Planning a family reunion, while exciting, can seem like a daunting task if you don’t know where to start. Check out our helpful hints for planning and executing a fantastic family reunion.
Start Planning a Year Ahead
Try to plan your family reunion at least a year in advance. This will give you plenty of time to arrange its details without the stress of a looming deadline. You do not want to plan your reunion in a short amount of time, rush the details and have forget important aspects. A year’s notice gives you and your family members ample time to organize the perfect event.
Create a Guest List
One of the first things to do is to create a guest list to see who is interested in attending the family reunion. Will you be inviting your immediate family for a small family reunion or planning a larger family reunion with your extended family? The size of your family reunion will directly affect your venue search and activity planning.
Pick a Date
Once you have a tentative headcount, choose a date that works for the majority of your family and stick to it. This will allow everyone who plans on attending plenty of time to ask for vacation days from work.
Send Out a Survey
Surveying your family members about what they would like to do at the family reunion is a good way to generate ideas. Make sure to include location, activities, food, and other events in your poll. Hearing from everyone will help you plan an event that your whole family will enjoy.
Decide on a Location
Based on the activities that your family members are interested in, you can now research locations and venues. Will it be near a historical family location? Is your family interested in taking a cruise? Will you be going to the park or beach? Venues with both indoor and outdoor options are a wise choice in case of rain.
Invite your Guests
You can invite your guests by mail or email. Printed invitations make a great memento and online invitations can help keep the budget down. Another great idea is to make a website or a Facebook page to provide additional information about the upcoming event. This will allow you to gauge how many people will be able to attend and easily answer any questions.
Form Planning Committees
Planning a family reunion is a big task so don’t try to tackle it alone. Instead, get your family involved too. This will be the time to organize volunteers and delegate tasks to everybody.
Make Custom T-Shirts
Creating custom t-shirts is a great way to give your family reunion an extra element of fun. Local screen printing companies can help to design and print high quality shirts for your event. After the reunion is over, everybody will have a memento for their time spent with their family. Make sure to order a few extra shirts for any last minute RSVPs or family members who may not be able to attend.
Plan the Activities & Entertainment
Go ahead and start planning the activities and entertainment for the reunion now. Furthermore, fun activities, entertainment, and events can be handled through the committees too. Be sure to include activities for all the age groups of your family.
Planning the family meals for your family reunion is an important detail that you can’t leave to chance. Will you be serving your family’s traditional foods? Would you rather have the event catered? Another option is to have a potluck where every family brings a dish. Planning ahead will help ensure that there is enough food for everyone. Make sure to have family members alert you to their food allergies ahead of time.
Find Hotels & Get Group Rates
Not everybody can sleep on Grandma’s sofa. If you’re expecting a large turnout, it is best to find hotel accommodations and make reservations ahead of time. Do your best to book hotel rooms well in advance. Many hotels offer discounted rates for large groups, so make sure to ask each hotel you’re interested in.
Transportation & Group Rates for Airfare
Will everybody be driving to the family reunion? If not, there are also group rates available from airlines for airfare. Make sure to inquire with different airlines about their group rates and promotions.
Capture the Moment
It isn’t often that the whole family gets together. Make sure to take photos and video of your family reunion from beginning to end. For photos that you can print, frame or use in your holiday cards, consider hiring a professional photographer. This will also help everyone to unplug from their cell phones and tablets, and spend some quality time together.