How to Throw a Going Away Party

Two Parts:PreparationThrowing the Party

Want to say goodbye in style? Throwing a going away party has never been easier! With just a little creativity, you can throw a great party and show them just how much they're going to be missed!

Part 1

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    Determine what kind of party you're having. Why are they going away? Where are they going? Figuring this out will help you to tailor the party to the honoree's leaving situation.
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    Create a guest list. Invite every single person you can think of who have been close to this person. You don't need to know the people you are inviting personally because you share a common bond: the person who is leaving. Your support of this common friend will draw others in.
    • A great place to compile a guest list is the person's Facebook account - just be careful not to invite their entire friends list!
    • This is a great time to find volunteers to help before and after with setup and cleanup. Be sure you ask and don't simply assume someone will want to help.
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    Pick a date and time. You'll want to make sure to select a time that is flexible for people's various schedules and - most importantly - one that works for the guest(s) of honor!
    • Planning a surprise party? Work with the honoree's significant other, family, or coworkers to make sure his/her schedule meshes with the planned party time.
    • If your party is supposed to be a surprise, make certain everyone that is invited knows this right away. Do not discuss the party in front of the person who is going away - don't even try to whisper about it or give hints to another person in their presence!
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    Pick a location. Whether a surprise or something the guest of honor is aware of, you want a location that can easily hold the number of guests invited.
    • If your own home isn't available, it's acceptable to host in the guest of honor's home so long as you assume responsibility for setup and cleanup.
    • Saying goodbye to a coworker? Be sure you approve any location used in your workplace with management or HR and check out the protocol for parties, if there is one.
    • Parks are great for outdoor events when the weather is nice and you can often rent a picnic area for a small fee.
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    Send out invitations. You can do this in a number of ways, from posting a flier in your office break room to using social media to the old-fashioned method of mailing invitations or calling guests by telephone.
    • If space/food is limited, make sure you provide a method for guests to contact you to RSVP so you can have an accurate head count!
    • Don't send out invitations too late or you run the risk of nobody showing up. It is acceptable etiquette to send last-minute invitations, but as early as three weeks is a good time frame to ensure a well-attended shindig.[1]
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    Recruit helpers. If you plan on a small party, you may be able to handle everything on your own but if you're expecting a large crowd to say goodbye to Aunt Mimi and Uncle Mark then it would be a good idea to ask a couple of reliable friends or family members to help.
    • If people ask what they can do to help or what dish they can bring to the party don't be shy with your instructions. Spell out exactly what is needed, and the party will go much more smoothly. You may even find yourself making new friends.
    • Delegate tasks accordingly. If you're not sure how reliable the guest of honor's brother's sister is, don't put her in charge of something massively important like the cake.
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    Purchase food, drinks, and supplies. No party is complete without something to eat and drink! You can keep it simple with chips and soda or have a caterer bring in sandwich platters.
    • Low on funds? Consider making the party potluck or barbecue style, meaning guests will bring a dish to share. If you go this route, just be sure guests are aware and have enough food and beverages on hand in case people forget.
    • Don't forget the cake! No going away party is complete without a cake to say "bon voyage!" Purchase one at a bakery or get creative and make it yourself. Bonus points if you get the guest of honor's favorite flavor!
    • Parties aren't all about food and drink. Don't forget to buy cups, plates, utensils, and decorations. You can also make your own decorations with a few art supplies and a little imagination.

Part 2
Throwing the Party

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    Set up early. Depending on how much decorating you plan to do, you might want to arrive at the party venue or get started decorating an hour to two before the party is supposed to start.
    • If you're using a space that is not your own, such as a rental hall or someone else's home, make sure you find out ahead of time if there are any rules about decorations.
    • Hide or cover up any valuable items you wouldn't want to get broken or damaged during the party.
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    Welcome speech. When the guest of honor arrives or the party has officially started, it is appropriate to recognize the reason you are all gathered there. Make it short and sweet, wish them well wherever they're going, and let the festivities commence.
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    Act as a good host. You're going to want to enjoy the party, but be sure you remember that your first priority is to ensure that things run smoothly for all the other guests - especially the honoree!
    • Keep an eye on the food and drinks, refilling or removing empty trays when necessary.
    • If you've planned party games, make sure they are introduced after everyone has had time to socialize and get a bite to eat.
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    Clean up afterward. When the party is over, accept any help offered to clean up and be sure to thank your guests for attending and making the party special for your guest of honor.
    • Be sure to leave everything as you found it, whether you're using the office break room or a picnic area in the park.
    • Sometimes guests will bring gifts or cards to give the person going away and wish them well. Make sure the guest of honor takes these with him/her!


  • Don't forget to thank your helpers! Whether it's as simple as bringing cups or as big as baking the cake, you want to make sure you thank anyone who offers help with making your going away party a success.
  • If your guests are lactose intolerant, try using alternatives in food and drinks such as non milk powder. or lactose-free milk (It's a thing!) in replacement of dairy ingredients.
  • "Dollar Tree/Dollar General/The Family Dollar/ETC" and other discount stores can be a great source for cheap decorations and other party items.
  • If you're throwing a surprise party, try to arrange for someone to accompany the guest of honor to the location so you will know when he/she is arriving. This reduces the risk for an early arrival that ruins the surprise.
  • After the surprise the following day take him/her out to do something but keep that a secret also!


  • Uninvited guests may show up. People you do not like may show up. Just remember: This party isn't for you and it's important that everyone who wants to wish the guest of honor well has a chance to attend so he/she knows how much everyone cares.
  • If you don't have enough food, recruit someone to run to the nearest grocery store or restaurant and grab something quick! The host/hostess should not leave the party. Or, divide the food you have up into smaller portions.

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Categories: Theme Parties