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Everyone loves family reunions and all the things that come with them. People love getting to see long-absent relatives, playing lots of fun games and making many special memories. People tend to love planning for family reunions a lot less than attending them. There are ways to make planning a reunion easier than you think.
Find the Right Event Space
If your family is spread out within a certain geographical area, then try to find a location in the centre of that area. For example, look for an event space in San Diego if you have relations scattered across Southern California and Northern Baja California. If you plan on having your reunion outdoors, then reserve a pavilion large enough to fit everyone if it rains. Send notes and questionnaires to relatives to determine what spaces are best for them.
Delegate and Organize
You’ll need to set up a committee of family members to help make the important decisions. If your gathering will have 20-25 people, you’ll only need a few willing volunteers. Anything larger, and you’ll have to delegate a lot more authority to a lot more people.
Important jobs that need to be filled include finance directors, food and lodging liaisons, entertainment directors and welcoming committee members among other things. Since you’re organizing the reunion, you’ll be the chairperson that has to coordinate these committees and be the peacemaker if necessary.
Set a Budget for Time and Money
A reunion should be planned at least 12 months in advance, and many experts say that 18 months is your best bet. If you can do so, send mailings asking for a little seed money alongside the invitations. Let them know what the expected cost of the reunion will be.
If you’re planning something more expensive, such as a family reunion cruise, then you may want to look at monthly payments for the reunion committee to pay. They can also set up fundraising events and other projects to raise money during the intervening time. Let other family members know how the funds are faring in each mailing you send them.
Spread the Word
Send out your invitations as soon as you can. If you know how many people will attend, you’ll know just what needs to be planned. A mix of traditional letters and e-mails will be perfect to keep the momentum going while appealing to all members of the family regardless of computer literacy. Encourage relatives to tell family stories that can be put into the next month’s mailings.
Make the Reunion Memorable
A good way to start is to have the welcoming committee greet each family member personally when they arrive. Have special games and activities that family members of all ages can enjoy. Celebrate your heritage by sharing old photos of relatives past. Have other family members make family photo albums or recipe books that you can share with everyone as a souvenir. Try to have a mix of exciting indoor and outdoor activities, and make sure that no one is left out.
Once you’ve done all this, all you’ll have to do at the reunion is enjoy the time that you’ll spend with your relations. When it’s over, you can rest easy that it’ll be up to one of your relatives to plan the next one.