How to Throw a Memorable Retirement Party

Whether you’re a human resources professional, a family member, a colleague, or a close friend, it’s important that you throw a retirement party that nobody–especially the retiree–will forget.

But what’s the best way to go about it? Well, to throw a truly memorable retirement event, you need to decide who you’re going to invite, where to host it, and what you’re going to do to commemorate this well-deserved occasion. If you’re still scratching your head, don’t worry–this guide will help!

Invite Friends & Colleagues From The Past & Present

Always invite immediate family members. In addition, make sure that you extend invitations to people who were a bright part of their career. If the retiree has been with the same company all of their life, then this should be pretty easy: send out a company-wide invite; however, if the retiree has been in the same field, but has worked for a few different companies, it’s always nice to invite friends, colleagues and vendors from some of those past companies too. With that said, many people leave companies for a reason. If you are inviting people from past workplaces, make sure that you only invite people that the retiree speaks highly of.

Host It At The Right Venue

Since the venue can make or break the vibe, it’s imperative that you do not choose one lightly. If you really want to make the retiree feel special, you should pick a spot that’s elegant, relaxing, and fun. If you live in Connecticut, then consider The Riverhouse at Goodspeed Station. It’s truly ideal for private retirement parties .

Establish a Theme For The Party

The best themes are based around whatever it is that the retiree is passionate about; therefore, to decide on a theme, ask yourself (or a close friend if you don’t know them that well): what do they like? Are they into sports? How about music? Nature? Martial arts? Woodworking? Painting? Movies? If you feel that they don’t have any true “passions,” then just replicate their ideal retirement weather. For example, if they plan on retiring to Florida, then decorate the place with palm trees and serve daiquiris. If they plan to retire to Colorado, then make it a mountain theme. Get the idea?

Commemorate & Honor The Retiree

At the end of the day, retirement parties are about the retiree’s personal and professional accomplishments. So, what should you DO at a retirement party? Commemorate their successes. How? Here’s a few ideas

  • An Autograph Book – Both giant picture boards and traditional autograph books work great. Whichever you choose, the idea is the same: give every guest a chance to write something about the guest of honor.
  • Video Interviews – Let guests recount memories and give the retiree their best wishes on camera.
  • Designated Speeches – Take a pool of guests who would be interested in delivering a short speech in the retiree’s honor. It’s always nice when old friends get up, share war stories, and poke light hearted fun at the guest of honor.
  • A Quiz Show – Only the people who know the retiree well should create these questions and answers, but it always makes for good fun.
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