If you’ve got a loved one who’s retiring after a long career in the military, it’s only natural to want to celebrate them and the service that they’ve given to their country with a retirement party. However, if you’ve never planned a military retirement party before, you might not be sure where to start. Obviously, a military retirement is going to be quite different from any other kind of party that you’ve thrown before, but luckily, we’re here to help with a list of the most important things to consider when honoring your loved one’s retirement from the armed services.

1. Get a Guest List Together

The first step in deciding to throw a military retirement party is getting together a guest list. If you’re planning the party with the loved one who is retiring, you can directly consult them for a list of people that they’d like to invite to their retirement party. It’s also a great idea to consult with the person that you’re throwing the party for on whether they’d like to make it a family affair, where invited guests can bring guests like partners and children, or if they’d like to keep it a smaller, quieter event.

Alternatively, if you’re throwing their military retirement party as a surprise, you’re going to have to be a little bit sneaky. To put things in military terms, think of it as your own covert mission! In order to get a guest list together without letting the person that you’re throwing the party for know, you’ll want to do some research. Think about the people they talk about most when recounting stories of their time working in the military, and track down their contact info. Once you’ve found a few people that you know served with your loved one, you can enlist their help in tracking down other potential attendees that your loved one might be overjoyed to see at their party.

2. Find the Perfect Military Retirement Party Venue

Once you’ve gotten your guest list together and have a ballpark figure of how many people you’ll be expecting, it’s time to find the perfect venue that will accommodate the size of your military retirement party. While some prefer to have military retirement parties at home, or in the backyard, others might prefer a larger venue, especially if there’s a long guest list. When looking for external venues for your military retirement party, consider community centers as well as banquet halls that you can rent out for a given day. When choosing a venue for your military retirement party, it’s also important to consider your budget, and pick a location that you can rent without having to break the bank.

3. Make Sure You’ve Got a Gift for the Retiree

On top of planning the perfect party for your loved one, you’ll also want to get the military retiree that you’re honoring a gift. If you’re at a loss for what to get them, consider looking into military gifts that will act as a commemoration of their time in the service. Some of the most popular military gifts include: challenge coins, commemorative pins, and hats that can be customized to relate directly to the faction of the military that your loved one served in. If the person that you’re throwing the military retirement party for is a highly decorated officer, you might want to get them a medal display case that they can use to showcase their achievements during their military tenure at home. Or, if you’re not quite sure what kind of gift that your loved one would like best, you can choose to get them a gift card for a company that sells military gifts that they might enjoy.

4. Time to Celebrate!

Once you’ve gotten your invites out and found the perfect venue, it’s time to celebrate! You can choose to celebrate however you’d like. For some, celebrating a military retirement means having old friends and family over to tell favorite stories, for others, it means throwing a dance party, conga line included! When deciding the celebration itinerary of your military retirement party, it’s best to consider your loved one’s personal tastes and do what they would most enjoy.

In Conclusion

When planning a military retirement party for a loved one, you want to make sure that it’s the best it can be. This is a special chance to commemorate your loved one’s lifetime of service to their country, and it’s worth it to make the most of it. In order to ensure that any military retirement party that you throw is a surefire success, be sure to come up with a guest list that your loved one would approve of, find a suitable venue for the size of the party, get a great gift for your loved one to enjoy, and celebrate in the best way possible!