Do you know someone that is going to retire? Throwing a party for them? Then use these retirement party etiquette tips to ensure that everyone has a great time! These tips will cover proper etiquette for the party host as well as the guests.
When you are the one hosting the party for the retiree, there are a few things that you must think about during the planning and hosting stages of the party to make sure that everyone has a great time.
The first thing you have to realize is that the party is not for you. In order for the party to have the right "feel" to it, it must be focused and centralized on the retiree. So, you must think of them and their preferences. Do they like formal affairs? Or, would a quiet lunch with a few close friends be more their style?
You must also think about when you are going to hold the party. The usual etiquette is to hold the party on a date that is very close to (or the day of) their retirement. The longer you wait to hold the party, the less likely people will attend because the person has been retired for a while now.
When do you hold the party? It depends on who will be invited. If you are holding it during a weekday lunch hour, keep in mind that many people have work or school obligations and would not be able to attend. As a result, a weekday evening, or a weekend are usually the optimal times for the party.
Typically, the people on the invitation list would be those that are close co-workers, friends, or relatives. If you are planning on a surprise party, get in touch with their spouse or other close friend. If you forget to invite someone special, you are ruining relationships because they will feel bad that they were not invited. Since this site is all about influencing people through manners and etiquette, you cannot afford to overlook this detail or there will be problems!
As you are inviting people, make sure that you specify on the invitation if you do not want gifts to be given. "No Gifts, Please" on the invitation will be enough to convey the message. You should also convey whether or not it is appropriate to bring a guest or not.
You must also let the attendees know what they should wear to the party. This becomes increasingly important if you are throwing a themed retirement party. In any case, proper retirement party etiquette is to let the attendees know what to expect. That is how you would want people to treat you, right?
Make sure that you dress appropriately. Since I like to dress to impress, I would usually dress at least one level higher than what is stated on the invitation. So, if it said casual attire on the invitation, I would probably do business casual with slacks and a golf shirt. It is always uncomfortable to feel like the one that is the worst dressed, but I never have the same feeling if I am over dressed.
In most cases, you should always bring a card to the retirement party accompanying your gift. This lets them know who brought the gift and who they should thank after the party.
If the invitation says not to bring a gift, a card is still a nice gesture to let them know that you were thinking about them.
It is always a good idea to RSVP to the party. This is considerate for the host so that they know how many people to plan for. You also want to follow the rules about bringing guests. If the invitation says not to bring a guest, then it is best to follow the instructions on the invitation.
Although it is not required, I highly recommend sending a hand-written thank you note to the host or hostess after the party is over. This is one way to really stand out from the crowd and make a fantastic impression on people.
I hope these ideas and tips on retirement party etiquette will help you have a great time at your next party. This is a great opportunity to wish people well on this new stage in their life.