A family reunion is a great opportunity for family members to come together and catch up after not seeing each other for a long time, or simply to unite even if they live in the same town, where they run into each other. It is an event that can create memories that can last a lifetime and allow families to avoid drifting apart from each other. A family reunion often requires a deal of planning and effort. One or two family members often establish themselves at the point person in planning the reunion, taking care of everything from the guest list to the social activities. Here’s a quick guide on the steps in planning the perfect family reunion.
1. Make the Guest List
Before planning anything else, create a list of the family members you’d like to invite to the reunion. Not everyone will make it to the reunion so it’s best to contact each family and ask if they’d like to participate in the event. Social media is a great way to reach out to people since it’s a significant part of so many people’s lives. Choose whatever works best for you and the situation. Get their contact information, be it email or a phone number, to keep them up-to-date on any changes as you move ahead with your planning. This is also helpful in the event you may need assistance with planning if your reunion doesn’t require a reunion committee of family members with assigned tasks.
2. Set a Budget
Family reunions can cost a pretty penny, from hundreds to thousands of dollars, and so having a budget will help to gauge spending. It all depends on the type of reunion you are planning, how much of a factor money is and who is footing the bill. Establish these key details to begin with and create a tentative budget for the reunion. Create room for up to a 10% cushion to cover unpredicted costs. Talk openly with family members about the budget if necessary and take into account every possible expense. Set a per-family “registration fee” to help with covering costs related to food, decorations, activities and possible accommodation. You want to avoid asking family members for more money.
3. Choose the Date
One of the most effective things to do to establish a date for the reunion that works for the majority of event attendees is to conduct a poll. This way you can avoid a conflict of date and time; it’s not really a reunion if most family members cannot attend the event. A family reunion can last more than one day and planning should take into account the number of days for the reunion. If family members have to travel from some ways away, whether by airplane or cross country road trip, it makes sense to have the reunion last for a few days.
4. Select a Location
Family reunions can be milestone celebrations and you want to select the right location for the momentous occasion. Think first about accessibility and how you can accommodate the majority of attendees, but don’t forget affordability. Choose an event venue based on how close or how far away family members are; you want a reunion location that is convenient and accessible. It’s best to stick with a location nearby if family members are in a general area, but if scattered, opting for a central location is more ideal. Furthermore consider affordability and the kinds of activities that are offered and the events taking place at the venue. This is also the time to think about the theme to see if the location is ideal for your needs.
5. Establish the Menu
It can become tricky trying to decide on the best way to go about feeding a large group of individuals who have different tastes. While you want food that’s great tasting and satisfactory to all in attendance, you want to process to be easy-going. Keep your menu in line with your theme and decide if you want to cater the food (best for large gathering) or have a group of designated family members take on the responsibility.
6. Plan Social Activities
A family reunion needs to have social activities to serve as icebreakers and bonding opportunities. It’s a great way for family members to get acquainted and learn about each other. While you probably won’t be able to keep everyone busy—and don’t need to—it’s important to include activities that cater to family members of all ages, from children to the oldest in attendance.
7. Get the Party Started
Before getting the reunion on the way, do day-of final touches and details. Ensure everything is in place and that all the designated help is ready to go. Get the party started!
Planning a family reunion can be an arduous task, but with some thoughtfulness, know-how and the willingness to ask for help, you can put together an awesome reunion. Keep planning and organization simple, by creating a guest list, setting a budget and date, getting a venue and a menu and deciding on the social activities.