Party Plan: Farewell Party for Friends

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There might be times in your life when your best friend or neighbor who is very close to you relocates to another town or even country, for work, studies, or some other reason. The thought of your loved one going away from you can be very depressing indeed. At the same, you will also feel happy, as the relocation will be expected to do some good for his/her future.

On such an occasion, where one experiences mixed feelings, it becomes very difficult to express what you feel. At such a time, a farewell party for friends to honor them seems the best possible alterative. It will not only make the departing person(s) feel special, but also give you time to reminisce over the happy days of the past. Farewell doesn’t have to be forever. By throwing your friend a meaningful party, you can create new memories with a fine send-off to reminisce over until you meet again.

Here are some tips for throwing a farewell party for a special neighbor or friend–keep in mind the social distancing protocol of spacing and face masking:

  • If you are planning a party for someone who is leaving town for good, coordinate your efforts with other friends. Many popular individuals may be given a number of going-away parties, so if they are being overly-feted, plan something different—take them to the theater or a hockey game, or whatever they will must most in their locale.
  • The first step to plan your going away party is to set a date, time and location for the party. Plan the party at least a week before your friend leaves the town. If the party is just a day before he/she intends to leave, it would get very stressful and he/she would not be able to enjoy the party. You should clear the date with your honoree to be certain he/she is available first. If the whole neighborhood is invited, you may need to have the party at the community center instead of in a home. The type of party will be somewhat limited because of the pandemic–decide if your farewell party will be a brunch, lunch, morning or afternoon tea or open house, after-work cocktail party, dinner, party, or barbeque–all of which may work the best if they were held outside.
  • A theme can give guests a better idea what to bring. For example, for the theme, A Stroll Down Memory Lane, ask your friends to bring pictures or mementos from the past for an exhibit for your honoree. The theme could be centered on your hometown the honoree is leaving or on the state to which your friend is moving. You could have a Christmas theme or a luau or cookout at the wrong time of the year if your moving neighbors will miss the annual neighborhood party. Think about what your honoree likes and plan your party with a theme centered on his or her favorite interests.
  • Invitations should be sent to the neighbors and any other guests special to the honoree. Make sure you send invitations at least two weeks before the party. Remind all the people you have invited for the party, by contacting them with a call or email a week before.
  • If you are throwing the party, plan the menu in advance. Keep the food simple, so more quality time is spent with the friends who will be missed… Finger foods are a great hit whenever appropriate. Keep food that people can pick and eat as they talk to the honoree. You could have a formal dinner, but a more casual buffet is much easier. Build-it-yourself bars of sandwiches, tacos, burgers, or pizza are always fun and easy, as is restaurant take-out. Neighborhood potluck is always a treat.
  • You may want to have champagne on hand to toast your honoree or offer his/her favorite drink for the toast.
  • A going-away party does not require too much structuring. Friends and relatives will want to spend some quality time chatting and reminiscing with the person who is going away.
  • When guests arrive, have a guest book or blank book for everyone to sign; they can also add their best wishes and favorite memories for the honoree. You may want to let everyone know about this ahead of time in case they want to bring a photo to include in the book or compose their words at home. Send this book home with your guest of honor.
  • It is nice to gift the honoree with a keepsake from his/her friends. For instance, if the person loves to read, get him a book on his/her favorite subject. Make everyone sign the book. You could also have everyone sign a card or the mat of a framed group picture of the neighbors.
  • You can scan some pictures, reminiscent of the most memorable spent with the departing person, and print out a collage for a poster or to frame. You could also make a scrapbook or an album. It would serve as a priceless gift for the honoree. Make sure someone is taking lots of digital pictures of the honoree and all the guests at the party so that you can email them to the honoree for keepsakes.
  • If there is to a short speech before the entire group, talk about some funny things of the past as well as the exciting prospects of the future. This would make the honoree feel a little better and also lift up everybody’s spirits.
  • The farewell parties that are thrown as a surprise can turn out to be the best and most enjoyable. If you are thinking of throwing such a party, there are many different ways that you can go about doing it. Ideally, the party should be at least a week before the person is supposed to leave. You will need to contact all the people you wish to call and tell them what you exactly plan to do. Surprise farewell party ideas require a lot of planning and coordination between all the guests, as everyone needs to be at the same place at the same time, and maintain discretion at the same time. Fix a date, place and time for everyone to gather, and then try to devise a plan to lure your unsuspecting honoree there. Decorate the place with pictures of that person depicting his/her relationship with all the invited guests. Go down memory lane and use these memories as ideas for decoration. You can also make a huge banner wishing the person luck in his new project. Do not let the person get an idea about what is going to happening beforehand. Surprise farewell party ideas will be ruined if the element of surprise is eliminated.



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