Retirement Party Invitation Etiquette

Planning a great retirement party starts with a thoughtful, well-worded retirement party invitation. But just what do you say? Whom should you invite? Retirement etiquette questions can loom large as you start to plan a retirement party. With some simple advice you can avoid any missteps and send a considerate and festive retirement party invitation.

What to say

retirement partyRetirement invitations can vary from a buttoned up corporate invitation to a fun and festive personal invitation. Whichever you choose, you’ll need to make sure you’ve captured the personality of the guest of honor and some relevant information. For no-nonsense retirement party invitation try any one of these samples

You are cordially invited (or COMPANY NAME cordially invites you)
to attend a celebration for
as she/he retires from the
COMPANY NAME (or title held)
RSVP Information

If you’d like to spice this up you can include some clever words about the retiree’s hobbies or plans after retirement– traveling, fishing, golfing, etc. Just keep in mind; this is a party for adults, save the cutesy wording for a child’s party. (See sample additional wording below)

Who to invite

You certainly don’t want to exclude anyone from your retirement party invitation list, but who should you really invite. While there is no rule for whom to include, you might best decide the guest list based on the type of retirement party you’re hosting.

At a corporate retirement party, you should include any colleagues the retiree has worked with over the years. Supervisors and directors should also be included. If it is a small company, you just might want to include all the employees at your office location. At a larger company, think about sending a retirement party invitation to only those who have worked directly with and/or have become friends with the retiree.

At a personal party you should send retirement party invitations to any family or friends who you’d like to celebrate. While a corporate party may be a little more structured, you can feel free to let loose a little more at a personal party. Think about choosing a themed retirement party invitation that suits your tastes rather than a corporate invitation that could be a tad on the stoic side.


Retirement Party Theme InvitationsTake the time to appropriately recognize the achievements of the retiree and use a paper invitation. Save the e-invitation for a more casual gathering. A retirement party invitation not only celebrates the end of the retirees working life, but the start of a brand new and exciting chapter in their life. An email invitation just doesn’t seem to hold up for this occasion as well as a thoughtful paper retirement party invitation.

Unique situations for your retirement party invitations
One thing you should not include in your retirement party invitation is the mention of gifts. A retirement party invitation is not a solicitation for a gift. Leave off any mention of gifts – even to say that gifts are not expected. If a guest RSVPs with a question about gifts, this is the right time to address the question of gift.

If you and your colleagues are hosting a retirement party, it is completely appropriate to mention your names on the invitation, but not the costs. For example, if you are expecting guests to contribute to the event, you should mention this before the invitations are sent. And while it is never acceptable to ask someone to ‘pay’ to be invited, you should make those arrangements clear to all who are contributing before the invitation goes out.

With just a few simple steps you can send the perfect retirement party invitation and host a great party. Keep the tone light and remember that you’re celebration is two fold – the end of a great career and the beginning of an exciting retirement.

Sample #1
He’s hit the snooze bar for the last time!
A retirement party for
John Smith
Cocktails, Dinner and Dancing
Saturday, June 3, 2009
Waldorf Astoria
Grand Ballroom
Hosted with great appreciation by
Target, Inc.

Sample #2
She’s trading in driving to work in traffic for driving golf balls
Join us to celebrate as Joan Campbell
Retires from the Board of Directors of
AIG Financial
Saturday, November 17, 2010
6:00 in the evening
Calhoun Beach Club

Sample #3
Please join us to wish
Frank Griffen
best wishes on his Retirement
Saturday, June 29 at
6:00 in the evening
The Yard Restaurant
1211 Mammoth Road
Manchester, New Hampshire
Hosted by his Friends and co-workers at Blake and Associates

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