Hosting a party takes much preplanning to get it right, even more so on occasion as grand as retirement from the military. You’re here because you want to throw a military-themed retirement party so great that the memories are cherished by the guests, especially the honorable retiree, for decades.
You’ll find here, tons of military going away party ideas to make your celebration a blast! Don’t let the importance of the occasion overwhelm you, because you can throw a great retirement party to celebrate your loved one’s former career in the US military- just with a bit of planning.
Step 1: Decide your theme
Make it a military-themed celebration to pay tribute to your retiree’s amazing career.
Out of these five branches, which one does, your retiree fall into?
- Coast Guard
Stick to the theme
Once you’ve picked the right option from the above list, everything else will fall into place. Just stick to a theme through the entire planning. Everything, from the party invitations and decorations to the gifts, will be oriented around this theme.
Gather military going away party ideas
For whichever military theme you choose, you’ll find tons of ideas on the internet for the invites, gifts, and everything else you have in mind.
Step 2: Decide date and venue
Next, come to time and place. Before deciding on the date and venue for the party, there is a bit of thinking process you need to go through.
Questions to ask yourself
The biggest question, rather questions, you need to ask yourself are:
- Do you want a small, private party or a big celebration?
- Around how many guests are to be invited?
- Does the retiree have a lot of friends and associates he or she would like to see on their big day?
- Are they the reserved type, only comfortable with their closest friends and family?
In whatever you do, try to think from the mind of the retiree, since it’s their big day after all. Try to have it their way, to the extent possible.
Select your venue
So once you know how big your celebration is going to be, you can pick a suitable venue. If it’s going to be a small gathering, you can save some money here and host it at home. If lots of guests are invited, and your house isn’t big enough, book a banquet hall.
Pick a suitable day
Keep in mind to pick a day, and time most of your guests will be available at. If it’s not a surprise party, check it with your retiree as well and make sure they don’t have any other commitments. The weekend usually suits most, especially the on-duty guests.
Make a booking
Remember to book the venue in advance so that you don’t get in trouble.
Step 3: Send out invitations
Once you have your theme decided and the venue booked for the date and time that suits you, preparing and sending out invites are simple.
Pick a design
The internet is loaded with ideas, not just Google Images, but Pinterest, Unsplash, Pixabay are pretty extensive libraries on whatever you may need to search. Type in your theme and search for invitations. Not only will you find lots of designs to choose from but also get tons of ideas on the wordings you will put on the invite.
Going Away Party Card Wording
Be thoughtful in picking the wordings for the invite, especially if it’s going to be a formal celebration. Remember to mention the retiree’s name and his or her years of service. You can also include in a picture of the person in uniform to make it even more impressive.
If you’re not big on words, it’s OK to keep it simple! The primary purpose is to inform everyone of the time, date and venue, and the rest won’t matter much.
Here’s an example for you; you can amend it to suit you:
You are invited to the retirement celebration of
SERGEANT MICHEAL GRANT
After 25 years of service to the country
Saturday, January 22
At 6:00 PM
NewWorld banquet Hall
1009 Garden Avenue
Prepare a guest list
By now, you will already have a rough idea of who you’ll be inviting since you have selected the venue accordingly. Time to pick up a paper and pen and jot everything down. Family and friends, whoever is close to the retiree, needs to be on the list. Again, think from their mind, not yours; better yet, ask them!
It’s essential to sit down with the retiree and take his or her suggestions when making the guest list unless it’s a surprise party of course. Fellow veterans are a must; family and friends shouldn’t be left out either. Above all, it’s the retiree’s decision as to whom they would like to see at the party, not yours.
Send out the invitations
Now there are two ways that you can go about it:
I would suggest focussing more, with your assets and time, on the main event rather than the invitations. Just send out the same invite to everyone on the guest list; it is as simple as that! You can either email it or use any other social media platform that suits you best.
Print and post
If you would like it to be more formal, you will need to get the invites printed, enveloped, and sent out to the guests through the post. Remember to get enough invites printed to cover the entire guest list without leaving anyone out.
Step 4: Menu
The next big question is what to serve the guests who have taken out their time to celebrate with you; something good, of course!
Here are some things that you need to consider when setting a menu:
Retiree’s likes and dislikes
The menu is entirely up to you or the retiree. If you’re close, you would know what they would like served on the day. Please discuss with the retiree, he or she may have many ideas here, as good food will surely elate everyone’s mood.
You may not want to put in much money on a single component of the party since several other things’ll take up resources. Decorations, gift, venue, it will all take money! It’s best to plan the budget for each component accordingly.
If it’s an informal gathering, the small group of friends and family you invite will be looking forward to some fun; they will enjoy it even if you serve them a simple burger and fries combo!
Time for the party and the menu go side by side. If it’s sometime in the afternoon, tea and refreshments will do. If it’s in the evening, the dinner menu would be more fitting.
Don’t forget about a champagne toast for the guest of honor!
No matter what time the party’s at, a retirement cake would add life to the event!
Step 5: Decorations
Now is the fun part, or the dreaded, for some! Start collecting decorations as soon as you start planning the party, as it’s going to take time.
Amazon is the best place to purchase anything online, but there are tons of other online stores as well where you can find decorations for your military retirement party. Just keep your party theme in mind when searching for these decorations. You can find themed banners, bunting, table covers, hanging swirls, stick flags, and tableware. The possibilities are just endless.
Save some money and go DIY, rest assured that guests will receive it well and, most of all, by the guest of honor. Sure it will take some time but what’s the rush. If you don’t have a lot of time for the entire decor, you can buy some items online and do the rest yourself.
Decorations like banners, swirls, flags are all simple to make if you’re prepared to invest a little time and attention to it. Also, giving a DIY touch to the party will make it more personal, and the retiree would love that you put your heart into it, not just money.
Pictures, certificates, medals!
You’ll find lots of stuff at home that you can make part of the decorations and make the big day even more special for the ex-soldier. Something that will look great on the wall with the main banner could be an upsized picture frame of the retiree in uniform. You can also have his certificates framed and displayed on a wall where everyone can see them. Medals can be presented as well. Show off his or her achievements with everything you can find, after all; you’re celebrating his hard work over the years!
Medal display – From themilitarygiftstore.com
A display of achievements – From medalsoamerica.com
Step 6: Put together a unique slideshow
Prepare a slideshow
Make the big day even more special by putting together a slideshow of photos or videos of your retiree’s career or wishes from friends and family. Since the retiree’s career is being celebrated, it would be more fitting if the colleagues have something nice to share.
Collect everything you can, from photos and videos to wishes, and put them all together in a well-organized slideshow to display on the big day.
Make sure you have a laptop with you and that multimedia facilities are available at the venue you choose. Most banquet halls have the facility already since slideshows are a common component of events these days, but it’s better to check beforehand if everything is working smoothly.
If you’re hosting it at your house, you could rent a screen and multimedia if you don’t have the system installed already. You can also display it on your LCD if it’s a small, informal gathering.
Step 7: Select gifts
A party isn’t complete without gifts. You’ll find tons of ideas on the internet and tons of presents to buy on Amazon. Themed gifts are your best bet since your retiree, who has had a successful career, would cherish the memories and will love receiving something that speaks of their incredible career.
Also, check with the other guests, if appropriate, to find out what they’re getting. Since it’s a military-themed party, it’s best if all, or most, of the gifts, can be themed too.
Here are some ideas on the gifts you can collect for the special man or woman:
Military Retirement Mugs
A Good Book
Step 8: Time for the big day!
Finally! With all the hard work out of the way, we are ready for the big day!
Eating, drinking, enjoying is the motto of the day! Have one or two of the closest pals of family members say a few nice words for your veteran and make a toast.
Some Party Inspirations
Some military-themed retirement party inspirations – From Pinterest
So did you find these military going away party ideas helpful in planning for the big day? You will understand now that it’s not so tough after all.
No one’s going to remember what the menu was or if you edited the slideshow professionally. What the guests and the retiree are going to remember are the beautiful memories they made on this day. It’s the gesture that counts and you’ll score a 10/10 on that!