How to Plan and Host A Retirement Party

How to Plan and Host The Ultimate Retirement Party

Let’s take a look at the basics of what goes into a successful retirement party as an event planner or simply as a host,

At some point in everybody’s life, they will take a step back from work. Being a significant milestone, this should also be celebrated with something like a Retirement Party. Retirement Parties celebrate a retiree’s personal and professional life, achievements, and their future.

The Fundamentals 

Before attempting to plan and host a Retirement Party, you should always create a thorough event checklist that accounts for the following aspects:

Is it a Surprise or Pre-Planned Retirement Party?

If you are planning or hosting a surprise retirement party, you’ll most likely work with a select group of clients. They will supply you with all the required information about the retiree, their food and drink preferences, the theme, as well as date and time. 

Retirement parties should preferably be held close to the actual retirement day to remain relevant and ensure guest attendance.

What Is The Retirement Party Budget?

When creating a budget for a retiree’s party, it should look similar to any other event budget accounting for things such as: 

  • Venue
  • Decorations
  • Food and Drinks
  • Invitations
  • Staffing

A good budget planning tip is to raise funds through the retiree’s friends, family, or colleagues. These individuals could be willing to cover specific costs like snacks or decor. This will allow you or your clients to cover other expenses that could not have been afforded previously.

Where To Host A Retirement Party?

Your budget is totally dependent on where you decide to host the party, as there are a few options. Traditionally retirees can expect to attend more than one retirement party, with one being at the office or place of employment with their colleagues or associates. The other party may be at a restaurant or club where close friends and family form the core of the guest list.

Your choice of venue has to be influenced by what the retiree enjoys or would prefer. Be sure to communicate with their spouses, children, or friends – it is their party, after all! 

When choosing a venue, make sure that you have the exact dates and times when the party occurs. Make sure that you stay in contact with all the involved parties, such as the venue manager and restaurant manager, as things can always change last minute.

There are many types of retirement parties you or your client can consider:

  • Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner Parties
  • BBQ or Grill Parties
  • Cocktail, Wine, or Craft Beer Parties
  • Outdoors / Indoors

Or try a mix of some of these options, such as a BBQ and Craft Beer outdoors party.

What Is A Retirement Party Dress Code and Theme?

The theme of retirement parties is quite accommodating, especially when the client or host leaves in it the capable hands of the event planner. Naturally, clients will know what the retiree would like or has chosen to be the theme. The central theme is usually a formal, semi-formal, or informally Themed retirement party. 

When clients are unsure about what theme they would like to do, why not suggest some ideas:

For a themed retirement party that is formal or semi-formal, try and consider tuxedos, black or white ties, evening gowns, or cocktail party attire.

For informal parties, you can choose almost anything you can imagine. Ideas include decade parties like the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, etc., tropical or Hawaiian. A personal favorite theme is the copycat party, where the attendees can dress like the retiree.

If the client has trouble thinking of or choosing a theme, enquire about what the retiree enjoys most and incorporate that into your event decor.

Choosing And Inviting The Guest List

Depending on the type of retirement party, you’ll have to cater to a professional event, consisting of the retiree’s coworkers or business associates that form part of their work life. Or a personal event that consists of close friends and family. This will influence the guest list and style of invitation as you will be dealing with two different groups of attendees. 

Some things to consider when sending out invitations:

  • Double-check who should be on the guestlist
  • Make use of an RSVP to ensure that the numbers work out. And make a note of whether a +1 is allowed.
  • Be sure to mention the dress code or theme of the party. If it is a surprise party, you do not want anyone snitching on the festivities!
  • You can add that guests should bring a present or gift for the retiree, but it is not necessary.

Extras Ideas For Retirement Parties

Most retirement parties use an MC, or master of ceremonies. They’ll be in charge of hosting the attendees, honoring the retiree, and ensuring a smooth procession of events. These individuals should communicate with those who want to make speeches or have a dance-off and are in charge of the party’s flow. 

Related: Choosing The Right Master of Ceremonies For Your Event

Other party ideas are a face painter, photo booth, coffee truck, popcorn machine, or an artist that draws caricatures of the attendees. These types of additions make an event memorable and let attendees leave with a souvenir from the party.

Keeping track of all the moving parts while planning an event can be difficult, especially when dealing with managers, clients, vendors, and friends. Thymebase’s event planning software will streamline your event planning process.