From the moment we enter this thing called adulthood, there’s one moment that we’re all waiting and working for: retirement. So when that milestone finally rolls around it’s only fitting to give it all the attention and celebration it deserves – with a big, one-of-a-kind, you-earned-this party. But if you’re the one charged with hosting this party, it can be a daunting task to properly congratulate the retiree. Luckily, we’ve come up with a few surefire ways to ensure you throw the party of the century, so read on as we cover all your retirement party needs.
Decide on the Type of Party
Surprise party or formal invitations? Evites only or spread through word of mouth? Before you start all your serious planning, make sure you’ve decided on the kind of party you want to throw. It doesn’t have to be complicated — remember, it’s all about your friend, so focus on what they would enjoy. Do they love surprises or are they planners who like to abide by schedules and timelines? Are they a people-person who loves to be the center of attention, or more of an introvert who would prefer a small but intimate lunch or dinner? Keep these factors in mind when deciding what kind of party to host.
Choose the Guest List
Once you’ve decided on the type of party, get to work on the guest list. The advantage to having the retiree in the know is that you’ll have his or her input on the guest list. If you go the surprise route, you’ll have to rely on close friends or family to help decide. A few key things to keep in mind: would they want a majority of friends or coworkers? If the whole office is aware of the retirement, it may be expected that you invite immediate bosses and close office friends, even former coworkers that they worked closely with. Of course, spouses, family and close friends should have a spot reserved on the list as well.
Pick the Venue
The venue will likely depend on the size and type of party you’re hosting. If it’s on the smaller side, someone’s home is an easy option. After-hours cocktails and drinks at a favorite bar may be ideal depending on your friends’ preferences. For something larger, you may have to rent out a banquet hall or local country club, or see if someone with a big house or backyard is willing to host a large group.
While not necessary, a theme is generally a welcome addition to a party. We’re not talking about a dress up theme here, but rather an idea that will influence the décor and events of the party. One popular retirement theme is to do it “roast” style. At a roast, a few close friends or coworkers take turns telling funny stories about the guest of honor, before the retiree comes up and gives back a roast of his own. It’s a fun way to add some humor and keep it lighthearted while still honoring the retiree. Another option is the Permanent Vacation theme — decorate luau style and pass around tropical drinks.
Décor and Favors
The decorations can depend on the theme or be kept very simple. Nothing over the top — it’s not a kid’s birthday party after all. If you’re choosing a vacation theme make sure you capture the tropical feel, but otherwise a few streamers and a banner are all that’s necessary. Party favors can serve as a decorative element as well, and can be something small but meaningful like these etched wine bottles from Etching Expressions. Go a little bigger for the guest of honor, and perhaps have everyone pitch in on something they’ll really appreciate, like a new camera for all the vacations they’re about to take.
The most important part of the party? Have fun. Celebrate. Don’t make it sappy but remember, it’s the end of a major era in this person life, so make sure you give them a proper send off by following the steps above.