How to Word a Farewell Lunch Invitation

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Someone's leaving the office. He may be switching departments, leaving work to start a family or reaching out for bigger and bolder things. Whatever his reason, it's a nice gesture to put together a farewell lunch to give all your colleagues a chance to toast his future and say their goodbyes. Get things organized by handing out invitations so everyone knows where to be at what time. You've got a lot of options for what you say in your invitations, from classic to humorous to thoughtful. The one you choose depends on the colleague and the circumstances.

Button Up

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Going formal is perfectly appropriate in certain situations. You may be organizing a send-off for a college professor or a well-respected attorney, or you may be in charge of making the invitations for someone you don't know very well. In these cases, choosing a formally-worded, simple invite is fine. Say, "Your presence is cordially invited for the farewell lunch for so-and-so," or "Please join us in a farewell lunch to celebrate the professional accomplishments of so-and-so."

Relax a Little

Max Burnside/Demand Media

When you're creating an invitation for someone you know well, especially in a work atmosphere that is friendly and relaxed, you can be much more personal with your wording. "Come join us for food and drinks to celebrate so-and-so's brand-new job!" or "Kim's outta here! Let's all wish her well with a big lunch send-off" are good ideas. Tie in an element of what's going on if you'd like, such as: "We're sad to see Brian go, but let's wish him the best in his new writing career by giving him a great lunch!"

Use Humor

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Humor is appropriate for a colleague you all know well and have had great times with, especially if he's a character. Bounce ideas off other colleagues to get the right tone. Incorporating an inside joke may be perfect, or use verse to make it light-hearted and fun. Something like, "Jim is gone; But we're not sad; He's leaving us; To Become a Dad!" strikes the right balance between missing someone and wishing him the best in his future.

Don't Forget

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While you're printing a dozen or so invitations for the guests, don't forget the star of the show! If it's to be a surprise, innocently ask the guest of honor to join you for lunch and don't take no for an answer. You may prefer to create an invitation specifically for him. Try a formal invitation like, "Your colleagues at Smith Law Firm want to wish you the best in your new endeavors. Please join us at Dressy Cafe for a farewell lunch," or an informal one like, "We're all getting together for a farewell lunch for you and you're not getting out of it! Come on to Relaxed Buffet to gain a few pounds while we wish you well" are good ideas.

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