It is easy nowadays to keep in touch with your family members via social media which are apart due to distance and time but nothing can replace meeting them in person. Time spent with our family gives us a sense of belonging and perspective on our past and lineage. A Family Reunion is a great way to reconnect and build new memories.
A family reunion gives us the opportunity to rekindle up the memories with relatives who we haven’t met in a long time. Planning a reunion takes a lot of patience, commitment and organizational skills. You may start sweating thinking of how to plan a perfect family reunion but don’t you worry we have got your back. Just follow some easy breezy steps to plan the reunion.
How To Plan A Family Reunion?
Set a Date
Begin your planning a year in advance, give your family members time to budget for travel expenses. Especially families with school-age children will like to consider school break schedules before confirming.
You also want to have an ample amount of time in your hands to organize the reunion.
For a small reunion, you might want to limit the guest list to first cousins whereas for large ones you can have second and third cousins.
Though it is recommended to invite everyone even if you don’t think they will attend so that no one holds a grudge against you.
Get a rough idea about attendees
This will help you to plan for the size of the event. Also, needed in picking up the location which is centrally situated for the attendees.
Set your Budget
It will help you in determining the type of event you can afford. Also, provide several price points so that members have a number of choices to pick from.
Duration of Reunion
If members see each other frequently a daylong or weekend event is a good idea. If members don’t meet often and live far away, a longer reunion makes more sense. Don’t forget to have a big place for a longer reunion to avoid people getting on each other nerves.
Choose a Location
If you are planning a family reunion on a budget has a home-hosted gathering. This way you can save money on venue fees, also it offers the choice of organizing a potluck meal at a low-cost. Such kind of reunion is best for small groups since most houses have limited space.
For big groups arrange an open house style event where people drop in at different times.
Check Deals with inclusive resorts and cruises
There are many fun scheduled activities with meals included for kids and adults. You may want to check with your family member’s budget as all-inclusive is the most expensive option.
You can also have a reunion at a national park or campground to make it more affordable. It will be in everyone’s budget too.
Get a place with a variety of attractions and activities for each age group of family and make sure that the members travelling get a place which is conveniently located to a major airport.
Family members can also consider renting a house via a home-sharing website for a house based reunion and if they don’t have anyone to host. They offer multiple private bedrooms and kitchens and indoor-outdoor communal space.
Back-up Plan for Outdoor Venue
Always be prepared in case of inclement in the weather. If hosting at a park they may have pavilions available to reserve. Don’t forget to plan indoor activities beforehand like board games or craft supplies.
Invitations must include the date, time, location and RSVP contact information. Also include maps, driving directions and lodging options for out of town guest.
Request for family photos for a creative display.
Best to have some help by your side, doing it all on your own may seem tempting but is a risky and stressful choice. Assign people to take care of food, entertainment and making a photo display.
Choose between Potluck or Catered Meal
A carter is expensive whereas a potluck meal is cheaper but difficult for members who live out of town. A buffet meal is best for home and casual events.
If you choose potluck assign duties and dishes to each family and consider their specialities or any favourite recipes. You can also make reservations that can easily accommodate large group.
Pick Activities and Entertainment
For outdoor venues, family members can play games like volleyball, cricket and badminton. Indoor activities include board games.
It is a good idea to have a quiet room with TV and DVD player for people having downtime.
For casual and outdoor reunion go with easy items like balloons and streamers. For indoor reunion, you can have an elegant centrepiece and fresh floral arrangements. Also, put together a display with family photos.
Reserving Facilities and Equipment
For outdoor events like park, you may need to make reservations for the area like softball fields and volleyball, basketball court or grilling facilities.
You should also reserve equipment like a podium, microphone, tables or chairs.
Check in with local community centres to borrow chairs and equipment at low cost.
Purchase For Activities and Decorations
It is advisable to do one month prior to the reunion so that items you order online have time to arrive. For potluck get disposable plates and glasses.
For large reunion buy these items at warehouse clubs or wholesalers to take advantage of bulk pricing.
Prepare Welcome Bags
Purchase inexpensive tote bags online and personalize them with iron-on transfers. Include things like a map, schedule, brochures and name tags. It the budget allows adding fun items like a personalized T-Shirt or a themed or regional gift.
If you are getting a caterer, provide him/her with the final guest count. Also, check in with your venue and rental companies. Check with a local food shelf or soup kitchen to see if they will accept a donation of any leftover food.
Venue Set Up
Check the rental equipment if they work properly or not. You may like to set up a welcome table to welcome members. Prepare final tips and payments to vendors like caterer and waitstaff.
In a nutshell, you can also confirm and re-check everything using a family reunion checklist so that you don’t forget any single or important detail.
Family Reunion Checklist
4-6 Months Before
- Organize teams according to activities like financing and food, if needed appoint a coordinator.
- Compile perfect reunion ideas drop down by other members of your family.
- Pick a date and a location.
- Set your budget.
- Start building your invitation list.
- Research caterers if needed.
- Make bookings for out of town guests.
3-4 Months Before
- Reserve the location.
- Start with the menu planning.
- Send out invitations.
- Create supply needed list.
2 Months Before
- Get the weather information and advise some clothing tips to out of town guest
- Make a shopping list.
1 Month Before
- Confirm reservations.
- Start purchasing non-perishable items like decorations and supplies.
2 Weeks Before
- Plan activities for adults and children.
- Buy all supplies like disposable plates.
- Re-confirm Reservations
- Have a blast you have done a great job.
Regardless of this hectic process of planning and organizing, the steps will help you get through the reunion swiftly. Planning and participating in such events and talent shows is a great way to maintain close ties with distant family members. Also makes your holidays exciting and fun. A family reunion vacation you won’t forget for years to come.