Happy Belated Birthday

Happy belated birthday wishes fall in the better-late-than-never category. That old proverb applies to these happy late birthday wishes and greetings for sure.

Use the ideas below to send the sincerest and most thoughtful – albeit belated – birthday wishes to friends and family. It’s never too late to extend the celebration. We start with the best of the best.

Best Belated Birthday Wishes

1.) I wanted to be fashionably late, but now I’m just late! Sorry, and happy belated birthday.

2.) Even though I am late for your birthday, I want you to know how special you are. I hope you had a wonderful birthday and best wishes for the year to come.

3.) The day of your birthday may have gone by, but the happiness that you are in this world will always stay. Belated happy birthday to you. May you be blessed with a year filled with abundant blessings.

4.) It is hard to believe that you are getting older. That is why I am late in wishing you a happy birthday.

5.) Please accept my belated wishes for a Happy Birthday. I hope that you had a nice time and that your dreams come true in the year to come.

6.) It’s a late one but surely not a fake one; from the deepest part of my heart, I really wish that your life will always be filled with joy, love, and happiness! Happy belated birthday!

Happy Belated Birthday Wishes.

7.) Belated Happy Birthday. I do not know how I missed your birthday, but I hope it was a good one and that you enjoyed your special day—best wishes for the coming year.

8.) Somehow, I lost track of time, and I seem to have missed your special day. I am so sorry. I hope that it was spectacular—belated Happy Birthday.

Belated Birthday Greetings

9.) Even though this is late, it’s never too late to wish you the best of everything. I hope you have a brilliant year ahead!

10.) How do you expect me to remember your birthday when you never look any older? Happy belated birthday.

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

12.) Even though this message comes to you a little late, the wish it brings for happiness is good on any day date. Belated happy birthday!

13.) I am so sorry that I forgot about your birthday. I hope that you had a good time anyway and that you have a wonderful year to come—belated Happy Birthday.

14.) The biggest surprise is always the last one. Not wishing you on time was totally intentional. I just wanted to give you a surprise. Happy belated birthday!

15.) Another year has come and gone, and I missed your special day. Please accept my apologies and my belated wishes for a Happy Birthday.

16.) Belated Happy Birthday to a wonderful and understanding person. I hope that you had a wonderful day and that the coming year brings you happiness and joy.

17.) I meant to wait so that you could extend your birthday just a little bit longer. They go by way too fast if it is just one day—happy extended birthday.


Cute Belated Birthday Messages

18.) 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. I hope you had an amazing day!

19.) Sorry I am late in wishing you a happy birthday. Lately, I have been living more on a lunar calendar than the solar one. Belated happy birthday!

20.) Sorry I missed your birthday. How weird is that? That only happens to me once per year. Happy birthday to you.

21.) 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.

22.) I have a funny feeling something important just happened, and I missed it. Was it your birthday? I hope it was a good one and that you have a great year to come.

23.) Wishing a happy birthday on time is just too mainstream. So, I decided to be a little late. I hope you had a great birthday!

24.) I am late saying happy birthday to you and maybe even the last to say it this year. So, is it true that you should save the best for last?

25.) 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!

Happy Belated Birthday Image


Sincere Belated Birthday Wishes

26.) A very late happy birthday to you, may all your wishes and dreams come true!

27.) There’s an excellent reason why this birthday wish is late… I forgot. I’m sorry! I hope you had a great day!

28.) I know that your birthday celebration was actually the best day ever in your whole life. I hope, and I pray, that God will always bless you with pure love, true happiness, and good health. Belated happy birthday!

29.) Even though this greeting has come to you a bit late, it is full of love, positivity, and good wishes. Belated happy birthday!

30.) I hope that your birthday was as wonderful and special as you are. Sorry for my late birthday wishes!

31.) I checked Google for the best “belated birthday wishes,” “late birthday greetings,” “sorry for missing your birthday,” and “late birthday wishes,” but the best one comes from my heart when I say, “Hope you had a great birthday.”

32.) I may have forgotten your birthday, but at least I remembered that I forgot! I’m so sorry! Sending my best belated happy birthday wishes to you!

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

34.) Here’s the message I should have sent: I hope your birthday was wonderful. Wonderful is exactly what you deserve.

35.) Sending you the happiest of (late) birthday wishes. I’m so sorry I missed your special day! May the coming year be full of many blessings.

You might like HBD Sister message ideas.

Happy Late Birthday for a Friend

36.) I am so grateful to have a friend such as you, who is loving and forgiving, and not forgetful, like me! Happy late birthday wishes to you!

37.) You’re such a good friend with lots of wonderful gifts—lucky for me, one of them is forgiveness! Sorry I missed your big day.

38.) Cause this birthday is just for you, and well, I wanted to stand out. That is why I let the crowd did their thing yesterday: belated happy birthday, dear friend.

39.) Happy Birthday to a warm, understanding, kind, fun, and special friend. (See? Wasn’t that worth waiting for?)

40.) Birthdays are special days, but you are special every day. I hope that your birthday was a wonderful one!

41.) I’m so sorry I forgot about your birthday. The good news is that if you forget mine next year, I’ll forgive you.

42.) Sure, everyone remembers you on your birthday. But a true friend remembers you on the days after too!

43.) Happy Birthday to my dear friend…a little late. I hope that you enjoyed the day. Sending you my best wishes and blessings for a happy and prosperous year to come.

44.) HBBD! That stands for Happy Belated Birthday! Love, YTDF (Your Terribly Disorganized Friend).

45.) I didn’t want to throw you off and actually send your card on time. This way, you know it’s from me! I hope you had a good one.

Belated Birthday Meme


Happy Funny Belated Birthday

46.) I thought I would leave you a while to come to terms with your age before sending your birthday card this year. You’re welcome.

47.) I know you think this card is a few days late. It’s actually worse than that. This is your card from 2015 that I only just got around to sending.

48.) I don’t always say Happy Birthday, but when I do… it’s always a day late.

49.) I’m so sorry for sending you belated birthday wishes. Honestly, I didn’t think you would live this long. Happy Birthday!

50.) Now that everyone else’s birthday wishes have worn off, here’s a great big one from me!

51.) Happy belated birthday! Gnomesayin?

52.) I know birthday wishes are extra special, but so is getting mail and cards on any day. So I’m sending you some extra special late birthday wishes your way to be enjoyed on this non-birthday day!

53.) I know this card is late, but I just wanted to give you time to catch your breath after blowing out ALL of those candles!

Amusing Belated Birthday Wishes

54.) I didn’t really forget your special day… I just figured you deserved more than one. Happy Belated Birthday!

55.) Sorry I missed your birthday! But you know me, always fashionably late. Belated happy birthday wishes to you!

56.) I didn’t really forget your birthday… I just wanted to help you prolong the celebrations!

57.) Happy Birthday! Don’t think of this as a late birthday card. Consider it a very early one for next year. Here’s wishing you a wonderful year ahead!

58.) Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about you. Very lately. Belated happy birthday!

59.) I promise this card isn’t late. It is intentionally arriving after your birthday because I think you deserve a whole birth month. Happy Birth-month!

60.) I wish I could rewind the clock just to get back to the right time to say happy birthday. Please forgive me! I hope you had a great day.

61.) Happy Birthday! (Leave it to me to say the right thing at the wrong time.) I hope you had a good one!

62.) I know you had lots of wishes yesterday, but who’s thinking of you today? Me, that’s who!

63.) May this be the least belated of all your belated birthday wishes!

64.) I’m so sorry I forgot about your birthday. But hey, at least I didn’t forget that I forgot.

Short Belated Birthday Greetings

65.) I didn’t forget your birthday! I just wanted to make it last longer!

66.) Let me be the first to offer you belated birthday wishes!

67.) I can’t believe I forgot! I hope you had a charming birthday.

68.) This isn’t a belated birthday message. I’m just 364 days early for next year.

69.) You know what they say about birthday wishes – better late than never! Happy birthday!

70.) Holy Cow, I forgot your birthday! Happy belated birthday. I am utterly ashamed of myself.

71.) Even though I missed your birthday by a mile, I hope you celebrated it with a smile.

72.) Birthdays are special days, but you are special every day! Happy belated birthday!

Sorry I Missed Your Birthday

73.) It wasn’t your birthday, I forgot… it was the date! I’m sorry. I hope you had a wonderful day!

74.) Silly me! I missed your birthday! I’m so sorry. Belated happy birthday wishes to you!

75.) Everyone sent you birthday wishes yesterday. Bet they aren’t thinking of you today like I am.

76.) No excuse is good enough for missing your birthday! I am very sorry. A very (late) happy birthday to you!

77.) Apologies for my belated happy birthday wishes! I hope your birthday was as special as you are!

78.) A million wishes and a thousand kisses, all just for you. I’m sorry I missed your birthday. I hope it was a wonderful day!

Good Belated Birthday Messages

79.) I never forget your birthday. I just wanted to annoy you later. Happy belated birthday!

80.) Happy Birthday Week (See what I did there)!

81.) Whoops-a-daisy! Happy belated b-day from your forgetful friend.

82.) Belated is the new black — HBD (a little late)!

83.) Got caught in traffic – happy bday late.

84.) Prolong the celebration as wishes are still coming in — HBD!

85.) The cake has been eaten and balloons deflated, so what better time for birthday wishes?

86.) Yesterday was busy, but who is thinking of you today? Me!

87.) Oops, I did it again. I forgot your birthday but came up with a good song title in the process.

88.) It took a while because I want you to have enjoyed a legendary birthday.

Belated Birthday Greetings for Best Friend

89.) HBD to someone who is forever young and forever understanding of their forgetful friends.

90.) Happy Little-Bit-Late Birthday@

91.) If this were a birthday greeting, it would be late. But it’s not. Well, maybe. Anyway, HBD!

92.) Dog Gone It! I forgot your Bday but wished you the best a day late.

93.) Like you, some things are better with age, e.g., birthday cards.

94.) Extending the celebration with this note!

95.) My dog ate my birthday card to you (yeah, this didn’t work in grade school either.).

96.) By missing your birthday, now you’re even older. Darn… HBD!

Rhyming Late Birthday Wishes

97.) Oh my goodness.
Me oh my!
I let your birthday
Just slip right by.

98.) Although my wishes turned up late,
I hope your birthday turned out great!
This birthday wish, although delayed,
It is warmly and sincerely made!
Happy belated birthday!

99.) Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Here are some late
Birthday wishes for you!

100.) A little late, I must confess,
But it doesn’t mean that I care less!
So sorry for the small delay,
I do hope you had an awesome day!

101.) Your birthday came,
Your birthday went.
Here’s the wish
I should have sent it!

101.) Sorry this card is
A little bit late.
I remembered your birthday,
Just not the date!

102.) Roses are red,
Cacti are prickly,
Sorry this card didn’t
Get there more quickly!

Late Wishes

103.) Birthdays are a very special occasion. I hope your birthday was full of sweet surprises!

104.) My sincere apologies for missing your birthday. Double hugs and double kisses for a belated birthday wish.

105.) Happy Belated Birthday dear sister/dear brother. You know that you are my most special person.

106.) Happy Birthday dear boss. Hope you had a grand celebration.

107.) May you be blessed with joy and happiness for the coming year, and may I be blessed with a better memory. Sorry I forgot your birthday!

108.) You are growing up little brother. I may have forgotten your birth date, but I have not forgotten your age. Happy belated birthday to you!

Happy Belated Birthday Wishes

Is it correct to say “Happy belated birthday”?

When someone says “Happy belated birthday,” they mean “sorry for being late, but happy birthday.”

But the phrase “Happy belated birthday” actually implies the birthday itself is happening late (belatedly).

So the correct way to say it is, “Belated happy birthday!” But either way, most folks will know what you mean no matter how it’s said.

Belated Definition

What does it mean when a birthday wish, message, or gift is belated? The term belated is an adjective that means coming or happening later than expected.

So when someone says Happy Belated Birthday, they acknowledge that their greeting is arriving after the actual birthday date.

How to Say “Happy Late Birthday” in Different Languages

Ever wonder how to wish someone a belated happy birthday in another language? We’ve got the answers for you!

Happy belated birthday in Spanish

To wish someone a “belated happy birthday” in Spanish, just say “Feliz cumpleaños atrasado.” Or you could say “belated birthday wishes,” which translates to “tardios deseos de cumpleaños.”

Here are a few more variations on the birthday greeting:

Feliz cumpleaños tardío. (Happy late birthday)

Feliz cumpleaños aunque sea con retraso. (Happy birthday, even if late.)

Feliz cumpleaños aunque sea un poco tarde. (Happy birthday, even if it’s a bit late.)

Late Birthday Wishes, French

If your friend is from France and you’d like to greet them in their native tongue, you can express “belated happy birthday” with the French “Joyeux Anniversaire Tardif.”

Or a simple “belated birthday wishes” translates to “souhaits d’anniversaire tardives” in French.


For a German speaker, a “belated happy birthday” is expressed as “verspätetes alles Gute zum Geburtstag.”

The alternative greeting, “belated birthday wishes,” translates to “nachträgliche Geburtstagswünsche” in German.

Next Steps: Wrap it up and put a bow on it

So there you have it, over 101 ways to save face and get you back in good graces. Choose one or two lines and use them as-is, or modify them to suit your own personality.

No one likes to be forgotten, but you can easily make amends with the right ‘happy late birthday’ message or wish.

By Monica Johnson

Self-admittedly, promptness on birthday card deliveries isn’t one of Monica’s strong suits. As a result, she’s had lots of hands-on experience in coming up with these belated birthday message ideas.

Extra Extra

You’re on the Happy Birthday Belated page.

You might like these birthday-related pages:

Messages and Memes for HBD


Really Funny Sayings

Romantic Birthday Wishes

Picking Birthday Card

Thank You for your Birthday Wishes

Birthday Puns

Dr. Seuss Birthday Quotes