Entertaining Friends

Host a Retirement Party #BeThere with #Evite

It’s no secret that I love to entertain. I simply love to host parties! It doesn’t really matter to me what time of year – I can always find a reason to celebrate. Finding time to be with friends is very important to me.


Which is why when my good friends retired, I jumped at the opportunity to co-host her retirement party.  My friend Maureen has been teaching elementary school for years. She has helped many, many of her little angels learn to read, write, understand numbers, and science. For many years she was surrounded by some of our youngest students – the darling little kindergartners. If anyone ever deserved a party – my friend did! So the party planning was under way.


How to Host a Retirement Party

1. Determine a location, date, time, and the invite list.

Most all of my gatherings – large and small – start with an Evite invitation to get the words out to friends. One question that I am often asked is how do you send out invitations? For years I have relied on Evite. The great thing about this online service is that there are so many wonderful free invitations to use and I have built up a large contact list with the service. I can simply choose an invitation, personalize it with my  party details, add additional information if needed, run through my contacts, and send to the ones that I am inviting. I have used Evite for small gatherings and for large fundraising events inviting upwards of 200 people! It is the easiest way to get the word out and as a hostess to get the number of attendees coming to your party. I loved the many choice for our retirement party! Evite has a great selection of invitations and party ideas to check out. Screen Shot 2015-10-21 at 9.53.32 PM

2. Plan the Menu

A Retirement Party Menu




  • See’s Candy
  • Apricot Bars
  • Salted Chocolate Toffee Squares


Wine bar, waters, beer keg, and assorted sodas.

Wine Bar

3. Clean and Prep the yard.

This was an outdoor party so there was a little bit of cleaning up that needed to be done. We moved some tables out, placed candles around the yard, and set up tables for the appetizers, and drinks. The dinner food was laid out buffet style in the dinning room.

Retirement Party

4. Put the drinks on ice, light the candles, turn on some background music.

Setting a fun ambiance is easy with some background music and candles.

5. Greet your guest!

Welcome your friends and get the party started. When you have guest from different social groups it is really helpful to introduce them the each other. Mention something unique about your friends and help them get a conversation started.

We had a wonderful evening – Maureen loved her her retirement party. It was an time to celebrate and honor all of her years teaching children.

If you could celebrate one of your teachers, who would you like to honor and why?

This post is in collaboration with Evite.com and their Evite Influencer Program. #BeThere #Evite

(49) Comments

  1. Loved this post which includes such great ideas. Though I don’t know anyone retiring any time in the near future I think your entertaining advice is sound and I’m going to bookmark this post for the party idea file I keep.

    1. Stacey says:

      Yes! This was a retirement party – but the menu and plan could be used for any party.

  2. Wow, Stacey, you can throw a great party. I love all of the foods your shared and you outdoor space is really beautiful! I know a good time was had by all.

    1. Stacey says:

      Thanks, Cynthia! We really did have a good time. And co-hosting the party made it even easier.

  3. Oh thats so wonderful! Congrats to your friend on retiring!!

    1. Stacey says:

      Thank you!

  4. Evite makes the invitation process so easy. Your party looks amazing. Congrats to the retiree.

    1. Stacey says:

      I have been an Evite fan for years!!!

  5. Susan says:

    I’d like to honor a teacher from each of my children’s school experience. They each had an amazing teacher that I’ll be forever grateful to. Pssst. I love your book page banner. I’m brainstorming how I can use one in my home.

    1. Stacey says:

      I love hearing that your would love to honor teachers! I first planned on making the book banner for a book club meeting, and I am sure that that will happen next time I host book club.

  6. Sounds like an amazing a party. The food looks really good and the place looks awesome.

    1. Stacey says:

      Thank you. This is at my friends home – She has such a beautiful yard for a party!

  7. Beautifully done!! That menu looks amazing! Happy retirement to your friend!

    1. Stacey says:

      Thank you!

  8. Wow, I’d love to come to your house for a party!! What an awesome spread!

    1. Stacey says:

      Anytime, Cathy! I love to meet new friends and entertain 🙂

  9. Looks like it was a great party! You seem like an awesome person to be friends with. 😉

    1. Stacey says:

      Ah, you are sweet! I have a great group of friends! We have shared so much of life together.

  10. This look terrific! I’d love hosting too if I had your skills!

    1. Stacey says:

      Bonnie, you can! Just start with small gatherings and enjoy yourself! If you are having fun, so are your guests.

  11. I love the meal you chose, everything looks so good! And your table looks amazing 🙂

    1. Stacey says:

      Thank you! The meal was chosen because it is mostly prepped ahead. That always makes entertaining easier.

  12. I’ve never used Evite for a party, but I’ve been invited through it before.

    1. Stacey says:

      Oh, I use Evite all the time! It works so well because Evite sends out reminders.

  13. This is such an amazing thing to do and it looks like a beautiful party!

    1. Stacey says:

      We had a wonderful time! So fun to celebrate with friends.

  14. My father in law just retired. His party was nice; he had a blast. Congrats to your friend.

    1. Stacey says:

      Thank you! Congrats to your father-in-law! Retirement is a huge transition.

  15. That’s a beautiful spread and a beautiful table! Nicely done!

    1. Stacey says:

      Thank you!

  16. Wow! You sure have a true talent! So gorgeous! All of it! And great tips! Thanks so much for the insight.

  17. What a gorgeous party! Every detail is amazing!

    1. Stacey says:

      Thank you! A lot of friends helped out.

  18. Your food looks so good! yay for retirement! 😀

    1. Stacey says:

      Thank you! It was a group effort.

  19. Aww how fun!! Congrats to your friend for her hard work and retirement! I hope she enjoys it. Great tips on hosting a retirement party, or any kind of party!

    1. Stacey says:

      Yes, you are right – This is a great plan for any party! All the food was delicious!

  20. My mom just retired and we did a similar party for her! So fun to get everyone together and celebrate such a huge milestone in life! thanks for sharing!

    1. Stacey says:

      Congrats to your mom on her retirement! IT is a lot of fun to get everyone together!

  21. How sweet! Your party looks absolutely beautiful and very tasty! 🙂

    1. Stacey says:

      Thanks, Logan! We ha a great time!

  22. What an amazing party and love way to celebrate such a big step in some ones life. x

    1. Stacey says:

      Oh I love celebrating – but especially the big ones!

  23. Maureen says:

    There is no picture of the See’s candy because I ate it all! My party was perfect, and I loved every minute of it. Thank you for a great memory that I will always treasure!

    1. Stacey says:

      Lol! I helped eat a few pieces of the candy as well. You are totally welcome! Deb and I loved hosting the party!

  24. I totally love everything, your decorations and of course the food, looks very yummy! 😀

    1. Stacey says:

      Thanks, Diana! I wish I had used black lettering on the “Happy Retirement” banner. I used yellow to match the table cloths – but the black would have stood out so much more. Next time 🙂

  25. My middle school band director, definitely! He was a great teacher and remains a good friend all these years later and despite a cross-country move. (Thanks, Facebook, lol.) I like to mail invitations whenever possible, but I admit to succumbing to the ease of FB Events the last couple of years. Did I hear correctly that Evite is able to integrate with your FB friends list?

    1. Stacey says:

      I love hearing how your band director made such a huge positive impact on your life! And yes, you can easily message the invite to your FB friends!

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