How to Throw a Goodbye Party

By Michelle Moltz , last updated February 4, 2011

Saying farewell to a friend is always difficult, but one way to ease the pain, as well as celebrate the relationship, is to throw a goodbye party. A successful goodbye party honors the person leaving and provides other guests with the opportunity to reminisce and extend their good wishes. By creating the right guest list, selecting an appropriate location and adding some simple personal touches, you can throw your friend a meaningful party.

Although you are throwing the party, remember that it’s really about the person moving away. Consult with him or her about whom they would like to invite, and make sure to give those people all the information about the party. Once you know who is attending, ask guests to send you their favorite photo of themselves with the friend who is leaving in advance of the party. You could use the pictures as wall decorations, to create a digital slideshow or as part of the centerpiece for the table.

Pay homage to the guest of honor by serving his or her favorite foods and beverages. You could cook his or her favorite meal if it’s a dinner party. Another option is to serve treats from the bakery he or she likes to visit which could be accompanied by coffee from the java house that he or she likes best. If it’s a cocktail soiree, create a signature drink honoring your friend including his or her favorite mixers.

For those who prefer not to host at home, select a location that is significant to the guest of honor. If your friend has a favorite neighborhood bar, restaurant or coffee house, hosting the party there is a nice opportunity for the person leaving to have a final visit. Just make sure that the place is fairly quiet or has a private room for the party so that attendees can easily talk to each other.

When you head to the party location, bring a stylish blank journal or notebook to the party, and leave it on a table near the party entrance for guests to sign. Attendees may write a personal farewell message to the guest of honor and include their contact information. This makes a nice keepsake for your friend and helps everyone keep in touch after the party. Another fun idea when you arrive is to create a candy table that includes different containers of all the sweets that your friend likes best. Provide small plastic bags for guests to fill with candy. Not only is this a tasty party treat, but guests can pack candy bags as parting favors.

Gifts are not necessary. But, if anyone would like to bring a present, encourage them to bring useful items that are also easy to pack during a move. If your friend is moving from a dry climate like Arizona to rainy Seattle, then perhaps a funky umbrella is an appropriate gift.

The most important part of throwing a goodbye party is making sure that the guest of honor feels that he or she is able to say farewell to all the people who will be missed. By being a thoughftul host, you can easily give your friend a fabulous send off.

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