A family reunion is a great way to gather your family together even as it is growing and changing. It's an opportunity to celebrate your family's history, recent achievements, and new additions. Whether it’s a picnic in the park, a beach-side barbecue, a state park gathering, or a gathering in someone's home, a properly planned reunion will attract even the most aloof family members for an afternoon of fun in the sun.
If you're planning a family reunion for about 100 people, you'll want to start your planning about six months in advance so you can drum up interest and enlist some deputies to help you pull it off. Here's a checklist to help you and your family get started!
Before any planning can begin in earnest, you need to determine who wants to attend a reunion. Send out a family poll via email to gauge interest, get an idea of how many people would attend, and find out what dates and locations would work best. You should also ask about budget so you know how much money people are willing to spend on the event. Try to give ranges for cost per person so it's easy for people to understand. Use an online tool like Survey Hero to design a simple poll for free and share the link with family members. Setting up the online poll will help you organize responses as they come in.
Now's also the time to decide whether the reunion will happen at a family member's home or a different location. Reunions held at homes are often hosted by the family matriarch or patriarch, especially when Grandma's home has played a strong role in the family history. Boisterous Christmas parties, casual Labor Day barbecues, and even graduation parties can be wonderful occasions to gather far-flung relatives and long-lost family members under one roof. If your space is somewhat limited, you might consider doing a family reunion "open house," where people could come and go throughout the day. Whether you're hosting the reunion, or Grandma is, make sure you have help. Enlist some reliable aunts to cook and some enthusiastic cousins to organize activities. Or, if your budget allows, hire a caterer to supplement your home-baked meals and to keep the drink flowing.
Having a family reunion at a location other than a family member's home means no one family is responsible for all the arrangements. Tasks can be distributed across extended family groups, easing some of the planning burden. It also may allow you to accommodate more people than any one person's home can. And, for traveling family members, a location with other recreation activities may allow them to turn the reunion into a full-fledged family vacation, making the most of travel dollars being spent.
Ask for help and get your reunion-planning committee together. You'll need to find dependable and enthusiastic relatives who could take charge of:
Consider managing your volunteers with a tool like Signup Genius, which lets you solicit volunteers and send group messages and task reminders without cluttering up your inbox.
You should also have conversations with your planning team about budget. Based on the feedback you got from your initial survey, determine your working budget so you can keep costs in check.
Hopefully your committee has been doing their homework! Four months before your family reunion, plan to complete the following tasks:
With the main details of your event in place, it's time to get the word out officially and start to lock in the details of the day.
Things are starting to come together and the fun is near! Stay on top of these organizational tasks and you’ll be in good shape.
With 30 days to go before the reunion, the first tasks on your monthly to-do list are simply confirming the details of plans you already have in place.
Now's the time to check in with volunteers who have been assigned specific tasks to confirm times and the final guest count.
After the event, you'll have a few more details to take care of. Within 2 weeks of the event, you'll need to:
Within 4 weeks of the event, take care of the following: