Even though we use technology to stay connected with family and friends, many people find it harder to remain connected in a world that moves at lightning pace. It's not uncommon for relatives to not see each other for years at a time due to hectic schedules, busy lives, and different hometowns. We can help you plan a family reunion if you want to bring your family together but don't know how.
You will learn how to plan a family reunion in this guide from start to finish. This guide explains how to throw the kind of family reunion your relatives deserve, from choosing the right venue to group entertainment ideas. Although it’s impossible to ensure a stress-free family function, we’ll show you how to organize, and budget-conscious planning a unique family reunion can be.
Best Way to Plan a Family Reunion for Everyone
1. Organize a family meeting
When you plan a surprise family reunion, chaos, confusion, and disgruntled relatives will undoubtedly occur. Make sure the family is on board before planning. You should request input from your family before selecting a date, location, and venue alone. Talk about reunion details, such as:
- Interested in attending?
- Dates to avoid (such as graduation, vacation, wedding)?
- When are you available?
- What type of gathering are you hosting?
- Does anyone with mobility or social anxiety concerns need accommodations?
- Do you have a favorite family activity?
Make sure all family members are aware of the reunion details. Ensure one spokesperson represents every family's feedback, needs, and availability. It will be easier to make decisions if you name one person or a few interested family members to plan the event—too many cooks make things difficult. Reunion questionnaires can be emailed to relatives to get feedback on communal events. The planning team will be better organized with a return deadline.
2. Set a reunion date
Family members should start discussing reunion dates a year in advance to give them time to plan, reschedule conflicts, and choose a date. Decide on a date that suits everyone. School breaks and holidays should be considered if kids are attending. Choose a reunion date a year in advance to provide relatives with enough time to make travel arrangements. Let democracy decide if there is no time or date that works for everyone.
3. Plan the event's budget
Family financial discussions can be uncomfortable. Finance discussions are crucial during family reunions. Several questions must be answered in order to budget for your event successfully:
- Who finances the reunion?
- Are costs divided per person or family?
- Does one person pay or a few?
- Family members' maximum per person price?
- Who receives hotel, travel, or event rewards?
Set a budget for your reunion before you book a venue, caterer, or hotel. Estimate the approximate cost of your dream reunion based on information gathered during family planning sessions. Consider alternative free or cheap venues if finances are tight. Your backyard can be transformed into a festive reunion venue with a few creative ideas.
It is important to keep in mind that each family's financial situation is different. Per-person contributions should not exceed a person's means. Save your money for a staycation.
4. Assign responsibilities for reunion planning
The family reunion is often a complex event. Create a planning committee of enthusiastic and supportive family members to help you plan a successful, eventful family gathering. Handle communications, delegate tasks, and manage volunteers as the chairperson or planning committee leader. Plan your reunion with excitement, not stress. Kick-off planning by holding a committee meeting. To set a positive tone, serve food and drinks in a relaxed setting. Plan the following tasks:
- With eVentGuru, find a Venue
- Meal planning
- Buying decorations
- Reservations for hotels
- Activity and attraction research
Preparation of meals, providing supplies, getting guests to the venue, communicating with vendors, and other pre-event needs may require volunteers. Use a checklist to keep everyone organized. A small event might not need all the bells and whistles. Create a committee by appointing two or three people. Your family can assist with dates and accommodations, and potlucks at Grandma's are easy, too. Delegate your event based on its complexity. Plan ahead for major speeches, speakers, and activity leaders. Family situations often have multiple leaders. Detailed planning can prevent unnecessary drama or setbacks.
5. Choose a venue and book it
It doesn't matter where you hold your family reunion: parks, hotels, banquet halls, museums, community centers, amusement parks, pools, or even the beach; the options are endless. Confirm available dates, deposit requirements, booking policies, restrictions, and noise limits well in advance if you want to host the event at a separate venue. Get quotes from multiple venues to find the best deal. Check local laws regarding events, noise, and food to be sure you don't miss any permits if you are planning to book outdoors. Make a backup plan in case of bad weather, such as a tent or pavilion, in case your family reunion is outdoors. Consider the possibility of undesirable weather when planning an outdoor family reunion or multiday reunion with outdoor events. Before confirming a booking, talk to the venue about inclement weather policies and protections.
6. Send invites with our Custom Online
If you're planning a far-flung event, send online invitations at least three months in advance. Sending invitations early will give family members time to schedule travel and request time off. Mail your initial invitations and include RSVPs. You know your family the best, so go with email if it's easier. As the event approaches, remind late responders by email or text of the due date and ask them to respond as soon as possible. Create a website that contains event information, directions, and venue information, such as parking instructions or alcohol restrictions, if you want to go above and beyond. Provide hotel room block details if you host a destination reunion or invite family members from out of town. Group discounts usually include a reservation cut-off date. Email or text traveling guests one or two weeks before the cut-off date and remind them that the discount rate deadline is approaching and that rooms may not be available.
7. Create memorable menus
A tasty family reunion menu should be a centerpiece of your event. It should impress guests with a symphony of flavors and remind them of home. Here are some great family reunion recipes:
- BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches
- Grilled Chicken Skewers
- Vegetarian Pasta Salad
- Baked Macaroni and Cheese
- Fresh Fruit Platter
- Corn on the Cob
- Mediterranean Couscous Salad
- Beef or Veggie Burgers
- Ice Cream Sundae Bar
Be aware of allergies, dietary restrictions, and attendee requests when planning an event, whether it's a potluck or dining at a luxury resort. Ensure your caterer or host restaurant knows important health notes and ask family members to label dishes containing high-risk food allergens.
8. Rent equipment and book vendors
The cost of renting event tents, tables, chairs, or dance floors may be higher for outdoor barbeques or family picnics. In addition to food warmers and additional seating, you may also need to secure equipment for indoor events. Google price drop alerts will notify you when items on your reunion shopping list become cheaper. Research party rental prices in your area.
Have musicians in the family? Rent a stage or sound system to host a once-in-a-lifetime live family performance. Do you have many children? Bring in inflatable obstacle courses and bounce houses, and hire a face painter, caricature artist, or balloon twister for extra fun. Bring in an animal keeper for fun with animals out of the box. The reunion should end with a band or DJ performing.
9. Plan the event schedule
Make sure your family members have a list of activities ready. Leave lots of time for relatives to hang out, relax, and enjoy each other's company, even during a multi-day event. Find activities that bring the family together to plan a family reunion that strengthens family bonds, like:
- Play on the lawn
- Kickball, volleyball, scavenger hunt
- Photos with family
- Escape room
- Visit the sights
- Streaming time
- A Family Fireside Tale
Use your go-pro to capture action during the reunion, or mount your camera on a tripod to record toasts, speeches, and recitations of family legends. Document the reunion with photos or videos. Hire an event photographer to capture high-quality photos if there are leftover funds in the budget.
10. The reunion is fun!
Check-in with your organizing partners a few days before the reunion. Ensure volunteers bring any items they committed to providing, talk about outstanding tasks, answer questions, and keep the event exciting. Stock up on ice, cups, balloons, and other last-minute family reunion supplies.
Also, Check: How do you throw a fun Thanksgiving party?
Organize any photos, family heirlooms, or videos you'd like to share, pack your bags, and hit the road! Reunite, connect, and celebrate the bonds that bind your family. Now you know how to plan a family reunion your relatives will love!