The beginning of retirement is a special time in a person’s life. He/she is about to begin a whole new phase of life, filled with freedom and personal fulfillment. I think the perfect retirement party is a combination of looking back on the great memories of the working years and looking forward to the adventures that retirement will bring. Here are some tips to make your special loved one’s retirement party perfect.
Choose your guests carefully – You should include a mix of co-workers and friends from outside work. If your guest list gets too long, consider holding the party somewhere other than your home. This is a once in a lifetime party, so don’t leave anyone out. Once you’ve determined your guest list.
Spend some time thinking of a theme for the retirement party. A good way to determine a theme is to think about what the retiree is going to do after retirement, or what he/she would like to do. For example, if your retiree is planning to raise horses and offer riding lessons, have a Wild West theme party. If he/she is planning to start a vineyard and become a winemaker, have a vineyard theme. If it’s always been your retiree’s dream to travel the world, then there’s your theme. If your retiree’s planning a long anticipated Hawaiian vacation, throw a luau.
Choose your menu based on your theme. Offer a variety of heavy hors d’oeuvres and cocktails that work well with your theme. Here are some suggestions to go with the themes I mentioned earlier.
• Wild West Party – Mini-ribs, ham biscuits, southwest salsa with chips and beer, with apple cobbler for dessert.
• Vineyard Theme – Wine and cheese with fruit and specialties from Italy, France or California.
• World Travel Party – Set up food stations to represent various areas of the world. Serve toasted ravioli in Italy, Sushi in Japan, Egg Rolls from China and Brie in France. Decorate each station like a different country.
• Luau Theme – Present leis to guests as they arrive. Serve sweet and sour chicken, macadamia nuts and fresh fruit. Serve your mai tais in those little coconut cups and make your guest of honor do the hula.
You’ve created your theme around the future; create your activities around the past. If possible, set up photos all around of the retiree at work and with friends. If possible, set up a “portrait area” complete with good lighting and a backdrop, so that your retiree can have photos taken with anyone he/she chooses to help create memories for the future.
A roast and toast is always in order at a retirement party. Advise guests ahead of time to plan to tell a favorite story or make a toast to the retiree. Plan a fair amount of time for this activity; your guest of honor will relish every moment.
Set up a video camera in a corner of the house somewhere that guests can go to videotape a message to your guest of honor. When the party’s over you’ll be able to present your retiree with a memory which will be cherished for years to come.
The night is all about your retiree, so be certain that all of the plans are suited to the guest of honor’s wishes. So long as you’re sure that the retiree is happy, your night will be a huge success.