Coming up with ideas for a retirement party may be a bittersweet task. Even if you’ve been in the party planning scene for a while, a retirement party can bring tears to your eyes, particularly when it’s been planned in a sentimental, light-hearted manner.

Before you plan a retirement party, consider the emotional side of retiring. Anyone who has been working for a long time in the same team will be looking forward to that day when they can finally retire.

“I can finally go to Florida”, says one man who is nearing retirement age. However, during the retirement party, he might feel nostalgic because he wonders if his coworkers will ever contact him again. Retirement might feel like leaving a familiar place where one is cared for and appreciated.

The working men and women of today love to discuss retirement plans with family and co-workers. An employee might keep a poster of his favorite beach getaway near his work station and will daydream about owning a property there someday.

As a party planner it is your job to ask about the retirement plans of the celebrant, as well as the details of his job. Someone who’s putting together ideas for the retirement party can use these details to consider the best party theme, the prizes and the look of the invitation. The best retirement party will include elements of the person’s retirement plans and the memorable moments in his career.

Here are some recommended party planning ideas for a retirement party

1. Make invitations that show his first stop after retirement. If he’s an avid golfer, the invitations can contain graphics of golf clubs and golf balls. If he’s a teacher, the invitation can be shaped like a graduating student’s gown.

2. Be unique! The banner over the hallway where you are holding the party should show a message of appreciation. A banner saying “Thank you, teacher Bill!” is more personal than just a plain “Happy Retirement” banner.

3. Ask friends and former colleagues to prepare a speech or two. Then, you can distribute personalized medals among his friends. The medals could be engraved with words that the giver remembers the retiree by. As an example, a retiring fireman can receive personalized medals with words like “valiant fighter”, “true hero” and “unforgettable save”.

4. Make up a song or ask some people from his workplace to prepare a short depiction of a funny incident at work. Remember that this is more than simply a retirement party; it’s a send off to a life of relaxation and fun. Family and friends want him to start this “life” with a heartfelt laugh and a glowing feeling.

5. One of the best party planning ideas for a retirement party is to adopt a “fan club” party vibe. Prepare fan club tee shirts that guests can wear. You could even create fan banners and pompoms that his “fans” can wave as he enters the event hall.