Throwing a party is a great way to celebrate retirement. Whether you are planning a retirement party for yourself, a colleague, or a friend, a festive gathering of friends, family, and co-workers is the perfect way to commemorate this huge milestone.

Save the Date!

The first step to organize a successful retirement party is to determine the best day and time for the occasion and who will be invited. If you are planning this for someone else, consult with them and send out a save-the-date so people can mark their calendars in advance. If possible, include some of their past associates and professionals they’ve worked with outside the company, such as salespeople and vendors. Mixing up their group of current colleagues with people they will be around in the future can make for a fun party and a smoother transition into retirement.

The planning stage is also a great time to get a feel for what type of event you want to throw. Events come in all shapes in sizes. From a night out at a local pub, a big gala or a simple potluck in the park, consider these questions to hone in on the best retirement party ideas.

  • Will it be a smaller affair or a large gathering?
  • Should you do a theme party or keep it simple?
  • Should you have it at the office or off-site, such as a bar, restaurant, or banquet room?
  • Will the dress be formal or casual?
  • What kinds of gifts, if any, will be involved?
  • Are children invited?

Once you determine a date, time, and venue, it’s time to mail out invitations. You should do this 3-4 weeks prior to the event and include an RSVP. You can send out party invitations with services like Evite and Punchbowl, or keep it old school with classy paper invitations made by a local designer.

Fun and Games

The date is set, the invitations have been mailed, and a framework for your soiree has been established. Now is the time to plan the party with activities that honor the soon-to-be retiree. When dreaming up your retirement party ideas, it’s best to mix things up, especially when inviting folks you don’t know very well. Consider these retirement party ideas to help you plan the big event.

  • Any worthwhile retirement party includes speeches and storytelling to highlight the retiree’s accomplishments. Make sure the venue is equipped with a microphone and stand and encourage everyone to participate. Consider mentioning this in your invitation so your guests can be prepared.
  • A great way to celebrate the retiree is to set up an autograph book for guests to jot down memories and share their best wishes. The retiree will enjoy this for a long time afterwards.
  • Consider asking a guest or friend to record a video of guests’ remembrances during the event.
  • Create a theme and plan activities around the guest of honor’s hobbies and interests. If they are philanthropic, bring their favorite charity into the mix by raising money for their cause. Encourage guests to give a monetary donation in lieu of a gift. Does the soon-to-be retiree love to travel? Create an “Around the World” theme with maps, food, and beverages from different cultures and places. Consider asking guests to contribute their favorite travel tips to a book you purchase for the event.
  • If the retiree enjoys karaoke, rent a karaoke machine and set up a playlist with retirement-themed songs such as “Happy Trails” by Roy Rogers and “Working Nine to Five” by Dolly Parton.

Retirement Party Ideas from Parties To Go

Whether you need paper invitations or need to rent a karaoke machine, Parties To Go’s consultants can help set you up for success. Drop by or give us a call–we are here to help you make an event to remember.