Farewell Party & Gift Ideas
Goodbyes can be sad, happy, difficult, and exciting all at the same time.
When a colleague or friend is leaving, it’s important to acknowledge their new life adventure and send them off with the love and support they need.
Luckily, we’ve got plenty of ideas for goodbye parties and farewell gifts for friends moving away and retirement gifts for colleagues moving on.
Goodbye Party Ideas
Never planned a going-away party before? Don’t fret! Here are some goodbye party ideas for friends and office farewell party ideas for colleagues to help get you started.
Start your celebration off on the right foot with an online farewell party invitation you can send right from your phone. Customize your invite with important party details, include a message board for your event, and easily gather RSVPs online. Be sure to check out our retirement party invitations to help plan and celebrate a colleague’s important career milestone.
Farewell parties are an important part of saying goodbye: they let you express your sadness that a loved one is leaving and your excitement that they’re embarking on a new journey. Check out these friend farewell ideas for inspiration.
Memory Party. Ask guests to bring a picture of themselves with the honoree to make a scrapbook gift. Alternatively, you can set up a space at the party for a festive photo backdrop and have people take Polaroids with the honoree. Either way, guests can place the pics in the scrapbook and write messages of love and support or share favorite memories next to their photo.
Packing Party. Does your friend need some serious help packing up their home before a big move? Host a party at their place and dedicate one hour to packing and loading a moving truck and the second hour to celebrating (keep it simple: pizza, water, beer, and cake will do!). It’s not a typical going-away party, but it’s one that your friend will definitely appreciate!
Destination Party. Celebrate your friend’s move to a new location with an appropriately themed party that matches their destination. Is your friend moving to Paris? Decorate with posters of French landmarks and buildings and serve French cheeses, baguettes, crepes, and champagne. If your friend is going somewhere warm, decorate with inflatable palm trees, beach balls, and flip flops and serve dishes native to the area.
Whether a colleague is retiring, relocating, or simply moving on, a party is a meaningful way to let them know that you appreciate them. Here are a few ideas for an office farewell celebration.
Potluck. Sure, potlucks have been around since the dawn of time but there’s a reason for that: gathering with friends and colleagues to share home cooked food made with love can be a special and memorable experience. Potlucks not only let each person bring and share a favorite dish, but they also ensure that party planners don’t do all the work! Send your coworkers a digital invitation with a Potluck Organizer tool that lets guests write in their contribution or lets you specify what you need people to bring. Your colleague will appreciate the time and effort coworkers put into making food in their honor!
Roast. If you have a good relationship with your colleague, host a roast! Let employees make lighthearted fun of their coworker with good-natured jokes, anecdotes, and stories. Before the party, encourage employees to think of funny ways to honor their colleague and designate an MC or “roastmaster” to keep things moving along. This is the perfect going-away party for a retiree with a good sense of humor!
Bon Voyage! Base your colleague’s goodbye party theme on their “journey” to retirement or a new job. Decorate the party space with airplanes, hot air balloons, boats, or antique cars. Hang a large map in the background for a picture backdrop so coworkers can take turns posing with the honoree. Later, all the photos can be made into a nice photo album for the honoree!
Farewell Gifts for Friends & Family
We’ve put together a few goodbye gifts ideas for loved ones. Let’s take a look!
Farewell Greeting Card. Let friends and family know that you’ll miss them with an online farewell card. Send personalized well wishes in a beautiful card and include a digital gift card the recipient will love. Best of all, you can send your farewell card from any digital device!
Photo album. Make sure your loved one never forgets what they’re leaving behind with a personalized photo album. Whether you recruit friends to contribute their favorite pictures or go it alone, a photo album helps create lasting memories and is a sentimental surprise that can lift a loved one’s spirits.
Gift cards. Is your friend a huge movie buff? Do they love Thai food? Are they into mani-pedis? Do some research on where your friend is moving to find a few spots they might love, whether it’s a local theater, a top-rated restaurant, or a nail salon. A few gift cards will give them an excuse to go out and explore their new town or city!
Group Video. Let a loved one know how much they’ll be missed with a group video. Invite friends and family to submit video clips sending their well wishes and sharing what they’ll miss most about your friend. Easily compile the clips into a meaningful group video and send it to your friend or share it at a going-away party. The recipient will be so surprised and happy to see so many familiar faces and hear their messages of encouragement and support.
Farewell Gift for Colleague Retiring
A gift for an employee who is retiring can be a meaningful way to express your gratitude for all the hard work they’ve done. Here are a few farewell gift ideas for retirees:
Retirement Greeting Card. An online retirement card with a simple message of thanks and congratulations can mean a lot to a retiree. Select your favorite card, customize the colors, fonts, and message, and include a short video message and digital gift card for a truly special gift!
Hobby Gifts. Base your gift on what your colleague will be doing in their free time once they retire. Do they plan to travel? Buy a sturdy suitcase and fill it with items such as travel books, a personalized passport holder, compact camera, and lightweight raincoat. Are they big sports fans? Get them a personalized golf bag, tennis lessons, or season’s tickets to their favorite sports team. Will they be beachside? Get a monogrammed beach bag and fill it with towels, flip flops, sunscreen, an e-reader for easy access to great beach reads, and a favorite cocktail mix to sip while they soak up the sun!
Group Video. A retirement video can be a beautiful keepsake of someone’s career that they can watch again years later. Current and former coworkers of the retiree can contribute to the group video and share their favorite memories or reminisce about the good old days. Family members can contribute to the group video too! Check out these retirement video ideas to help get you started and take a look at Connie’s retirement video for inspiration.
Connie recently retired after years of dedicated service to the Fairfax County Advisory Committee for Students with Disabilities. The Committee does great things for the students in the county, and Connie has made a great contribution. She's also made a huge impact on her colleagues, who made a retirement group video to thank and congratulate Connie on her important milestone.
Say goodbye in a meaningful way with these farewell ideas for employees and friends. With a little effort and thought, saying farewell can be a memorable and heartfelt experience for everyone!