Planning a Family Reunion

Planning a Family Reunion

Family reunions are about gathering relatives from near and far in one place for a few days of catching up on each other’s lives, playing games, sharing traditions and creating new memories.

No-Stress Planning

Planning a family reunion can be lots of fun — or not — depending on how you go about it. Here’s a guide to arranging an event that will be joyful and (almost) stress-free.

  • Determine the goal of the reunion. Do you want to get reacquainted with relatives you haven’t seen for a while, meet new relatives or just spend extended time with loved ones? The goal will determine the size, scope and timing of the event.
  • Want to avoid stress? Don’t go solo. Create a planning committee of relatives who’ll be responsible for particular tasks.
  • Set up a budget that will include every possible expense from beverages to T-shirts. Add 10 percent for last-minute expenses. Decide how family members will be billed and how cash will be handled.
  • Choose a time of year that will be affordable. While summer holidays are popular reunion times, many hotels offer deep discounts during non-peak times.
  • Communicate with family members often through a reunion website or monthly e-mails.
  • Keep meals simple. Consider asking everybody to bring food and a grill. Potlucks are another good option, especially if relatives bring favorite family recipes. Party trays from the deli are another option. That can mean anything from meat-and-cheese trays to sandwich trays, shrimp trays, chicken party packs, veggie trays, dessert trays and more.
  • Create memories. Request family recipes in advance and combine them into a cookbook for a great reunion memento.
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