Skip to main content

Belated Birthday Messages: Funny and Sincere Wishes to Write in a Card

Blake started out scribbling in cards over 30 years ago. Though his handwriting is mostly unchanged, the content has improved.

If you missed someone's birthday, your belated birthday card had better be a good one!

If you missed someone's birthday, your belated birthday card had better be a good one!

What to Write in a Belated Birthday Card

Late birthday cards require one of two strategies, humor or sincerity. Humor can be used when you know that the person will take it well. In some cases, however, you have to be serious and sincere in your expression of regret for being late with your birthday wish.

Thinking of what to write in any greeting card can be challenging, but when you've messed up and forgotten someone important's birthday, choosing the right words becomes even more difficult. Read over these examples of what to write in a belated birthday card, and choose your favorite way to apologize to or amuse your birthday message recipient.

Funny Belated Birthday Card Messages

Being late to acknowledge someone's birthday usually means apologizing in a belated birthday card. Fortunately, with these funny examples, you can joke around about your mistake and avoid a boring apology. Let your lack of punctuality become the focus of your birthday wish. Own your mistake with humor.

  • "There's no excuse for how late I am with your birthday card, but you know I can make one up anyway."
  • "When there's money in the card, it's always better late than never."
  • "Good thing you are getting more patient the older you get. Happy belated birthday!"
  • "Birthday cards should have grace periods so you can be a little late just like paying a bill. Besides, most people aren’t born exactly on their due date."
  • "I was late for a very important date: your birthday. Sorry."
  • "Sorry about being late with your birthday, but at least now you don’t have to wait an entire year before getting birthday cards again."
  • "I’m really sorry about giving your birthday card to you late. It’s a serious thing because we never know how much time we have, and you’re not getting any younger."
  • "Time seems to speed up the older you get, so at your age, I figured you wouldn’t even notice the time that went between your birthday and getting your card."
  • "You should ask yourself based on my history of card giving, where you really expecting me to give you your card on time? At least I’m consistent."
  • "My forgetting to give you your birthday card on time is proof that you are growing up way too fast."
  • "I guess you’re not the only one getting older. My memory must have failed me in my own old age."
  • "I’m late giving you your card because I was researching the best belated birthday card message to write to you. My research took longer than I expected, but this is the best one I found."
  • "It took me so long to write in your birthday card that I now have the perfect thing to say. . . Sorry I’m late, and happy belated birthday!"
  • "If your birthday policy does not allow you to receive late birthday cards and gifts, then I'll be happy to take it back."
  • "I like to celebrate your birth-month instead of your birthday. It is still your birth-month isn't it?"
  • "If I'm late wishing you a happy birthday, it must be that I think you are a little younger than you really are."
  • "A late birthday card is a lot like a bill from the doctor. Both tell you that you are getting older and both are a big surprise."
  • "It's apparent that you have been blessed with many things on your birthday. Unfortunately, a punctual birthday card from me was not one of those things."
  • "It's ironic that the words "Be Late Ed" are what make up the word belated."
  • "Birthday cards are like a group of high school P.E. class students running on a track. There are always some stragglers."
  • "I hope you had a great birthday. If you didn't, then you can try to have a great birthday next year. And I can try again to give you your card on time."
  • "I wanted to give you your birthday card late so that you would have enough time to grieve the loss of your youth."

Sincere and Apologetic Belated Messages

Sometimes it is most appropriate to be sincere in your late birthday wish. Taking responsibility can be the best way to prevent hurt feelings or reconcile the relationship. These are some examples of what to write when you have forgotten someone's big day or are late giving a birthday card and/or gift.

  • "I don't know how I forgot to think of the most important person in my life's birthday."
  • "I have nothing better to say than I'm truly sorry for forgetting your birthday. I messed up, and I'm trying to make it right."
  • "My memory hasn't been the best lately. I'm sorry your birthday was at a difficult time for me."
  • "No one deserves to be wished a happy birthday late. I am sorry, and I will do better next year."
  • "I know this isn't the first time I have let you down, and it probably won't be the last time. I appreciate your willingness to accept me for my faults and flaws. Happy belated birthday! Sorry I was late with this message."
  • "How in the world did I forget the birthday of my favorite person?"


Rohit Rockz on January 18, 2019:

Nice Belated Birthday Wishes thanks for sharing with us. keep us updating with these beautiful birthday quotes.