Tips For Planning A Family Reunion

A family reunion is a wonderful way for all generations to get to know each other. Tips to help you make this day special for all involved.

Family reunions are a wonderful way to make sure that your children understand that they are a part of a larger unit than just your nuclear family. Reunions allow them to learn about family history and be able to understand and take pride in their heritage. With a little planning and organization you can help your family start a tradition that will be enjoyed by many for generations to come.

Begin by compiling a list of the all of the family members contained in your own address book. Then, contact each person by phone or mail, asking for the names and locations of any distant relatives they may know of to add to your list.

Now you must decide what type of reunion this will be. Will it be a picnic held at someone's house or at a picnic area? Will many people be coming from out of town so it should be a two-day event, possibly renting out an inn or small resort? What is the budget? Will each person attending pay dues to defray costs? Will it be potluck, catered or will you eat out? Do arrangements need to be made for lodging for out of town guests? A team approach is the best way to make these decisions. Trying to keep everyone happy by yourself is a very stressful proposition. Family members that live close by are the logical choices to help you, but don't despair if distance is a problem. E-mail back and forth and make phone calls and you will be able to work together.

The next step is setting the date for the reunion. You should set the date at least six months ahead so that people can mark their calendars. Once you decide on a date, it's a good idea to not to change it if at all possible. The more changes the better the chance that the whole thing will fall apart.

You want to make the reunion fun and enjoyable for people of all ages. Just getting all the relatives together is not enough. You want your family reunion to be a memorable occasion. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to have a theme.

Brainstorm with your team about the theme. It should have something to do with the history of your family. Once you have decided on the theme you need to design invitations that relate to this theme. Make sure the invitation contains the date and location, lodging and travel information, including a detailed map, and the name, address, and phone number of the family contact.

Once the invitations have been mailed it is time to decide on some activities. Your activities also should be directly related to your theme. One activity that is enjoyable for all is to have each person write a story about an important event in their lives. These can be compiled and sent to each of member of the family as a souvenir. Make sure you have activities for children and elderly as well. No one should be left out.

You will want to collect as much family history as possible before the actual event. Assign someone from your team to act as the family historian. They will also be in charge of collecting family memorabilia for the occasion. This person can compile the information into a large family tree. This can be used for decoration and each person can add any information that was not known when the original chart was compiled.

Make sure someone is in charge of taking pictures and capturing the event on video. These people can also work in teams so that someone is available to help take notes of who is in each picture. This will help later with labeling each shot.

Have every attendee sign the guest book. Make sure there is room for their name, address, telephone number, e-mail address, and a Web page address if they have one. This can be included with the family stories and distributed to everyone.

Organizing a reunion does take a lot of work but there is no better means to restore old relationships and create new ones, and to bring the younger generations into contact with the older ones. A reunion is a wonderful opportunity to share the family's history. And think how fantastic you will feel knowing that you helped create great memories for everyone who attends the reunion.

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