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How to Design a Retirement Celebration Program

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Retirement celebrations are designed to celebrate the time a person has put into a career with a particular company. At the same time, they should also mark the beginning of a new era in life for the retiree. When planning a retirement celebration party, the aim will be to make the program as memorable as possible within budget parameters and time constraints. Anyone can plan an event to honor a colleague or family member; it just takes organized planning.

Create a list of to-dos for the party. This should include food/catering, a location, invitations, games, retiree research and entertainment. You can find templates online to help keep you on track.

Determine your budget. If this is a private celebration you are putting on for a friend or family member, you will need to assess what you can afford to spend. If you are planning an organization event, determine what the company will provide and how much you can collect from coworkers. You may even ask coworkers to pay to attend the event.

Select a venue. You will want to know how many people the venue can accommodate, if catering can be provided, as well as what type of entertainment it can support.

Hire the caterer, entertainment and flower/decoration vendors. The more time you have to prepare, the better deal you can negotiate with vendors. Hire someone to videotape the event and/or take photographs.

Design the cover of the program for the party. This should have a picture of the retiree with the date of retirement as well as the date of the party. Include the location of the celebration on the cover.

Compile a list of quotes that coworkers, family and friends say about the retiree. Keep this positive and fun. This can be arranged on the inside cover of the program.

Write out the celebration schedule of events on the inside back cover. This should include the time the party starts, when the toasts and roasts will occur and when any games, dancing or other activities are happening.

On the back cover of the program, include a poem or saying that encourages the retiree to enjoy his new life. A group picture of the retiree's fellow coworkers or family and friends on the back cover would add a personal touch and is a great keepsake for the retiree.

Determine the number of copies needed, allow for extra copies for the retiree, and have the program printed.


Be careful about adding jokes and humorous anecdotes in the program. These have a way of being taken out of context and hurting someone's feelings rather than keeping to the festive mood.