Most Americans have spent over a year awaiting the moment when they can hug their family members once more. In one study, 65% of people reported increased feelings of loneliness during the COVID-19 pandemic. Chances are, someone you love has been feeling lonely lately.
After a year of missed birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, and other celebrations, a family reunion is a perfect way to bring your loved ones together for some much-needed family time.
But planning a family reunion can be a daunting task. A great deal of planning is required in order to successfully reunite family members at a memorable event.
If you’re wondering how to plan a family reunion, we are here to help. This guide will help you plan an event that your family will remember for years to come. Read on for family reunion planning tips that you need to know before diving in.
Let Your Family Weigh In
You will want to consult the rest of your family before getting too far along in your planning process. This is important whether you’re an individual or a committee of family members taking charge of family reunion planning.
No matter how many people you have on your planning committee, you won’t be able to intuit the preferences of your whole family. Consider sending out a survey early on to gauge potential dates, locations, and activities your family prefers.
It is also helpful to get an idea of what your family members are willing to spend on your event. As appealing as it might be to plan an event on a faraway tropical beach, you want the event to be affordable for all family members.
For larger groups, it is unlikely that you will be able to reach a unanimous consensus on dates, location, or activities. But, surveying family members early on means that your event can cater to the greatest number of family members possible.
Build a Budget
Once your family has weighed in, build an overall budget for the event. Start by considering what the event space, catering, and activities will cost. Then, you will want to factor in what each branch of the family will have to pay for travel and accommodation for the event.
Ask each family member to contribute some seed money for the event. This money will be used for paying deposits for facilities, catering, accommodations, and other costs.
There are many activities you can plan at a minimal cost. For example, you might plan an outing to a local state park or a pool party at the hotel where your family is staying.
Pick the Perfection Location
Picking a family reunion location can seem impossible. Your family may be spread out across the country or even across the world. You are limited by budget, facilities, accessibility, and sufficient accommodation for everyone who will attend.
Some important considerations when picking the location are:
- Proximity to a hotel or other lodging
- Ample space for activities and meals
- Food and drink options onsite or catering available
- Set up and breakdown services
- Accessibility for family members from various locations and with varying abilities
Hotel conference facilities offer many of these facilities and can make your event run smoothly.
Save the Date
As soon as you have secured the perfect location, make sure that your family members are aware of the date. This means that they can block it off on their calendar and begin planning travel. The sooner you can send out invitations, the more likely your family will be able to attend.
When picking your date, consider your family’s input from the early planning stages. You should also consider school schedules if you have a lot of children in the family. This summer is the perfect time to host your event.
Don’t Forget the Menu
Though the menu may not seem important when planning the event, 87% of Americans say that food is an essential part of a successful family reunion. Planning out the menu well in advance can ensure that everyone is happy at mealtime.
Dietary restrictions, budget, and convenience should all be considered when planning the menu. A popular option is to create small teams that rotate meal preparation responsibilities. If you take this route, make sure that you share dietary restrictions and preferences with the teams well in advance.
Barbecues are an easy way to feed a large group and can be a fun activity in and of itself. When feeding a large group feels like an impossible task, catering can make planning much easier. However, you will need to account for catering in the budget.
Keep It Personal
This is perhaps the most important aspect of planning your family reunion. The purpose of this event is to bring together family members, so your event’s itinerary should include sentimental and memory-filled activities.
Keepsakes are another fun way to personalize your event and keep the memories alive long after everyone returns home. A family cookbook is a sentimental option.
Ask family members to contribute their favorite family recipe ahead of time. They can also include a paragraph explaining the family history of the recipe. Bind all the recipes together into a keepsake book that you can give to every family member at the event.
Your family will look back on pictures of the events for years to come. Be sure to designate someone as the photographer of the event or consider hiring a pro to capture the event.
Mastering How to Plan a Family Reunion
Following these family reunion planning tips, you will master how to plan a family reunion. Your family will talk about the event you plan for generations to come.
As you start planning a family reunion, consider the Midlothian Conference Center. Our facility brings together hotel conference center amenities with small-town charm. Let us take care of set up and clean up so that you can enjoy family time.
Schedule a tour today to see for yourself why our facility is the perfect place to bring your family together.