10 Tips to Plan a Successful Family Reunion
Maybe you haven’t seen some of them in years. Maybe you just want to get the whole family away from the noise and distraction of daily life. Getting together with our family members to swap stories and recollections is a wonderful time. But how best to organize this get together? Follow this simple guide for 10 tips to make planning your family reunion smooth and easy.
1) Set a Budget
Perhaps nothing causes more stress than being financially overburdened. Before you begin worrying about food, guests, or accommodations, understand how much money will have to be spent to put on this event.
2) Make the Guest List
Logistics and costs differ dramatically for an intimate 25-person reunion than for a 50+ person reunion. This will require some legwork to make sure you have current addresses and phone numbers for everyone who will be invited.
3) Find a Venue
This is a bit of a tricky one because, ultimately, venue availability will determine your date. Read online reviews and make a list, then go visit your venues in person. That will make sure that your chosen venue is appropriate for the size of your family reunion.
4) Have a Backup Plan
This is particularly important if you are planning your reunion in an outdoor venue. You absolutely don’t want rain to spoil your big get together.
5) Gather Volunteers
There are many moving parts to a family reunion, and most likely you won’t want to take on all these roles by yourself. You need to get people on board so that responsibilities can be split, and everyone can enjoy the reunion.
6) Send Invitations
Make sure your guests have plenty of time to put the reunion in their calendar. Do this as early as possible so that the guests have plenty of time to make travel arrangements.
7) Get Everyone Involved
As your guests arrive at the venue, have them fill out name tags so that everyone can remember names. Also have them fill out a slot on a blank family tree so you can see where they fit in to the grand scheme of everyone at the reunion. This will be particularly helpful for the younger generations at the reunion.
8) Share Your Family’s Story
At the reunion, be sure to set aside time to share the story of your common ancestry. How did your ancestors get here? How did they wind up in their hometown? What draws people back home? This will keep people engaged and help everyone understand the significance of those that came before them.
9) Take Lots of Pictures
Make sure someone has a camera so that they can record memories from everyone getting together. You want to have a record of all your hard work and how everyone enjoyed it. It will help keep you motivated for the next tip.
10) Keep It Going
Now that you have current addresses and phone numbers of everyone who came, send letters, cards, and emails to stay in touch. Make sure everyone knows that it isn’t a one-time event. Ask your volunteers if they would be willing to help out again next year.
There you have it. Ten things you can do to minimize your stress and maximize your enjoyment at your next family reunion. Using this outline, you will be able to organize a fantastic reunion that is fun and enjoyable for everyone.