How to Wish a Belated Birthday

Written by janece bass
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How to Wish a Belated Birthday
Birthday wishes are better late than never. (after a holiday image by Hunta from

Forgetting the birthday of someone special can cause embarrassment or panic. Take a deep breath instead, and figure out the best way to wish her a happy belated birthday. Whether you simply forgot or had more pressing matters that kept you from sending your birthday greetings on time, make up for it with a belated birthday wish.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Determine how you'd like to deliver your belated birthday wishes. Common methods include making a phone call, visiting in person or sending a greeting card or letter.

  2. 2

    Explain what caused the belated birthday wishes if you feel obligated. For example, you might tell your brother, "I'm so sorry I didn't call yesterday, but I was in meetings all day. Happy belated birthday."

  3. 3

    Pick out a greeting card specifically made for belated birthday wishes, and send it to the birthday celebrant.

  4. 4

    Write a note or poem on nice stationery or inside a birthday card you purchased but didn't send on time. For example:

    "I had this nagging feeling that I was forgetting something the other day,

    But you know me, and how my mind often strays.

    I finally remembered, it was your birthday!

    Wishing you a happy belated birthday."

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