Things You'll Need
Tropical Vacation Theme:
Plastic palm trees
Potted tropical plants
Grass table skirts
Memory Lane Theme:
Retiring is a special, bittersweet moment in a person's life; and it deserves to be celebrated in a big way. If a special man in your life is retiring, whether he is your husband, father or close friend, create a themed retirement party that combines fond memories and bright futures with something he loves. Although popular themes for a retirement party include relaxing on the beach with a drink, or golfing, consider the passions of the retiree when making a final decision.
Tropical Vacation Theme
Set up plastic palm trees around the perimeter of the space and fill-in with lush tropical plants, if possible. Put toy parrots in or around the trees, or rent real parrots, if you can.
Dress each table with a grass skirt and a tropical flower centerpiece. Place a hula lady figurine at each spot as a souvenir. Use bright colors for plates and utensils. If you are having a buffet, the buffet table should also have a grass skirt lining it, as well as the DJ table, if possible.
Set up a tiki bar and hire a bartender that knows how to make popular tropical drinks. See if he can mix up a special drink in honor of the retiree.
Set up tiki torches throughout the party space. Don't use real fire however; Use battery operated tiki torches instead.
Set up a hammock between two trees and place a man's hat, and a newspaper in the hammock. Set a tropical drink on the floor next to the hammock to create the relaxed retirement scene.
Memory Lane Theme
Set a up a memory book at the entrance to the party space, asking guests to record a special memory they have with the honoree.
Make a collage of pictures of the retiree on poster board, specifically pictures of him at his workplace throughout the years -- to use a tabletop decorations. Place the pictures under glass, so that guests can see the pictures; but they are protected from damage. You could also place a framed photo at each table of the retiree in different stages of his life and career.
Create an actual Memory Lane in the center of the party. Cut and attach several pieces of poster board together to create a "lane", then add pictures of the retiree from birth to now. Laminate the poster boards; then tape them to the floor securely.
Place a banner above the video screen you should have to show a slide show or video of the retiree. The banner can say something related to the theme such as, "walking down memory lane", or "Thanks for the memories"
Cover the entire floor area with golf turf, if possible; and leave an area free of tables that can be used as a putting green. Place giant golf flags throughout the party to give it the look of being on an actual golf course. Hang golf clubs on the wall.
Place a basket of golf balls at each table as the centerpiece. Provide permanent markers and have the guests write a message on a golf ball to the retiree. Use utensils designed with ends that look like golf handles and white plates to represent golf balls. You could also place a miniature set of golf clubs in a vase as a centerpiece.
Have a couple of golf carts at the entrance to the party and have someone dressed as a caddy hand out the program for the evening, which should look like a golf scorecard.
Set up an elegant bar and buffet area that looks like service you would get at a five-star golf resort, using white linens and fine china and have all the waitstaff dress as golf caddies.
Try to match the cake to the theme, such as a cake with a beach scene for the tropical vacation theme and a golfcourse cake for the golf theme.