What to Write in a Birthday Card

What to Write in a Birthday Card

Birthdays can be a big deal for some people and for others it’s just another day of the year. While some might have no problem finding the words to write a personal, heartfelt birthday card, others might need a little help to get started.

We’ve put together this handy guide to help get your creativity flowing so no matter who you’re writing for you’ll be able to write an amazing, personalised birthday card. Below you’ll find tips and phrases to kickstart your unique birthday card for a friend, loved one or colleague – and Cardly can help you send it from the comfort of your own home - no matter where they might be in the world.

Remember though – the best writing comes from the heart and your personal relationship! Mix in your shared memories, inside jokes and favourite things to make your message truly meaningful. A birthday is a brilliant time to let people know exactly how much they mean to you and how much you’re looking forward to the next year ahead with them.

Keeping it Short, Simple & Sweet

Sometimes the best messages are to the point, especially when you might not be particularly close or a relationship is strained. Simple phases such as the below can help get your birthday message off on the right foot:

  • I hope you have a great day!
  • Here’s to another trip around the sun.
  • Best wishes for the year ahead and many more to come.

For Closer Relationships

When you’re closer to your recipient – a long term friend, a battle-weary colleague or a family member, showing a little more affection is a great way to add some warmth to your birthday wishes. Tell them how much the mean to you, remind them of what they’ve done for you and great times you’ve shared – show off exactly how unique and meaningful your relationship with them is.

  • I’ll be thinking of you and I hope your birthday is just as special and brilliant as you are.
  • I hope all your birthday wishes come true!
  • Thanks for making life that much better. Here’s to the year ahead!
  • I wish we could spend more time together, but know you mean the world to me.
  • I still remember what we did on [previous birthday] – we really should try to top that next year!
  • I appreciate everything you do for me and am truly thankful you’re part of my life.

Birthday Wishes for Colleagues & Clients

Sometimes we’re close enough to co-workers to celebrate their birthdays with them. Depending on your relationship you can be a little more casual with your messages compared to your interactions with other colleagues. If the person is your supervisor or your relationship is primarily work-based in nature, it’s best to stay a little more formal and succinct.
Remember, this is a work environment – it’s best to avoid anything remotely contentious in your birthday messages.

  • Thanks for making work feel like more than just a job. Happy birthday [x]!
  • Happy cakeday! I’ve already sampled the break room cake and it’s amazing. You’re welcome!
  • Happy birthday to an amazing team mate! I hope you have an awesome day!
  • All work and no play make make [name] go… something something… basically, don’t work too hard on your birthday!
  • I’m glad we’re working together and hope you have a great birthday.
  • Here’s to another great year working together, happy birthday!
  • Very thankful to be working with a great mentor such as yourself. Thanks for all your patience and have a very happy birthday!
Such a beautiful service for those of us who are time poor (or like me - leave things to the last minute!!) Excellent customer service, easiest website to navigate and just AWESOME!
- Erina, Australia

Birthday Wishes for Romantic Relationships

Our partners can lend great strength to our lives and we share some of our most memorable experiences with them. Show them exactly how much they’re loved and treasured on their birthday with a sweet reminder of just what they mean to you.

  • Happy birthday to the love of my life. I’m incredibly lucky to experience every day with you. Thanks for making each day amazing and I hope we share many more together.
  • I hope your birthday is as wonderful and special as you deserve!
  • I wanted to give you all my love for your birthday, but there’s no box big enough to hold it all. Happy birthday to the love of my life!
  • Your birthday is another reminder of how you brighten every day of my life. I love you more than anything and hope you have a wonderful day.
  • Your life began on this day (age) years ago, but my life began when I met you. Have the most wonderful birthday, my love!
  • Happy Birthday to God’s second greatest creation… we both know who’s first!
  • Like a good wine, you get better with age. Happy birthday my love!

Sprinkle Some Compliments

Let’s face it, who doesn’t love a good compliment, especially on their birthday! What better time to spread the love than their birthday and thank them for how great they are, how much you admire them, or just how lucky you are to have them in your life.

  • Wishing you all the happiness life can bring to such an amazing person.
  • The world’s a better place for having you here!
  • No one deserves to have an amazing birthday more than you.
  • I hope your day is as special and amazing as you are, Happy Birthday!
  • You’re one of my best friends and an amazing person, have a great day!
Cardly is such a great site! Ordered multiple cards and everything arrived in time. Even their customer support is so great, i got responses within 5 minutes on thanksgiving! Thank you so much for your great service!
- Andreas, Netherlands

Life Milestone Birthdays

Some birthdays have particular meaning – while small children think every birthday is special, for young adults a sweet 16, 18th birthday or the big 21st birthday are milestones to celebrate. As we get older, these turn to decade milestones – the 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th, 70th and beyond birthdays are key ages we celebrate and often go all-out to make someone feel special.

While they might not feel any different or think their birthday is particularly special, it’s always nice to wish someone a big happy birthday for a nice round numbered age!
Also it’s worth bearing in mind that these key ages can vary by culture and religion. Jewish girls are celebrated for a 12th or 13th birthday for a bat mitvah, while Jewish boys are celebrated with a bar mitzvah at 13. Some Asian cultures celebrate the first 100 days of a child’s life and have a huge celebration for the child’s first birthday.

  • Happy birthday [x]! The big [age] – it’s all downhill from here!
  • Massive congrats on hitting the big 21! Now you can do all the things your parents didn’t want you to do!
  • Happy birthday to the best looking [age] year old in my life!
  • Hitting [80] and having lived such an amazing, rich life is something to truly celebrate. Here’s to many more birthdays to come!
  • Congrats on making [age] trips around the sun! Today is sure looking brighter, have a great birthday!
  • Happy 40th birthday! Time for your mid-life crisis, enjoy the sports car!

Belated Birthday Wishes

Let’s face it, life’s busy and sometimes we entirely forget about an upcoming birthday until it’s too late. While it might be tempting to not send anything at all, belated birthday wishes are better than none – especially if you include an apology, regardless of whether it’s sincere of amusing. Think of it as another way to add more flair to your card!

  • I totally didn’t forget your birthday and I definitely bought you a present… Happy Birthday [x]!
  • In the grand tradition of week-long celebrations, I’ve thoughtfully helped extend your birthday fun with this slightly late (yet well-timed!) card.
  • I’m sorry your birthday slipped my mind until the day before. Apologies for the late birthday wishes and I hope you had an amazing day!
  • I hope you had a perfect day with friends and family, happy belated birthday!
  • They say things get better with age – so think of these birthday wishes as slightly matured!
  • Another year and your birthday’s snuck up on me again. I wish there was some way to know when it happened each year so I don’t forget! Happy birthday [x]!
My sister in law was over the moon with her photo birthday card which I designed. I included a poem and our greetings. Cardly printed it and hand delivered it at very short notice on her birthday, she was overwhelmed. Thank you Cardly!
- Linda, Australia

We hope this guide has helped you get started writing a personal, meaningful birthday card and provided some inspiration on how to express your feelings. Hopefully we can also help you find the right design to express your birthday wishes with from our range of birthday cards.

If there's anything our team can do to help, or if you have any feedback on this guide we'd love to hear from you at support@cardly.net.