If you can’t attend someone’s birthday party it’s always best to let them know. They may have been looking forward to seeing and celebrating their big day with you.
So sending a message or note of apology to say sorry and explain why you couldn’t be there is the right thing to do.
But what do you say? And how do you make it sound genuine?
You want to fully show you’re disappointment for missing their party and express to them your apologies, that it wasn’t intentional and that you’ll make it up to them.
Try these example messages to say sorry for not attending a birthday party if you’re struggling with what you say or write.
Messages if you Can’t Attend a Birthday Party
- I’m so sorry I won’t be able to make it to your birthday party. I hope you understand and have a great day
- I hate to let you down but I won’t be coming to your birthday party. Something urgent has come up and I just can’t get out of it. My best wishes for a wonderful day though
- Happy birthday! I feel terrible for not being able to make your party but you know I wouldn’t miss it if it wasn’t something really important. Have an awesome time
- I’m really disappointed I’m not going to be at your big party. I’ll make it up to you with a great gift!
- Just a quick message to let you know I sadly won’t be able to make it to your birthday party. Unfortunately I’d already made plans that day and I can’t change them. Sending my best wishes for a fantastic day though
- I was so looking forward to your party but I’m going to have to let you down. We’ve had a family emergency I’m afraid. Have a wonderful birthday though and I’ll make sure I see you soon
- I can’t come to your party but try to have a good time anyway! I know without me there it won’t be easy! Only joking but I hope you have a brilliant party and enjoy your birthday. I just wish I could be there
- I will be with you in spirit even if I can’t be there in person. Have a top birthday and party!
- Thank you for the invitation but I am sadly not going to be able to make your bday party. I hope it’s a wonderful celebration though – you deserve it
- Wishing I could come to your party so much! I’m so bummed that I’d already agreed to something else that day. But we’ll catch up soon – happy birthday!
Sorry Messages for Missing a Birthday Party
- I’m really sorry I couldn’t make it to your birthday party. It’s no excuse but I got stuck at work covering for someone. I hope you can forgive me
- I’ve been feeling so unwell recently I just didn’t feel up to coming to your party. I hope you can forgive me missing it
- Sending my deepest apologies for not attending your birthday party. I got so overwhelmed with work I couldn’t get away. I hope it was a great party though and you enjoyed yourself
- I was all ready to come your party when my baby boy got ill. He’s fine now but I hope you understand why I had to miss it. I’m really sorry though
- Would you believe my car broke down? Seriously, I was on my way and my engine just stopped. I’m really sorry and so upset I wasn’t there, please forgive me
- Even though I wasn’t there I’m sure your party was loads of fun. I’m really sorry I didn’t make it though
- I hope you weren’t too disappointed I didn’t come to your party. Everything got on top of me and I completely forgot. I promise I’ll make it up to you! Happy belated birthday
- This is a message to say how deeply sorry I am for not attending your birthday party. I have no excuse but hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me
- Sometimes plans go awry and that’s what happened with your party. I was ready to go and then work called – I had to cover for someone. I’m really sorry and disappointed I missed it. There’s always next year!
- I really hope your party was amazing and you had the best time. I’m just really sad I couldn’t be there. It wasn’t for lack of trying but my train was delayed and by the time it got going again it was too late. Big apologies and hugs
Apology Notes for Not Attending a Birthday Party
- Just a quick note to say how truly sorry I was for not being at your party. My sincerest apologies
- This is a quick letter to let you know how sad and sorry I am for missing your birthday party. It’s not an excuse but I just couldn’t get away from work. I really hope you weren’t too disappointed
- I know sending this via text message isn’t great it I wanted to reach out quickly and let you know how sorry I am to miss your party. Have a wonderful day without me and enjoy all the fun of a birthday!
- My apologies for not letting you know I wouldn’t be at your party. I’ve been super busy recently. It’s not excuse though and I’m genuinely sorry
- Missing your birthday party was so hard but I hope you know I had no choice. I am really, truly sorry and sad about it though. So I hope we’re still friends
- My sincerest apologies for not attending your party. I hope you can find it on your heart to forgive me for it
- Happy belated birthday. I wish I had been at your party but it wasn’t to be. Please accept my apologies
- I’m an idiot – I missed your big party! You know me though, I’m super forgetful. Hoping you don’t hold it against me. Sorry!
Even if you have a good reason it’s still important to let someone know why you weren’t or can’t be at their birthday party.
So use these messages and notes to say sorry and explain, showing your friend just how much you wanted to but couldn’t be with them on their birthday.
Sally Gibson is the founder of Someone Sent you a Greeting, a holiday/celebration website. Sally’s writing work has been mentioned in Woman’s World, Yahoo, Women’s Health, MSN and more. If you have any questions get in contact with one of the team via the about page.