If you though organizing a wedding is hard, wait until you get chosen to do a family reunion. Unlike a wedding, which is entirely your day, a family reunion celebrates your family tree and is, as such, strongly influenced not by your individual preferences but family and its wishes too. Neat, huh? Well, before you go totally crazy, here are some tips on what to focus your attention on:
Who’s going to pay for what and what are you going to do in case you max out on your budget? Organizing a family reunion is a financially exhausting endeavor and you shouldn’t be the only one affected by it. If you’re planning on renting a venue for the occasion, asking for everybody to pay for their bit sounds pretty rational, doesn’t it? But, what if your house is big enough for everybody and there is no reason to book an extra place? You’ll either need plenty of help or a catering company, hun, because you can’t cook for 30 or 50 people on your own. It would take you days! And food is just the tip of that iceberg! So, do stress the fact that everybody must pitch in one way or the other. The ones that can’t afford to actually pay can bring food, decorations or help set the place up and clear it up once the reunion is finished.
2. Location, Location, Location
Okay, so, let’s say the location of the venue is point A and your house is point B. You’ve organized the reunion in a way that makes it easy for you to travel from point B to point A. But, how easy it is for all of your family members to reach A travelling from points C, D, E, F etc? Well, that’s what you need to think about before making your final choice of the venue. It must be easily accessible, if not for all, then at least for the “critical” part of your family – elderly members and the ones with young children.
3. Allergies and Special Diets
The one in charge of the entire event must make sure everybody feels good and that, of course, means no attendants are left hungry or rushed to the emergency room due to the food served at the reunion. You need to ask about allergies, special eating regiments and chronic conditions and come up with a menu that fits everybody. Don’t feel embarrassed to ask if the person in question would be interested in bringing its own food – It could save you both a lot of trouble.
4. When? What? How?
When there are a lot of people involved, setting a date that fits them all can get a little tricky. Weekends are ideal and, if you manage to plan your weekend-reunion in accordance to some of the national holidays, you can rest assured there will be plenty of family members willing to take part in it. “What kind of a reunion will it be?” is another question you need to ask yourself. A short brunch is a good idea if you won’t have any out of town guests but it would be silly to expect people to spend half of their day travelling just so they could attend your two hour get-together.
5. Fun and Games
Most people would think that having a room full of adults presumes you don’t need to worry about ways to have fun. Well… Wrong! If you are chosen to be the hostess this year, you’re expected to come up with some games that would keep the family busy for a while. Now, presuming that your family reunions are a tradition that takes place every year or two, you probably have some traditional games too. However, if this is a first family reunion ever and you are the one to officially break the ice, you need to Google for ideas, girl! Quickly!
6. Souvenirs and Stuff
Each family member should be sent home with a little something to remind him of the wonderful time you’ve spent together. I know, I know, organizing a reunion is just as hard as organizing a wedding but, don’t let your family remember you as the worst hostess ever. Check the online shops too, because you can find some pretty great deals on these little gifts and even use the benefits of a special discount if you’re planning to order your customized family reunion T shirts in the same shop.
7. Reunion Theme
Is it going to be a fancy dinner, a family picnic or something more specific? You’ll need to think long and hard about it because doing a theme that’s already been done can be interpreted as too boring or, even worse, cheating. You’ll need to figure this out before proceeding to fun and games part of the program as the main theme has a lot to do with it. You pretty much can’t do anything if you don’t have a theme because you’ll need to include it in your invitations, programs, T-shirts and whatnot.
Have you ever organized a family reunion? I doubt I’ll ever be able to pull it off perfectly, I mean, the number of my family members plus the fact that not all of them know the true meaning of the word “tolerance”…
Top Photo Credit: kirybabe