Farewell party, whether for a friend, relative or a colleague is a way to show how much they are going to be missed. Unlike other parties, farewell parties need not be grand affairs, as all that the invitees want to do is to spend some quality time with the person who is leaving. These parties give an opportunity to the person who is leaving to be in the company of people who matter to him, one last time before departing. So if you are planning to throw one such party, here are some creative ideas to help you out.
When it's a farewell party, make sure that you plan to have it at least a week before the person is leaving, rather than having it just a day before. This way, he will be able to enjoy himself more. Send out the invitations about two weeks in advance, so that maximum invitees are able to make it to the party.
A week before the party, call up the guests to confirm who all are coming. It will help you to make the arrangements accordingly. You can frame the invitation wordings with something like, 'I will miss Smith because ...' and leave the rest blank. Ask each of the guests to bring these cards along ,when they come for the party, and read out to the guest of honor what they had filled in these blank spaces.
Put up a big chart near the entrance, and ask each of the guests as they walk in to write something for the guest of honor. When the invitees write 'goodbye' or 'best of luck' messages for your guest of honor, it will make him feel really special. A good way to plan the decorations is to decide upon a theme first, and then decorate the venue accordingly.
A theme for a farewell party can be something like the new place where the person is shifting to. Or it can be about something that the guest was known for or enjoyed doing. For example, if he was into sports, choose a football or tennis theme, and plan the decorations accordingly.
While planning activities make sure that they revolve around the guest of honor. Ask each of the guests to write down something special for him, and when they are done, read it out in front of everybody. Later, you can make a collage of all these notes, and give it to your guest of honor as a parting gift.
Another thing that you can do is to have a photo backdrop area with a metallic curtain at the venue. Here, the guest of honor can have his photographs taken with the invitees. To make it is even more interesting, you can set up a video camera in this area, and ask some of the guests to record farewell messages for him. When the invitees narrate some funny or touching stories about the guest of honor, they are sure to lighten up his face with a smile.
Why not add a game to lift everyone's spirits, and to make the person who is going feel a little better? Divide your guests into two teams and plan a quiz. Ask them some questions about the guest of honor, and they have to reply saying "true or false". Ask some funny questions like, 'Smith has dated more than twenty girls till date' or 'Smith knows how to do a handstand', etc.
The food need not be very elaborate. Keep some scrumptious snacks and drinks to go with them, and you are done as far as the menu is concerned. Snacks are easy to carry along, and people can gorge on them while talking to the guest of honor at the same time. In case you are planning on having a buffet, then keep the affair small by including just a dessert buffet.
These ideas will surely come in handy when you are planning the party. A farewell party is considered to be incomplete without a gift. You can buy him a gift in contribution with the guests. A month's rent at the new place, a utility item or a piece of furniture for his new house, or a cell phone/calling card are a few good ideas.