We had the pleasure of attending a retirement party last night. I wanted to share two of the great ideas that were part of making this event special. My friend and colleague, Nicole, planned and hosted the party for her sweetie, Bo.
Old photos are a wonderful addition to an event like a retirement party. They are often arranged on several big boards and guests can cluster around and enjoy the display. These clever photo centerpieces, made by our hostess, use photos printed onto vellum paper and mounted into picture frames. Four frames around a battery-operated votive “candle” formed a kind of photo-lantern at each table.
Each table had a different set of pictures and it was fun strolling around looking at pictures of the guest of honor through the years. I think these photo centerpieces would make great gifts (baby photos for grandparents, anyone?) and would be lovely for a birthday celebration.
Here is a link to Martha Stewart’s version, though she uses three frames to form a triangle instead of the four frames shown here.
The other idea was small cards on the tables with pens, and guests were invited to write down ideas for the newly-retired honoree to add to his bucket list. This gave us an activity at the table before Bo arrived and was a great conversation-starter.
Sorry I don’t have a more-clear photo. I didn’t bring my camera and was lucky enough to borrow a friend’s iPhone. I wrote:
Bo: For your bucket list:
A gondola ride, at night, w/Nicole, on the Grand Canal in Venice. (a great place for a proposal)
Visit (or revisit) Yosemite
Walk across the Golden Gate bridge and kiss in the middle (make this an annual event)
Live happily ever after!
Yes, I’m a romantic. In conversation with other people as they wrote their suggestions to Bo for his bucket list, I heard people mention things that they wanted for their own bucket list. Or things they were interested in trying but hadn’t gotten up the nerve. Maybe family or work commitments, health or financial restraints were keeping them from going skydiving or traveling to Hong Kong.
Italy was a favorite vacation for me and I’d love to go back. I didn’t take a gondola ride by myself on that trip, though for awhile, gondola’s were plying the waters of Lake Merritt in Oakland and Rem and I enjoyed a very romantic moonlit ride for his birthday. Our recent first-time trip to Yosemite had an impact on me, and especially if you live as close as we do here in the Bay Area, you should go see it (it took me until I was 53 years old). If you’ve been but it’s been a few years, it is so stunning, I think it would be worth a return trip.
The iconic Golden Gate Bridge, for me, another romantic destination. Rem and I kiss every time we go over it. We haven’t walked it for quite a few years, we need to put that back on our to-do list. As for getting married? Yes, that is also from my own list. It’s no secret that I’d like to do that at some point. In the meantime, I’ll encourage other couples.
Congratulations and all the very best to Bo on your retirement. Kudos to Nicole for a fabulous celebration! Thanks to Melinda for the photos and blog post suggestion. Thank you, reader, for stopping by.