How to Plan a Family Reunion
1. Determine WHO is Going to be Invited
Even the smallest of families can start to feel very large depending on how extended the reunion becomes. Meaning, is this reunion for parents, children, siblings, and cousins? Or is for all of those people, plus second cousins? The reason it’s essential to decide on who is invited is to avoid hurt feelings later.
For example, say you are one of five adult siblings, and each of you has children. You may want the reunion to be you, your siblings and their significant others, all of the children, and your parents. This may sound small, but that’s still minimum twenty people, if not more. If you imagine a larger reunion with second cousins and great aunts and uncles there as well, fantastic! Then you’re talking between 30-50 people (or more!).
Deciding early on how large of an event you want this to be will help lay a foundation for the entire planning process.
2. Settle on a Realistic Budget
Once you decide on the size, you can start brainstorming the scope. Is this going to be a backyard BBQ type of reunion? There are limitless options, so narrowing down what you want, or even what you don’t want, will be helpful.
Do you imagine a weekend near Grandma’s filled with dinner parties, game nights, and a low-budget? Or are you considering a week, together, in Florida at a resort with group trips to attractions and poolside catch-ups? The difference in cost of these two examples will be significant. Gather your ideas and then present them to your family and see what everyone’s thinking.
Once you assess the input from your family, you can work on creating a budget. After you create the initial budget, we recommend going back and presenting it to your family to double-check that it’s accessible for everyone.
3. Choose The Leader(s)
This step could be #2 or #3, you decide! If the reunion you are planning is a larger size and scope, you are going to need backup, especially. The main misstep folks make when planning a reunion is trying to go at it alone.
We guarantee you will find greater success by accumulating a reunion planning board. Gather the family members who wish to be involved (and are known for their organizational skills and accountability) and start delegating tasks. You can choose someone to head inter-family communications, another to monitor the budget, and another to accumulate family memorabilia and plan the activities.
Meanwhile, you can be the captain steering the ship!
4. To Hire a Professional Planner, or Not?
On the flip side, your family may be full of busy, career-focused individuals and no one has the time (or desire) to do the planning. Completely understandable. The great news is you can still have an incredible reunion! There are plenty of event planners who will be happy to take your family reunion ideas and turn them into reality.
Often, the larger resorts and hotels come equipped with planners once you book the reunion rooms. This varies from each venue, but if you think your family reunion will be at a resort, definitely ask about the planning services.
Alright, that’s plenty to get you started. Diligently working to ensure your family ties remain strong and the different generations and relatives get to spend quality time together is a commendable effort. What you are doing is amazing, and we wish you every success!