Ways & How

How to Plan a Family Reunion

How to Plan a Family Reunion

Reunions are happy occasions where families can gather to catch up on each other’s lives, strengthen family ties, and keep family memories alive. In these days of families fractured by busy careers, hectic lifestyles, geographical distance and divorce; family get-togethers serve to solidify the common roots and bonds that make us family. So if you’re thinking of putting together such an event, the following may help you learn how to plan a family reunion.

  1. Find a consensus. Try to determine whether the rest of the family is interested in a reunion. Bear in mind that if you’re the one initiating the activity, then chances are that you’ll be the one tasked to organize it. If that’s something you’d like to do and you can stand the stress, the frayed nerves, and the sometimes thankless challenge of putting the event together without having multiple meltdowns, then go for it. Once you get the confirmation that the rest of the family wants a reunion just as much as you do, then you can proceed.

  2. Find ringleaders.

    ding on how big your family is, and how far up in the family tree you want to go with the reunion, find the “ringleaders” who can help you. If it’s for an entire clan, you can enlist the help of a member of each branch of the family. If it’s just your immediate family, then find a member (usually the wife and mother) of each individual family, or even specific members who have the talent for the assignment you have in mind for them. Make sure they are people who are reliable and willing. You will need help with getting information back and forth, leading committees, and doing specific activities.

  3. Find the necessary info. You will need to know how many people compose the family, their ages, genders, lodging preferences, dietary requirements, travel details, etc. How many can attend? How many are unsure? When is the best possible time for everyone concerned? And then you have to call or go around checking out possible venues, what’s required for booking, finding possible places that the family can go, or activities to do, and negotiate possible deals. You may also want to explore catering and lodging options based on the information you received from the various family members.

  4. Find the logistics. Now it’s time to get down to the brass tacks. Come up with a budget, keeping in mind that it has to be within everybody’s means and no one is left out. Make sure that the budget is reasonable and that you will not be compelled to spend much of your own money just to make it happen, unless you were intending to do that from the start. Make several options available for travel and lodging so that participants have a leeway to prioritize their spending. Don’t assume that members attach the same value to activities as you do: you may think that a visit to a museum is a must, but others think it’s a needless expense. Communicate, communicate, and communicate. Try to avoid any surprises and hidden expenses.

  5. Have the reunion. Send out invitations. Arrange the activities with the help of family: games/sports, a program or talent night, tours, visits, shopping expeditions, outdoor adventures, commemorative photo shoot, etc. Assign an official family photographer to document the event, and an assistant to help the photographer out and to ensure that there are also photos of the photographer. Have you noticed that photographers are never in pictures because they’re always behind the camera? So if you don’t have a professional photographer around, make sure someone also takes photos of the photographer. If you have scrapbookers in the family, take advantage of their gift and ask them to scrapbook the reunion for the family. It will make a good souvenir for family members.

Planning a family reunion is the same as putting together any other event. You need strong organizational skills, good communication, and reliable support. But doing it for family is a loving gesture that will enhance the family’s ties and foster memories that will be cherished for years to come. How to plan a family reunion is easy, actually. It’s going through with it that’s tiresome, but it will be a heartwarming, enriching experience and well worth the effort.


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