Birthday toast examples and ideas to make them feel loved

An illustration of three women's hands holding different beverages up in a toast against a hot pink background.

Some years ago a person you love showed up to the party known as life. What could be worth celebrating more than that? This year let’s honor the birthday VIP with some meaningful, memorable words straight from your heart to theirs. 

We’re talking about a birthday toast. Whether you’re there in person for the festivities or sending a tribute from a distance, you want your words to hit just right. That’s where we come in.

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As Hallmark writers, we’ve had plenty of practice giving toasts to coworkers, family and friends on special occasions. We’ve written cards that people have used for toasts. We’ve thought up thousands of ways to say, “Happy Birthday.” In other words, you can trust us. And you don’t have to tell anyone you got a little help from the professionals. Our lips are sealed.

Birthday toasts are like cake—there are many delightful flavors, but the best one is what the birthday person likes. Which one of these would your guest of honor like best?

Funny Birthday Toasts  

Get everyone in a lighthearted mood with a silly story about the birthday person, an outlandish wish for their year ahead, a personalized parody of their favorite song or poem or some other laugh-worthy material.

Idea starters:

Birthdays come in every
kind of flavor through the years—
Some taste sweet like soda pop
and some like kegger beer.
Some years taste like burgers
with a side of loaded tots.
Some years taste like yellow chocolate cake
and some tequila shots!
Some years taste like movie snacks.
Others pizza slices.
Some years bring us milder tastes.
Others ALL the spices!
Any flavor goes, so wish
for what you’d like to get…
As long as it’s not PRUNE you wished,
it means you’re not old yet!

You might be getting old
if it was cool to play outside.

Or if you had to go somewhere…
your bike would be your ride!
You might be really ancient
if you listened to cassettes.

Or had a closet full of neon
graphic-printed sweats!
You might be not-so-youngish
if you “star-six-nined” your calls.

Or thought you’d get in trouble
with the VHS tape laws!
You might have aged if now what’s “retro”
used to be called “rad.”

But there’s no doubt your generation
is the BEST the world has had!

Your youthful days are over.
I’m afraid you’re out of luck.
Another birthday likely makes
you want to shout, oh…
You might have thought by now
you’d be a star and filthy rich.
Instead, you’re doing you,
just getting old, ‘cuz life’s a…
But don’t let aging stop you!
Party hearty! Raise a glass!
Perhaps you’re not a kid now,
but you still can shake your…
So be proud! You’re still attractive!
You’re charming, smart and witty!
I hope this toast distracts you
from the fact that aging’s…

Milestone Birthday Toasts  

Whether it’s a quinceañera, a sweet sixteen, a 21st birthday or someone turning 50, 60, 70 and beyond, a milestone is a great time to add the extra-special touch of a toast.

We recommend that you find out ahead of time how the birthday honoree feels about the milestone. If they’re wearing their age proudly, wish them even more years of happiness and congratulate them on living such a good life. If they are sensitive about their age, don’t focus too much on the number in your speech.

Maybe you can talk about their joy for life, how giving they are or how much they mean instead. The main objective: put some shine on them and make them feel seen and loved.

Idea starters:

(sub in any milestone)

50 is awesome!
50 is bold.
50 is super-far
from being old.

50 is vibrant!
50 is yes!
50 is seeing
through the B.S.

50 is mindful.
50 is well.
50 is badass!
Go give it hell!

Bless that extra candle.
Bless your brand-new age.
Bless the light and laughter
as you turn another page.
Bless each new adventure.
Bless the struggles too.
Bless the older, wiser,
and more-loved-than-ever you!

A toast as you celebrate
your quinceañera…

May you feel loved
through each moment
of this once-in-a-lifetime celebration.
Because you are, so very much.

May you make the sweetest memories
with the family who cherishes you
and the friends who mean the most.
Because if ever a young woman deserved
an unforgettable time, you do.

May you feel so hopeful as you look forward
to the exciting years ahead.
Because someone as capable as you
has every reason to be.

And may you be reminded
in ways big and small
of how unique and special you are.
Because there may be lots of quinces
in this world but, now and always,
there is only one you.

Wife or Husband or Partner Toasts  

You know them better than anyone. You see them all the time. Still, a toast is the perfect opportunity to say something to your spouse that you don’t always have a chance to say day to day. Show them you notice the little and big things they do, the way they are with the people in their lives and who they are beyond their role as a spouse or parent.

Idea starters:

You’ve got another year on you,
but I like how you wear it.
You’ve tasted more of life,
and I’m so glad I got to share it.

You’ve got a few more grays on you,
but I think they’re distinguished.
You’re still the one who lights my fire,
and it can’t be extinguished!

You’ve got a few more miles on you…
and yet, you just get better.
So glad I’m on this trip with you.
I love you more than ever!

I’m so happy
to celebrate your birthday,
because it means
we get another year
of being there
for each other…
another year of laughter.
Another year of love.
Another year of celebrating you.

It’s your birthday,
and I say Yes…
Yes to candles.
Yes to big wishes.
Yes to whatever kind of day
you want it to be.
Yes to your strength
and your caring.
Yes to your kisses,
your voice, your smile.
Yes to all the laughter and love
you bring to our life together.
And a big Yes to celebrating you
with all my heart.

Mom or Dad or Parent Toasts  

Parents do a lot, and most of it goes unnoticed. Their birthday is a good time to give them major props for the ways they’ve been there for you throughout your life. It’s also an opportunity to appreciate who they are as a person, not just as a parent. 

Idea starters:

Mom, you’re the one
who taught me all about joy…
The joy of bringing people together
with good food and conversation.
The joy of taking time for the little things
that feed your spirit.
The joy of being with the ones you love,
even when you’re doing nothing much.
The joy of giving the best you have to give
on any given day.
Feeling grateful for all the happiness
those lessons have brought to life
and wishing you much joy
on your birthday.

Tip: If you have siblings, you could each choose one attribute about your parent to toast to. Joy, love, faith, courage, etc.

Cheers to you, Mom.
We’re raising our glasses
to toast a woman who gives generously,
moms naturally
and welcomes wholeheartedly.

On your birthday and beyond,
we’re celebrating
the phenomenal mom and person you are,
the one we’re so lucky to have in our lives.

Happy Birthday
to a dad who just
gets better and better with time.
I don’t know if that makes you
more like good bourbon,
well-seasoned cast iron
or maybe a classic rock song.
But I do know that with every year,
there’s even more
to admire and appreciate
about the good guy you are.
And I feel even luckier
that life gave me you
for a dad.

Sister or Brother or Sibling Toasts  

Part family, part friends, you and your sibs have seen each other through many ages and stages. Give them a little extra love on their birthday with a toast that shows them how much you appreciate having them in your life.

Idea starters:

Here’s to a guy
who helps others feel valued,
who makes everybody
feel like they belong.

Here’s to a guy
who’s the best kind of hero,
whose good, caring heart
is what makes him so strong.

Here’s to a guy
who will fight for what matters,
who backs up his people
wherever they go.

And here’s to a guy
who deserves the best birthday—
a guy that so many
are lucky to know.

A Brother Birthday To-Do List:

1. Have fun.
2. Be happy.
3. Throw away any other to-do lists. (No, seriously, right now.)
4. Relax and remember what a great brother you are.

For every candle on your cake,
I’m adding my wish to yours
to help it come true.
For every seed you plant,
I wish you amazing things
sprouting and blooming
in your life.
For every sweet moment,
I wish you the presence of mind
to be fully in it.
And for every bit of happiness
you bring as my sister and friend,
I wish for even more
to come back to you.

Birthday Toasts for Tough Times  

Some birthdays are a celebration of making it through something difficult. Others fall right in the middle of the difficult time. Offer support and encouragement with a toast that acknowledges the reality of the birthday person’s challenges and emphasizes how much they are loved. 

Idea starters:

Birthdays come in every kind.
Some years rain and others shine.

This one fancy, next one plain.
Some years challenge, others change.

So make today what YOU need most—
peace and calm…or champagne toasts!

And know, no matter what you do,
the love so many have for you.

A Birthday Toast
For the Year Ahead:

More sunny days.
More peaceful nights.
More things to smile at.
More things to like.
More happy memories
to make all year through.
More knowing how much
we all love you.

This birthday toast is bigger than a simple little wish.
It’s gratitude for what it means to know you.
It’s joy in who you are and all the good you bring to life.
It’s hope for what the year ahead will show you.
It’s wishing you a happy and fulfilling year to come—
the kind filled up with more than just surviving.
It’s asking for a blessing on the dreams and plans you have,
for days and months ahead that see you thriving!

Birthday Proposal  

If your significant other is someone who would be into a public or semi-public proposal, their birthday could be a natural time to gather family and friends to celebrate two occasions in one. Just make sure you know that your sweetheart wouldn’t mind sharing their birthday with a proposal celebration.

Idea starters:

I love you. 
I love your laugh
and how it bubbles up unexpectedly
when something hits you just right,
sometimes something that only you would notice.

I love your smile,
every version of it.
It lights up a room as much as it
lights up your beautiful face.

I love your love.
It’s generous, caring, passionate
and I literally don’t know what I would do
without it in my life.

Will you marry me?

Today’s one of my favorite days
because we get to celebrate your day.

It’s a time to honor
the unique and talented person you are
and all the ways you brighten up
our life together.

It’s a chance to make you smile
and enjoy that sparkle in your eyes
that I so love.

It’s a moment to make more memorable moments
and look forward to a whole lifetime of them together.

Will you marry me?

“Happy” isn’t a big enough word
to describe how loving you
makes me feel.

My heart is full of so much more than that.
It’s filled with deep respect
for the strong woman you are.
Awe for your exquisite beauty.
Gratitude for the way you love me.

So when I say loving you
makes me happy, yeah, I mean that.
But I mean so much more.
Would you keep filling my heart
with the kind of goodness that only you can
and marry me?

Want more help celebrating loved ones’ birthdays? Check out our other helpful articles for tips and ideas.