Memorable milestones, whether they're filled with joy or marked by sorrow, help us to highlight the contours of our lives. Moments like your graduation and wedding day are filled with pride, excitement and promise. Ceremonies that mark the passing of a loved one, however, are often occasions for somber reflection.
Moving away from a beloved home is a bittersweet event. You may feel enthusiastic about what lies ahead, but bidding farewell to your old life can be a trying experience, for you and those you hold close.
Leaving behind an old home is not an uncommon experience either. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, about 4.7 million people moved out of state over the last year. Many of those people shared difficult goodbyes before they left for new opportunities miles away.
A going-away party can help you mark your transition and say farewell to the important people in your life before you start a new era.
Who's on the guest list?
The first thing you'll want to decide is who to invite. If you're an introvert, don't feel obligated to throw a total blowout. If you want to host an intimate gathering to share memories with your closest friends, that's your prerogative.
On the other hand, feel free to make it about you. Don't worry too much about inviting a lot of people who don't know each other too well. Your friends and family will want to show up for you, and they'll expect some mingling. It will also give them a chance to learn new stories they might not have known about you.
Work colleagues and professional contacts may want to show up to wish you well on your journey, too. Your workplace may host a short event for you on company time, but feel free to invite close connections to your own gathering, too.
Where's the party?
This next consideration is a big one, and there are a lot of factors to keep in mind. Where are you throwing this party?
Host it at your house
Hosting your farewell party at home has some definite perks. First of all, if you've made a habit of hosting gatherings in the past, it gives your guests a chance to say goodbye to your home just as you bid them adieu. Secondly, you'll save money compared to renting out a party room at a venue for the night. Lastly, you can customize the theme by cooking and decorating however you want at home.
On the flip side, if you're trying to throw a big bash, hosting your going-away party at home can put a cap on the guest list. Depending on how close you are to moving time, it can also be a real headache to think about party cleanup. Having a big group of people over while you're in the middle of packing can make things complicated, too.
Rent a space
Renting out a party space at a bar, restaurant, local park or other venue can also be a great option. There are a variety of different choices, so you could probably find something in your price range, depending on your location and the weather. Reserving a space could also give you a nice chance to extend the theme of your get-together. For instance, are there any restaurants in your area that serve cuisine similar to where you're headed?
Make it special
Once you've decided on your guest list and the location, you're ready to send out the invites. You can opt for custom paper invitations, send out electronic cards or just create an event page on social media. Make sure to reach out to anybody who's at risk of missing the memo.
Set up some simple themed games to help your guests relate and share stories. A guest book is also a great way to have a keepsake and hear from guests whom you might not be able to pull aside for a personal goodbye. You might want to have a co-host, too. That will give you a chance to take a private moment with people you might not see again.
A going-away party is only the start of your journey. Reach out to your local Atlas Agent to start your next chapter today.