Fast paced life and too many work commitments leave you with little time to spend with your family. However, to feel alive and loved it is important that we stay connected to our families.
Forget the past grievances and grudges and open your arms to the warmth and affection of your family. Plan a reunion and with family reunion games and family reunion activities.
Now if you are looking for a ‘how to plan a family reunion’ checklist and steps to family reunion success, look no more.
Tips for a successful family reunion
- If this is your first attempt at planning a family reunion, send out a survey asking the relatives what they would like to do. You might find it more productive to include a short list of options and have them highlight and rank what interests them most.
- If you haven’t planned a family reunion before you would be safe with the simplest, cheapest reunion to host. A classic picnic or barbecue at a nearby park. Make sure the park has lots of shade and plenty of play equipment for kids of all ages. If you still don’t feel confident you can hire a family reunion planner
- A dinner and reception at a spacious restaurant is also fairly easy. Obviously, reserve a special room or a whole section weeks or months ahead of time.
- A family reunion camping trip is only successful if most of your relatives are outdoorsy types. Schedule this for the time of year when the climate is most pleasant. Offer a couple of main menu items and have everyone share the list of edibles so that everything is covered when they arrive. Have your invitation clearly spell out what camping gear is absolutely necessary for each family to provide on their own.
- If you plan a big reunion around an expensive theme park you need to announce it months ahead of time so everyone can plan to fit it into their schedules. This also gives them time to budget and save for the expense. Be considerate of all family members as far as planned cost per family for the reunion. Unless you want to cover the cost yourself.
- For the larger reunions you will need to organize a reunion committee and raise a budget. You might try a raffle of fun or useful items. Tickets are sold for the chance to win the item. You can take pictures of the stuff and mail off an illustrated email or newsletter if you want to sell the raffle tickets ahead of time.
- A large reunion can be expensive and you might want to sell tickets for admission to the event and its activities. Figure the ticket price after you totally account for every single expense. Notify the relatives exactly what the ticket price covers.
- Choose a relative with a great reputation for honesty and financial level-headedness to handle the finances. Keep expenses systematically recorded just as you would for any committee work. Be prepared to “show the books” if challenged. It’s also good for using in update letters to let relatives know how much money must still be raised in order to book a hotel, cruise, or campground reservations.
- Keep a good database, preferably on computer, of every relative’s physical and email address, home and work phone-numbers. Publish a Family Directory to help everyone keep in touch. This makes it so much easier to organize and get mailers out to all the family while planning a reunion. At the reunion have everyone double check the directory for accuracy and make corrections if needed. The same database can record personal history and genealogical links.
- Set a deadline to get deposits in, or a percentage of the ticket price. You must have money ahead of time to get everything ready. Also, a commitment of money means people are less likely to cancel.
- Make sure you have plenty of information about lodgings in town. Be the liaison for your distant relatives and arrange rooms for them. Choose a decent convenient location and bargain for reduced rates by booking a block of rooms. Don’t put this off or the rooms may be taken by some event you hadn’t foreseen. Bringing out of town relatives together at one lodging is more enjoyable for them. Every night they can sit around with each other and have a mini-reunion of their own.
- Look for family memorabilia to display and compile historical information about your family. Print up a family history and include the families that are coming. It will give the young cousins a sense of who they are that will enrich them more than they know. Later in life they will reach out to each other in remembrance of family solidarity. A family reunion is a much more spiritual experience than might seem apparent. Its value increases as the years pass.
These tips should equip you with all the information you need to plan a large family reunion. Cheers to the love, laughter and memories that you are going to create in the next family reunion!