There's nothing quite like the moment when you see a family member for the first time in what feels like forever. It's easy to lose track of loved ones, especially if they live in another state or country. Social media can only connect people so much and doesn't serve as a proper substitute for real-life interaction.
Planning a family reunion can prove difficult, though. It becomes trickier when you're dealing with a lot of family members or if everyone lives far away from one another.
Here's your guide to reunion planning and choosing party ideas.
Decide on an Organizer
First and foremost, your family needs to decide who is going to organize the event and represent the family. This person may or may not decide to hold the event in a location close to everyone else. They may also decide on a destination reunion, so everyone is forced to travel.
If you bring too many people into the event's planning, then you'll run into some issues. Things will go awry, everyone will try to have an opinion, and it'll prove difficult to keep everyone in the loop.
This individual will also be responsible for organizing payments and keeping track of the budget. You don't want to plan an event that only certain family members can afford to attend. You'll also need to find a way to collect money from anyone who wants to pitch in for the cost of the venue, food, and other amenities.
Collect Family Reunion Ideas
Even though one family member will be responsible for organizing the event, everyone else will still need to pitch in ideas. The last thing everyone wants is for someone to plan the perfect event for one person and not for the family. The reunion needs to facilitate light socializing as well as fun activities for all ages.
When party planning, consider what ages will attend. There's a good chance you'll have at least a few kids who will need some age-appropriate fun. However, you'll also have some older individuals who can't stay on their feet for long periods of time.
Spend some time reaching out to different family members to hear their ideas. Some might be more interested in attending a cruise, but not everyone will be able to afford that or dedicate the time off work. Others will be more than happy to have a cookout at the park.
One option is to create an online poll with some of the most popular ideas. Let your family members vote on their favorite and choose the one with the most votes. However, try to find something that will accommodate anyone with special needs or schedule conflicts.
Choose Party Venues
An important part of planning a family reunion is picking the party venue. Are you planning on choosing a central location for everyone to travel to? Or is this going to be a destination event?
For example, your family may want to make the reunion more memorable by choosing to meet up at a resort or by the beach. You can have it be a weekend event with plenty of sun and sand. Even better, you won't have to reserve a spot on the beach.
Cruises are another great choice if the family can afford them. They naturally come with a plethora of activities for different ages, so you won't have to plan out too much. However, you can't leave a cruise halfway through, and they often run for at least a few days at a time.
For a shorter time on the water, there are private yacht rentals.
Planning a yacht party includes is made easier with a rental. An onboard bar and crew keep your family entertained, and some yachts include meals. You can enjoy the view of a major city while you float down the river on your personal yacht.
Calculate the Budget and Funds
One of the biggest hurdles you'll encounter when it comes to family reunion ideas is financing them. If everyone was able to get what they wanted, you'd have an amazing event they'd remember for years. However, everyone would also be broke and in debt afterward.
So, who pays for the family reunion? How much should each individual be responsible for chipping in?
First, you'll need to figure out your reunion budget. This will depend on things like the number of attendees, how long the event will last, location, and more. It's important to make something accessible for everyone you want to attend.
Next, decide what the individual family members will pay for. Are they expected to purchase their own sleeping accommodations and meals? Or is there a group fund they're expected to contribute to?
Finally, expect to cover for at least a few people. Things happen, and you don't want to ruin the reunion just because one family member can't afford to come.
Send Out Invitations
The final step in planning a family reunion is to send out the invitations. This makes everything official, and it gives your family time to clear their schedules.
You can find a variety of invitation templates online if you plan to send them out in the mail. There are also greeting cards that can serve as invitations. Alternatively, you can always send out invitations via email.
Make sure everyone RSVPs either way. Someone might accidentally miss their invitation and need a reminder. RSVPs also help you decide on how much food to order for the event.
Throw the Perfect Reunion
Planning a family reunion can be a lot of hard work, but it helps to start as soon as possible. You have to figure out the best activities, venue, and finances for it. The main goal of the event is to bring in as much of your family as possible, after all.
Check out some of our other articles if you're interested in learning about topics such as finance, travel, and more.