Summer is on the way and that can only mean one thing: time for the annual family reunion! Planning a reunion can be a stressful time: you’re trying to gather the entire family together for a big event; you need to make sure everyone feels comfortable and at home; and most importantly, you need to provide enough food and fun to go around for the entire weekend!
Whether it’s your first time planning or you’re a seasoned veteran, here are some big tips for putting together the perfect family reunion this year:
And we don’t mean the date you’re bringing to the party — unless you want your family grilling them all weekend long! The sooner you choose the date of the reunion (and check everyone’s availability), the better. This will give your relatives more time to check their schedules, block off calendars, and plan their summer around the event.
You should start planning about a year before the date to ensure you can book the location and lodging, and figure out the rest of the details with plenty of time to spare.
Remember, a family is a team. And planning such a big party definitely takes some teamwork! Recruit a few trustworthy family members who understand the dynamic of your crew: a parent, a cousin, a sibling, an aunt — whoever is suited for the job. They’re going to be your partners in designing the reunion. Try and get your planning done well before the big date to reduce the stress associated with getting the family together. We know you still can’t escape debating your crazy uncle about his unusual political opinions — but getting the planning done early will help alleviate some pressure.
Family Tree Magazine has helpful tips for assigning roles to family members during the planning stages.
There’s no need to plan everything without doing research — ask your family what types of activities were a hit at the last reunion and which were a miss. Get their input on songs they’d like to hear, games they’d like to play, or movies they want to see while you’re spending time together.
Soliciting the input of other family members will help take some of the pressure off of you and your team — after all, you can’t choose the ideal activities for everyone.
Food is a bonding force — it brings people together. So the food choices you’ll have at your family reunion can really make or break the event. Choose a food theme to match the look and feel of your reunion, and pick foods that make a statement about your family. For examples, decide if you’re going to go with a soul food theme, a backyard barbecue, or an Italian feast.
And while you’re at it, don’t forget dessert! Whether you’re planning a formal occasion or a casual reunion, ice cream goes with everything.