Learning how to plan a family reunion isn't hard, as long as you're not overly concerned about how your family members will react. Put aside that fear of Aunt Martha's judgmental ways, remember that you're dealing with the people who love you the most in the world and get yourself organized.
Family reunions are almost always held in the summer months. It's easier for people to get away during the summer, and the weather is usually great for outdoor activities. If you've got a large extended family, you'll find the great outdoors is the perfect place to gather.
Choosing a Location
While you can hold your reunion at any lake, park or beach, you may want to choose a specific place, perhaps a place where your parents took you each year when you were children. If the reunion is to be at a campground, your party can take advantage of camping along the shoreline, which helps to cut down on costs.
Before you reserve a site, it's important that you discuss your ideas with as many members of the family as possible. Since it's hard to get the entire family together, especially if everyone is not centrally located, have one person represent each family as a family reunion committee member. Committee members should be present at all meetings or at least communicate via telephone or e-mail after each meeting. Committee members are responsible for making decisions regarding their families, and also for relaying information back to their families.
Family reunions are particularly hard to organize. Some people may not be able to travel or to stay more than one day in a hotel or campground due to financial stress; others may not be able to get off work or out of class at a particular time. For these reasons, make sure you give everyone a chance to offer their suggestions. Once you have decided on a place, make sure you plan the event a year in advance, so everyone can either save up for the event or have the opportunity to schedule the time off.
One person should not take on the full responsibilities of a family reunion. That person will be stressed for an entire year beforehand. She will not be able to have a good time at the reunion, because she'll be too busy trying to make sure everything goes off without a hitch. Share the workload by assigning duties.
To make sure nobody misses a beat and everyone walks away satisfied from your family reunion, hold a meeting with the heads of each family at the beginning of the reunion, rather than at the end of the day, when children are tired and people are getting ready to leave. During the meeting, discuss all that will happen that day and vote on ideas for the following year.
If your family reunion is going to have a rather large guest list, as many do, planning a family reunion is going to be too much work for one person to handle alone. Plan to enlist the help of your willing family members, and recruit those who are semi-willing. We'll even show you how to convert semi-willing into enthusiastic assistants.
Family reunions are supposed to be fun, happy times. Unfortunately, some people at the reunion might hold grudges. How can you smooth their ruffled feathers and stop fights before they start?
A family reunion speech generally ends in tears, in the best way possible.