Preparing Your First Going-away Party

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friends eating pizza at a house party

Everyone in the group cajoled you into doing it because you’re not the party animal in the group. You haven’t invited anyone for a cup of coffee, much less throw a party. You tried to get out of it by saying there are bathroom contractors currently working in your house in Bountiful, and it’s a mess right now. You can’t hold a party. “Dude, the party is not for tomorrow or the day after. It’s in two months. They will be done by then. It’s your turn now,” one of your friends countered.

And so there is no escape. Everyone was clapping and throwing their fists in the air as if Stephen Curry sank a game-winning triple in the dying seconds of a game. Amidst the high fives and fist pumps, they were giving each other, your starting to sweat. How does one throw a going-away party? After getting lost in your thoughts, the scientist in you began to take control. You’re going to surprise everyone and throw one hell of a party.


There are various reasons why one would throw a going-away party. The reason can be your motivation to develop a concept or theme for the party to make it more fun and memorable.

For younger generations, they would usually leave home for college. Many Americans serving in the military are deployed overseas to serve for years. Some are moving to another continent to take on a new job.

Making Memories

It’s all about making memories and expressing to your friend how much he’s going to be missed. Here are a few ideas to consider to make the party truly memorable.

at a party

  1. Plan it. It’s not a wedding party with 200 guests, but for the best result, carefully spending time on details is essential. Prepare a guest list so that you know who will be coming. Verify with your friend if people on your list are welcomed. You don’t want any awkward moment. Once you have that set, send out invitations way ahead of time. Typically, send the invites no later than two to three weeks before the event, if it’s a casual gathering. If you’re aiming for something more formal complete with a program, no less than a month is necessary.
  2. The Timing. Have the party near the departure date of the person going away. But consider that they also have errands and other essential things to settle. Make sure that you coordinate with your friend about the best date.
  3. Theme and decor. Since it’s going to happen in your place, you have more flexibility on how to organize decorations. Even if it’s a casual gathering, having a theme can spice up your party. Dollar-store items might be useful or ask from friends specific things that they can lend out for the occasion.
  4. Giveaways. Give something to guests to remember this special day. There are plenty of service providers out there. A photo boot is typical but still hasn’t lost its luster, since everyone loves sharing pictures on social media. Create something simple that won’t be bothersome to keep. A unique magnet for the refrigerator could be an idea.
  5. Speech. Some kind words to usher your friends onto a new journey would be great. Keep it short or straightforward. You don’t want to be the center of attention.

Of course, food, drinks, and music are essential to any party. It’s probably 50% of the party. Find an excellent caterer to offer something creative—maybe it’s the dishes from your friend’s destination place. Most of all, don’t forget to say the proper and warm farewell to your friend. Go beyond the handshake and give a hug.


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