It’s always bittersweet when one of your coworkers announces their retirement. On the one hand, they’re retiring! They’ve worked hard over the years, and now they finally have a chance to relax and enjoy themselves. It’s exciting that they’re starting the next chapter of their lives.
On the other hand, though, they’re retiring. You’re going to miss seeing them around the office.
Planning a great retirement party is the perfect way to combine celebrating with a chance to say farewell. To take some of the stress out of planning a party, we put together the following checklist to plan a retirement party.
The Retirement Party Checklist
Whether you have extensive event planning experience or you’re feeling out of your depth, making and following a checklist will help you stay organized. There’s nothing worse than realizing you forgot an essential element when it’s too late to fix it.
Consult With the Retiree
Your first step should always be to consult with the soon-to-be retiree. The party is in their honor, so getting a feel for what they want is critical. This step will also help you make decisions later in the planning process.
Create an Inclusive Guest List
The retiree’s coworkers and work friends from other departments will, of course, be on the guest list. Who else are you going to invite, though?
If the retiree is married or in a long-term relationship, reaching out to their significant other may prove helpful in finding other friends and family members to invite.
Plan a Budget
Food, decorations and gifts all cost money. Setting a realistic budget and then sticking with it helps remove financial worries from the retirement planning process.
Raise Money for the Event
Depending on the anticipated costs of the party and whether the company is providing additional funds, you may want to raise money for the event. Having guests contribute a few dollars when they RSVP neatly solves any potential fundraising problems.
Choose the Perfect Retirement Party Theme
Choosing the perfect theme can help give your party structure.
- Does the retiree love to fish? A fishing-themed party could be fun.
- Are they always talking about where they’re going to visit when they retire? Consider a travel theme.
- For sports buffs, use their favorite sport as a retirement theme.
- Craft beer connoisseurs may appreciate a “cheers” to retirement theme.
- A retirement fiesta theme is both fun and colorful.
- If the retiree is the kind of person who only ever came to office holiday parties for the food and drinks, consider an “eat, drink and be retired” theme.
- Everyone loves a good cookout or barbeque.
- For people with an aspirational beach-themed desktop wallpaper, a tropical theme is a good choice.
- An “adventure awaits” theme is excellent for adventure-seeking retirees.
- A casino theme is both fun and exciting.
- Hollywood or Gatsby-themed parties are elegant and refined.
- Who doesn’t love a late breakfast and mimosas? Put together a retirement brunch.
Plan Out Food and Decorations
Once you have the money budgeted for them, plan out what you’re going to do for food and decorations. Food can be something as basic as snack platters, or you could make it a potluck. Be sensitive to any dietary restrictions the retiree or guests may have.
Your decorations are what will sell your theme, but balance is essential. You don’t want to go overboard and spend hours cleaning up afterward.
Offer a Fun Dessert
Everyone loves dessert. Cakes are a traditional choice for retirement parties, but cupcakes offer the same great taste without worrying about cutting pieces. An ice cream sundae bar, cookies and donuts are also popular choices.
Send Out Invitations
Sending out invitations and having guests RSVP can help you plan how much food to order. It’s also a great way to ensure everyone has the right time and location.
Have Everyone in the Office Sign a Card
Having the retiree’s coworkers sign a card for them is an affordable and space-efficient way to show how much you appreciate them.
Get a Personalized Gift
Personalized gifts are a fun way to commemorate the occasion. Aim for something the retiree will use frequently. You don’t want to get them yet another thing to dust. Have everyone chip in to cover the cost.
Make It Fun With Retirement Party Activities!
Just about anything can become a party activity, so we’re including a few suggestions to help you narrow down your options.
- Have guests give speeches or participate in a mini-roast.
- Provide a funny prompt, then have guests write their answers down. Put the scraps of paper in a fishbowl and read them aloud throughout the party.
- How well do you know the retiree? Put together a trivia game or quiz all about them.
- If the retiree has a favorite activity or hobby, consider involving it.
Planning a retirement party doesn’t have to be an ordeal when you have the right checklist. For more information and fun ideas, check out the rest of our blog today.