Planning for a retirement party involves a wide variety of people. Chances are pretty good that you are not too familiar with every co-workers history, friends, or tastes, so planning a party everyone will appreciate can be a challenge. The budget for the retirement party can often be very limited. How is it possible to create memories the retiree will cherish while working on a tight budget?
Six Tips for Planning a Retirement Party
Luckily, if you follow these six tips for planning a retirement party, you should have no trouble at all pulling off this event. Take each of these steps and plan them so that they flow naturally. The retiree and all guests will look back fondly on that day with memories that will last for many years to come.
Tip # 1: The Guest List and the Invitations
When planning the perfect retirement party, it is important to include everyone associated with the retiree. The retiree is going to be looking for those people they have worked alongside, so your job is to make certain they are there.
Assemble a list of co-workers, friends, and family, and be sure to get the invitations out as soon as possible. On the invitation include a gift option. Making a donation to the charity that the retiree is near and dear to can be one of the more cherished gifts you can give.
Don’t arrive late to the party; honor the retiree by being there before the party commences. Include on the invitation the choice of food available, and how late the party will be running. Be sure to include any particulars like dress code and parking availability.
Tip #2: Choosing the Theme for the Retirement Party
The theme of the retirement party will help to guide things along more smoothly. Here are a few creative theme ideas that can help you to create some memories for the guest of honor:
The Permanent Vacation – This is considered a more casual theme, but can really be one of the more fun events planned. On the invitations you can request guests wear Hawaiian shirts, and are greeted at the door with leis. The musical choices can be laid back, complete with colorful tropical drinks for sending off the retiree in style.
The Career Diary – If you are very familiar with the different positions and roles the retiree has held throughout the years, have guests dress up in support of those roles. From mail room clerks, phone operator, to president, reminding the retiree of all the work they have done for the company can help to make this a memorable evening for them.
The Year in Review – Go back to the first year the person was hired at the company and gather some important facts about what was going on in the world at that time. From older type phones, clothing styles, hairstyles, to the movies and books popular at that time, develop a theme that everyone can have fun with.
Tip #3: Retirement Party Games and Activities
Now that you have come up with a theme that everyone can take part of, you need to decide on a few fun activities that incorporate the theme. These games and activities will tie into that theme and still reflect the new change in lifestyle the retiree is soon going to experiencing.
Retirement Trivia – If you have decided on a theme that showcases all the things that were going on when the retiree was hired, go to your search engine and begin compiling some interesting facts about that year. The person or team who guesses the most correct answers wins a nice prize.
The Retirement Roast – While many people envision a roast being raunchy and dirty, this can actually be a very light and entertaining activity that everyone will enjoy. Develop a list of questions about the retiree and ask other co-workers to answer them. These questions could be about the funniest thing they remember about that person, the most embarrassing moment, or an untold funny secret no one knows.
Breaking the Ice – Many family members, friends and co-workers will be meeting for the fist time. It is a great idea to create ice-breaking activities that can adapt to just about any theme. By allowing everyone in attendance to talk about personal experiences in and out of the workplace, you can help to relax the group and give everyone the chance to have a memorable evening.
Tip #4: The Retirement Party Decorations
The decorations that you choose for the retirement party are going to have the biggest impact on guests as they arrive. Here are a few different decorating tips that are perfect for any theme:
The Broken Clock – Purchase those old style wind up alarm clocks at flea markets or consignment shops, then smash them to pieces. Place the broken clocks on each table, representing the fact the retiree no longer has to punch the clock any longer.
The Photo Retiree – Ask guests to bring a photograph of the retiree to the party and place it on a huge wall as they come in. This wall will become the focal point of the evening, right behind the seat of the guest of honor. The wall will be a great place for guests to talk and share stories about their fondest memories.
The Mourning Party – Want to make the retiree really feel special? Use black plates, black table clothes, black balloons, and have everyone dress in black. This look of mourning, or missing a dear friend, will be sure to strike an emotional cord with the retiree.
Tip #5: The Retirement Party Menu
Carefully plan what food and drinks the guests will have that evening. The easiest type of food choice is the buffet style for several reasons. For one, you can have a large variety of foods that all your guests will enjoy. These foods are already prepared and heated at the party, and many services will clean up once the party is over for you. Appetizers and finger foods are perfect when you expect the guests to be walking and talking with others.
Tip #6: Make Sure to Press Record
With light music playing in the background, you want to make sure this retirement party is captured on tape or digital for years of enjoyment. If one of the invited guests is willing to walk around with a video camera all night, great! If not, hire a videographer for the party. Make sure everyone at the party has a chance to talk about a particular memory and wish all the best to the guest of honor. Once the video is edited, it can be presented to the retiree as yet another memorable gift.
These types of retirement parties can take approximately six -12 weeks to plan, so be sure to give yourself enough time to make this event truly memorable for everyone.