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
- Happy Belated Birthday Messages for a Parent
- Happy Belated Birthday Messages for a Sibling
- Happy Belated Birthday Messages for a Niece or Nephew
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.
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‘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.
Happy Belated Birthday Messages for a Parent
If you forget your parent’s birthday, you can typically count on them being pretty forgiving. Own up to your mistake, and use one of these messages to tell them you remembered their special day… eventually.
31. “Happy Belated Birthday, Dad! I hope you had a great day yesterday while you celebrated, and I wish you an even better year ahead! Here’s to you. Cheers!”
Sometimes it’s best to just come right out and say it. Yes, you forgot. But yes, you still love them and want to wish them some cheer for their special day. It’s always better late than never.
32. “Mom, you know how I’m always late? Well, I figured I’d keep up the trend. Otherwise, you might think someone kidnapped me. Happy belated birthday!”
Are you known for being constantly late? Maybe you were born late, you always show up late at parties, and you arrive fashionably late at family get-togethers. And then you forgot your own mom’s birthday. Just run with it. After all, if you weren’t late wishing her a happy birthday, how would she know it was really you?
33. “Happy Belated Birthday, Step-Dad! You’re the father I always wanted and the best friend I’ve ever had. Thank you for always sticking with me, even when I’m late wishing you a happy birthday. You know I’m your number one fan.”
Sprinkle in a lot of love with your late birthday message and it will more than make up for the delayed greeting.
34. “Mom, I hope you had the best of birthdays yesterday. I cannot wait to spend time with you and celebrate together next week. Happy, happy birthday, Mom! Here’s to another awesome 65 years!”
Sometimes you don’t need to mention the fact that you’re running behind on wishing someone a happy birthday. If your parent knows that your life is so crazy you can barely think straight, send a message wishing them a happy birthday. Be sure to set a date to celebrate together, and they’ll have something to look forward to.
35. “Happy Birthday, Dad. I know this comes a couple of days late, but I wanted to let you know I’ve been thinking of you. Even though we haven’t talked much lately, I want you to know I care. Here’s to a happier year ahead.”
If you have a strained relationship with your parent and delayed wishing them a happy birthday because of it, a message like this could be an appropriate way to reach out.
36. “Happy birthday week to you, Mom! Hope you’re enjoying each day of your birthday week/month! Cards incoming all birthday week/month long!”
Feel bad for missing your parent’s birthday by a day or two? Make it up by showering them with cards during the remaining of their birthday week or month. Turn an oops into something fun and creative that makes them smile.
37. “You know how you’re always saying you wish you could rewind time and make me young again? This time it’s my turn. I wish I could rewind time and wish you a happy birthday on the right day! ”
Relate your wish to rewind time to this common wish parents often express. They’ll understand and smile at the comparison.
38. “HBBM! Love you so much! Love, YPLD.”
Have a parent who can’t get enough of texting in shorthand, even if they have to make up their own acronyms? Give them an acronym message of your own, like this one. Just be sure to let them know what it means.
Translation: Happy Belated Birthday, Mom! Love you so much! Love, Your Perpetually Late Daughter.
39. “Happy birthday, Dad! You know I’m always late so for your birthday this year, I got a jump on next year! Happy early birthday!”
If you want to have some fun with a belated birthday greeting, just tell them you’re not late─ you’re really, really early!
40. “Happy Belated Birthday to the best parent on the planet! Thanks for being awesome—and forgiving my late greeting. Love you!”
If you want a straightforward message, use one like this.
Happy Belated Birthday Messages for a Sibling
Siblings can be pretty forgiving, and forgetting to send a birthday greeting just might be overlooked—as long as you send one at some point. Give them a smile with some of these belated birthday greetings.
41. “You’re the best brother/sister in the whole wide world! Want to know why? I’ll tell you—it’s because you forgive me for not getting this message to you on time. Happy Belated Birthday to the best sibling I could wish for!”
Your brother or sister really will understand. After all, what are brothers or sisters for if not for holding things over each other’s heads and poking fun because of it at a later date? In fact, you might have just given them a gift—something to tease you about later on. Forgetting your own brother or sister’s birthday, and all.
42. “Happy Belated Birthday! I think we should just pretend my card arrived on time and call it good. After all, the present doesn’t have an expiration date, right?”
Did you send a late card with a gift card or gift certificate inside? Use a message like this to say you’re sorry, but remind them that you love them.
43. “So, you’re still alive, huh? I held off on wishing you a happy birthday because I didn’t think you’d live this long. Just joking! Happy Birthday, bro! Here’s to another awesome year!”
Are you and your sibling getting older? Poke a little fun at your age with a belated message like this one.
44. “So I heard that all of your adoring fans said hello yesterday. Well, who is still around today? Huh? That’s right—me. I’m around. Happy Birthday, bro. From the sibling who will be here the day after.”
Send a message like this to poke fun at the fact that you missed their big day. On the upside, you’ll always be there for them. Whether that’s a good thing or not, you can let them decide.
45. “I suppose some people would say this message is late, but I say this is right on time. After all, it was you who arrived early. Happy Belated Birthday!”
Does your family have a story about how far ahead of the due date your brother or sister arrived? If so, you’re in luck! Use a message like this so you’re never late, but always on time for the real date they were expected to enter the world.
46. “Sorry this message comes late for your birthday. I’ll be on time for your birthday the rest of the year. Happy Belated Birthday!”
If you and your sibling like to joke around, use this message to tease them by promising on-time birthday messages for the rest of the year. And since their birthday is over, you’ll be off the hook.
47. “Happy Birthday, sis! So, I totally forgot your birthday, but I have an excuse! You don’t look a day older than last year. Here’s to looking so young I forgot your birthday!”
Excuse yourself from missing your sibling’s birthday by paying them a compliment, instead! They just might forgive you for being late for their special day.
48. “Sorry I missed wishing you a happy birthday on your special day! But hey, my birthday is coming up soon, and you know what they say… revenge is sweet! Happy Belated Birthday, sis!”
If they miss your birthday in return, it’ll at least make you even!
49. “Happy Belated Birthday, ya filthy animal!”
Did you and your sibling watch Home Alone together every Christmas? If so, make a fun reference to those years in your belated birthday message.
50. “Happy Belated Birthday, Sis! You’re looking better every year. I can’t wait to spend time with you and celebrate together—even if it will be a little late. Love you!”
Belated birthday wishes can still be enjoyable to receive. Simply let them know how much you love them and that you’re looking forward to celebrating later on.
Happy Belated Birthday Messages for a Niece or Nephew
As an uncle or aunt, it’s important to make sure your nieces and nephews know how much you love them. Being a tad late in wishing them a happy birthday doesn’t have to be the end of the world, however. Use one of these messages to let them know you care.
51. “To my darling niece, I wish you the happiest of years ever. You are such a joy to me and all who know you. Happy Belated Birthday, sweet girl!”
It’s not always necessary to point out the fact that you’re a day or two late in wishing someone a happy birthday. Simply let them know you care with a message like this.
52. “Nephew, I can’t believe how fast you’re growing. You’ll be 18 and moving out of your parents’ house before you know it. I hope you enjoy another awesome year. Happy Belated Birthday!”
It may be that your birthday greeting is a few days late. However, what matters is that you remembered and you want them to know you care. Send a message like this to share your late wishes.
53. “Happy belated birthday to the best nephew an uncle could ever wish for. Hope you’re enjoying your birthday week!”
Make sure you tell your niece or nephew how important they are to you. With a message like that, your delayed wishes will be worth waiting for.
54. “Sweet niece, I’m so thankful I get to be your aunt! You are such a joy to be around and I look forward to hanging out soon and celebrating your birthday together!”
Do you have a niece/aunt date to celebrate your relative’s birthday? Send a greeting and remind them that the fun day is coming up soon.
55. “Nephew, I am proud to be your uncle. You are growing up into a fine young man, someone who anyone would be proud to call a friend. You do your family proud. Keep on reaching for the stars and I’ll be here cheering you on the whole way. Happy Belated Birthday!”
Does your nephew know how much he means to you? Use this opportunity to tell him in a belated birthday message. Your words will mean the world, late or not.
56. “Niece, you’re growing into a beautiful young lady, inside and out. I’m so glad I get to be a part of your life. Happy Belated Birthday!”
Tell your niece how much you value her with a message like this. The lateness of a message is sure to get overlooked.
57. “Happy Belated Birthday, Nephew! You’re my favorite baseball player, joke teller, and all-around guy to hang out with. So thankful you’re in our lives!”
Mention specific things you love about your nephew and why you’re celebrating his birthday.
58. “I hope you have a wonderful birthday week, month, and year, Niece! You sparkle with joy and light up every room you walk into. You’re an amazing niece, daughter, sister, and friend. We love you!”
Make your birthday wishes applicable to the entire year!
59. “Nephew, when it comes to being an awesome kid, you hit the ball out of the park! You’re the best there is and we’re so glad you’re in our lives. Your Aunt and I love you and we’re very proud of the young man you’re becoming. Happy Birthday!”
Use a message like this to send your niece or nephew a birthday greeting from yourself and your spouse.
60. “Niece, you are as bright as a shining star! You can achieve whatever you put your mind to. Reach for the stars, sweet girl, and you’ll surely make it. We’ll always be here to cheer you on. Happy Birthday!”
Load your niece or nephew’s birthday message with good wishes and love to make it a memorable greeting, no matter how late it arrives.
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.