11 Tips to Plan a Family Reunion and Make it a Success
Planning a family reunion for the first time is not a cakewalk. It calls for painstaking preparation well in advance to ensure it lives up to your expectations. Whether you are expecting a handful of cousins or wish to have your entire extended family be a part of the gathering, use your organizational skills for a successful event. Here are some surefire ways to make your next family reunion a grand success. And of course, memorable too!
#1 Have a Discussion
Begin by consulting your family and relatives regarding the reunion. Asking them beforehand will give you an idea of how many people are up for the get-together. Take notes of the available dates from their end and also be mindful of the dates to avoid, such as someone’s birthday or graduation ceremony. Once you know who can make it to the reunion, it will be easy for you to delegate responsibilities and organize everything.
#2 Think About Your Budget
Take stock of your budget as the reconciliation event will cost you good bucks. So, unless you are wealthy enough to spend an exorbitant amount of money, you need to build a budget and make everything revolve around it. However, you can always ask your relatives to pay their fair share even if you aren’t reserving a park pavilion.
So, calculate the estimated total expenditure for the event. If you are seeking help from a family reunion planning committee, you can check with them to know how many funds were spent at the last reunion. After knowing the figures, you can ask the family to contribute accordingly.
#3 Pick a Date
There may be some family members who are forever-feisty when it comes to get-togethers and can join anytime. But this isn’t the case with everyone. So, pick a date that suits all before you transcend. The best is to organize the reunion during the summer break when families with school-going kids can be a part of the gathering. Alternatively, choose Fourth of July or Labor Day weekend.
#4 Choose a Location
They say – “Location doesn’t matter when it comes to spending time with people who matter to you.” But if you have a penchant for the outdoors, conducting a barbeque in the backyard or campground will double up the fun. Here are some great location options you can use to reconnect with your far-flung relatives:
- Backyard: Backyard get-together will save you money incurred on the venue. Plus, it will be a more comforting and cozy family affair especially for those who don’t like to travel.
- Campground: It’s a perfect go-to option for adventure seekers. Many campgrounds also have party spaces and fun amenities along with group camping options.
- Beach: A great opportunity to enjoy a weekend getaway with family is on the shore and experience the wonders of the beach town.
- Mountains: If coastal locations aren’t your thing, you can plan a destination reunion in a resort near a snow-capped mountain peak.
- Cruise: If your budget allows, head off to a cruise for a lavish and swanky vacation with loved ones. Something that would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many!
- Bed & Breakfast: Picturesque settings are great but nothing can beat a bed and breakfast when it comes to enjoying an extended family reunion.
#5 Entertainment for All
Entertainment is the key player in family get-togethers. To engage in fuss-free hours of entertainment, plan a list of activities everyone can partake in. Decide to conduct a
family recipe bake-off and let the elder person or family chef decide whose pasta or pie tastes the best. A field trip or hiking to the nearby site also makes for an ideal activity for the entire family. Visiting an archaeological site is a great way to intrigue kids and pass on some knowledge to them. For small children, keep storytime sessions. What’s more? Conduct a family trivia event and give prizes to the team that answers the most questions correctly. Some other great entertainment options include board games, a scavenger hunt, pool party, talent show, and yard games. Don’t forget to take candid pictures throughout the event to take memories back home.
#6 Decide the Menu
Depending on the chosen venue, you can decide whether to cook food on-site, hire caterers, or order food from outside. Choose the theme according to the venue and plan meals accordingly. For instance – for a reunion at the campground, you can add s’mores and grilled sandwiches to the menu. Also, take time of the year into consideration and rely on in-season produce. During fall or winter, the comforting food can be soups, warm banana bread, skillet lasagna, and warm brownies. You can also count on potluck dishes like shrimp, beans & rice, fried chicken, pork chops, etc. In case you are conducting a backyard reunion, you can ask each family to bring a potluck dish. The best is to make a list of foods and drinks beforehand so that you don’t end up with the same hors d’oeuvres that day.
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#7 Divide Duties
A diligent effort goes into planning a family get-together, especially for a large family. So, don’t shy away from delegating responsibilities to take some burden off your shoulders. Moreover, teamwork always pays off so, assign duties to every person (you can exclude older people and kids) whosoever is joining you for the reunion. Prepare sections like food preparation, entertainment, clean-up, photography, etc., and then allot tasks from each section.
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#8 Check out the Details On-Site
If you are planning to set off for a destination or remote reunion, you need to thoroughly check the booked site in advance. Make sure the venue has every facility you are hoping for. Pay attention to their transportation and parking facilities along with food service and party space. You can call the administrator present on-site to ensure everything is there the way you want.
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#9 Send Invitations Early
Once the date and venue have been decided, you can start working on the invitations. It’s good to send invites early especially if your family members have to travel a long distance. Consider how many people will be coming from a far-off land and send invitations accordingly.
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#10 Always Have a Backup Plan
There are times when not-so-pleasing scenarios happen to you. For instance – inclement weather can take its toll and act as a spoilsport at your campground or outdoor reunion. So, it’s wise to have a backup plan at hand. You can have a backup venue, a list of indoor activities, and so forth so your plan won’t backfire.
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#11 In the End Memories Matter
After the reunion is over, all that is left are the memories you can take home along with you. Cherish the bond of love among your family members by taking photographs with them and making a scrapbook with those pictures. Or you can allow attendees to take home souvenirs or keepsakes that will symbolize your family harmony. Make sure to shoot videos and send the reunion footage to every member once the event ends.
Take help from these tips and make your next family reunion or gathering a successful event!