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How to Throw a Goodbye Party

people hugging at goodbye partySaying goodbye is never easy.

But when your friend is moving away—whether to pursue a new job, attend a new school, move in with a spouse, or retire—it can be a great way to keep ties strong while kicking off the old chapter. It allows you and the rest of that person’s “people” to assure the departing friend that there are no hard feelings and that you’re excited about their next adventure.

You can also throw one if you’re the person leaving! If you’re throwing the party, it’s a great way to show the people in your life that you won’t forget them when you’re miles away.

Exchange Photos

photos piled up on mapPutting together a photo exchange can be a great way to celebrate memories. One way to do it is to ask each person to bring out printed copies of their favorite photos. Give out small albums as party favors and let the guests fill their books with pictures while encouraging them to reminisce.

You can do this even if everyone you know rocks a cell phone camera these days. Various online photo printing services will transform digital photographs into professional prints.

Create a Video Montage

You could also gather digital photos and edit them into a video set to music to create a fun video montage.

Or you could take a montage right at the party, interviewing each person and asking them what they’ll miss most about having the guest of honor around.

You can cut the responses into a video and send it to the guest of honor after the party.

Create a Giveaway

woman standing with moving boxesIf the guest of honor has a lot of (nice) leftover stuff that won’t be going on the move with them, then you can use that stuff in the service of your party.

You could create a giveaway, raffle off the items, or use them as party game prizes. You could create a small charity auction for the items (for small amounts only). The guest of honor picks the charity the proceeds will go to.

Or just create a “take it if you need it” table so people can choose items without feeling obligated to walk away with anything.

Don’t Skimp on the Decorations and Food

people around table eatingAt its heart, a going away party is still a party, so ensure you have good food and festive decorations.

You could even create a theme around the guest of honor’s intended destination. Have they been transferred to NYC? Create a Big Apple theme with balloons that spell out NYC and wall decor around famous NY landmarks.

Are they off to an exotic country? Serve food from that region and choose decorations that evoke it. That way, at least in part, everyone at the party can accompany the guest of honor to their new destination, at least for a night.

Commit to the Relationship

balloon decorationsBeing a long-distance family member or friend can be difficult. A person whom you might have interacted with every single day is now far away. Yet with a lot of effort, you can keep that relationship strong.

Consider taking it beyond Facebook with scheduled phone calls, Facetimes, Discord chats, or even an old-fashioned letter-writing campaign. Don’t forget to put together a care package or two.

Find ways to visit—don’t just insist your loved one always be the one to come “home.” Do your best to find new ways to be in this person’s life.

They’ll appreciate that effort even more than they’ll appreciate their awesome going away party!

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