birthday and a wonderful new year.
28. Donate to a cause
Social media platforms like Facebook give those with a birthday the opportunity to raise funds for a charity. If your friend posted about a charity, take a few minutes to donate and attach a message to your friend.
It won’t matter that your donation is a day or two late—what matters is that you care enough to get involved.
29. Create a picture collage
Create a collage of you holding signs wishing your friend or loved one a happy belated birthday. This will be a fun way to let them know you care.
Pro Tip: For each word, take the picture in a different location or hold it in different ways. Make it fun, creative, and interesting, and it’s sure to bring a smile to their face.
30. “Happy Belated Birthday! You’re so awesome that you should get two days to celebrate instead of just one! Here’s to celebrating you!”
Belated birthday messages don’t have to sound apologetic. Have some fun with it and use a message like this to tell your friend or loved one they should be celebrated as much as possible.
Better Late Than Never
Even if you’re a day or two late, it’s better to send someone a greeting for their special day. Life is too short to feel embarrassed about missing a day. It’s always better to take the time to tell someone how much you appreciate them, love them, and care. They’ll appreciate it more than you know.