Planning a retirement party, whether it’s for a loved one or just a beloved coworker, can be a lot of fun, or a lot of stress, especially if it’s meant to be a surprise. But, you don’t have to spend months sweating out every last detail in order to host a great soiree. Instead, making a few smart decisions early on, and enlisting help as needed, can help make both the party – and its planning – much more fun for you and the guest-of-honor!
Choosing the Basics
The three most important decisions for most any party will be the guest list, the location and the date. Everything else is much more flexible, once you’ve locked those in.
If you’re throwing the party as a surprise for your coworker, you’ll want to check with his or her family to make sure crucial guests are invited. Of course, the opposite is true as well. If you’re the spouse of the retiree, make sure to consult with close coworkers to ensure the guest list reflects the friendships that have been formed.
When it comes to the location, first and foremost choose a spot that will accommodate your number of invitees. Secondly, consider picking a location that is either conveniently located for the bulk of your guests, one that is close to the guest-of-honor, or one that has significance to him or her. While it might be tempting to just settle on your office as the most convenient location, in most cases it’s more considerate to choose some place away from work.
As for the date, you could time it to closely coincide with the official retirement date. But if that falls at a busy time of year for your company, such as during an important inventory, or around a national holiday when many people will be travelling, consider an alternative time instead. It’s more important that honored guests be able to attend, than that the party fall on a specific date.
Make It Special
Once those crucial decisions have been made, it’s time to have some fun. Consider the retiree’s job, hobbies, and future plans when choosing a theme, décor, games, etc. Even the food can and should be reflective of the honoree’s tastes, after all the party is all about him or her.
By personalizing the party to his or her interests, you can make the entire event much more special. Consider displaying photos as part of the décor, and purchase a guestbook or something similar, so attendees can leave thoughtful notes for the guest-of-honor.