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Monday, May 13, 2019

Planning a Successful Family Reunion

Planning an exciting and memorable family reunion is a challenge whether you plan on having a dozen cousins or hundreds of extended family members.  It takes time, organizational skills and some creativity to ensure that your guests will have a great time. We’ve provided a few steps below to help make this reunion process a little more seamless.


1. Start with a plan.

Start by choosing a date and location for your family reunion at least 12 months in advance. This gives all invitees on the list time to clear their calendar from other commitments including work.

2. Develop a Reunion Committee

It’s too much work for one person to manage all aspects of this family reunion. Get volunteers to be in charge of the various needs of your event.  Each volunteer will take ownership of their contribution.

For instance, you may need individuals to head up the following areas:

  • Accommodations: Finds accommodations and negotiates group rates
  • Food: works with the catering hall or handles the potluck assignments
  • Correspondence: communicates with family members and handles all RSVPs
  • Entertainment:  organizes activities for all ages of attendees
  • Creative: decides on the theme, handles invitations along with decorations for event

3. Get email addresses of all interested individuals

A good family reunion consists of great communication.  Make sure to obtain email addresses so all pertinent information, such as lodging information, food allergies, updated registration information, and any other paperwork can be sent to all interested individuals.  For those who are not computer savvy, find out who will relay the information to those who don’t frequent or use email at all.


4. Prepare a back-up plan.

If your reunion will be outside, reserve a pavilion or another location that can accommodate all the attendees in case of unexpected weather. Pack a few board games or crafts the children can do indoors.

5. Get the word/invitation out.

You might opt for a simple flyeran elaborate invitation or a family newsletter.  Whichever you choose, get the word out as early as possible so people can block off the time to attend.

6. Offer something for everyone.

Offer a range of activities to meet varied ages and interests. You also can have optional outings such as golf, mall trips, sporting events or excursions to historical sites.

7. Share your family’s story.

No matter how different your relatives are, your family heritage is one thing you all have in common. Celebrate it by setting out old photos and memorabilia. You can also incorporate foods from your heritage along with music and decorations from your family’s ancestral homeland.  Use the opportunity to bring family photo albums and or videos from the past years.

8. Maintain the momentum.

After the family reunion, plan to keep in touch until the next one. Try to get more people involved so the next is even easier.  Family newsletters and websites are great for this.

Life goes by in the blink of an eye.  As much as it may seem like a lot of work to pull of this event, in the end you will be left with a true feeling of accomplishment.  Everyone who attends will be glad they made the trip for it is so much better getting together at a family reunion instead of a funeral.

Call DeCarlo’s Banquet Hall and Convention Center at 586-759-6500 to get information on available rooms and menu varieties for your next family reunion.  You can also reach out to us on the contact form on our website.


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