Create lasting memories by organizing a well-planned family reunion.
Step 1: Form a committee Form a family-reunion committee to select and invite guests, coordinate planning, and form subcommittees for various tasks.
TIP: Remember – although you are the initiator, you aren't obligated to plan the whole thing on your own – or even to lead the planning.
Step 2: Decide what constitutes family Decide who is family. Will you include all branches of your family tree, or more immediate family members?
Step 3: Mail a survey Create a survey to mail to each household. Ask about preferences, interests, and ideas they may have for an enjoyable reunion. Set a reply deadline so the committee will have time to incorporate the responses into their planning.
Step 4: Set a date Select the date and duration for the reunion. Long weekends that include other family milestones are a great time to get together.
TIP: Avoid holiday weekends. Many people will already have plans.
Step 5: Select a location Select a location. If you can, go back to the town where your family came from so that the group can explore family history and visit nostalgic sites. Or choose a theme park, campground, or picnic area.
TIP: When choosing a location, consider the size of the group, the time of year, and the weather.
Step 6: Develop a budget Develop a budget. At minimum, it should include food, decorations, equipment, and booking fees. Knowing your budget will enable you to set a registration fee for each family.
Step 7: Choose a theme Choose a theme that can be reflected throughout the planning – on the invitations, on the menu, and through activities.
Step 8: Design and mail the invitations Design and mail your invitations. You can use regular mail or e-mail. Note all important details, including fees, times, and locations.
Step 9: Follow up Follow up a few weeks prior to the family reunion with a phone call or e-mail. Suggest items guests can bring, like old photos, awards, and memorabilia from previous reunions. Then wait for the date and enjoy your family. You deserve it!
FACT: The Family Reunion Institute at Temple University was established to provide a resource for families planning reunions.