13 Apr Arranging a midsize Texas family reunion? Here is a check-list that will help you remain on track.
Setting up a family reunion is difficult. This check-list will aid you prevent missing any primary details.
A family reunion is a good way to gather your family together even as it is changing and growing. It’s an option to celebrate your family’s history, recent success, and new additions. A picnic in the park, a beachside barbecue, or a state park event are all examples of casual venues that will captivate even the most aloof family members for an afternoon of fun in the sun.
If you’re planning a family reunion for about 100 people, you will like to start your planning about six months beforehand so you can obtain interest and enlist some representatives to aid you pull it off. Here’s a guidelines to help you and your family get going!
6 Months Before
Establish the level of interest among family members. Send out a family poll (via e-mail or by post) to determine interest in a reunion event, get a suggestion of the number of people would attend, and learn what locations and dates would work best.
4 Months Before
Ask for help. You’ll need to find dependable and enthusiastic relatives who could organize:
▪ Spotting a park, beach, or other outdoor location for the event.
▪ Planning a menu by allocating dishes and other food items to each family.
▪ Arranging for extra cooking and/or grilling facilities. Or finding a caterer.
▪ Invitations, decorations, and signs: Putting someone accountable of printed materials will help ensure a consistent theme for the event.
▪ Activities and entertainment: An athletic relative might take charge of the volleyball net and provide a boom box with music.
▪ Family history: Constructing a family tree is an excellent way to incorporate your heritage into the event. You might also consider creating a small family newspaper to highlight recent family events, special facts, and history.
▪ Photography and/or video: You’ll want to record this event for posterity.
▪ Clean-up: Solicit several folks for this massive task!
Research facilities and locations.
▪ Research places that accommodate a variety of interests, age levels, physical abilities, and financial resources.
▪ Establish your transportation needs. Will people be driving, flying, or both? Will you need group transportation like a Motorcoach or charter bus?
▪ Ocean or lakeside family parks are perfect. There are things to accomplish on both water and on land– activities to keep little ones busy and lounging options on the beach for grown-ups.
▪ Many vacation areas and state parks have a “destination manager” who can help you plan the details of your reunion.
Settle the date and location. Find out what amenities will be available: drinking water, swimming pool, grilling facilities, changing rooms, indoor space (in case of rain), picnic tables, etc. Finalize structure reunion favors, video, family history pamphlet, or T-shirts. Family members will want something to remember this grand occasion.
▪ Ask an artistic family member to design a T-shirt, hat, sweatshirt, or other personalized clothing item.
▪ Gather resources for your family history or video.
▪ If you decide to provide favors, disposable cameras and matchboxes are two budget-friendly options that can be personalized for your event.
3 Months Before
Think of a reunion schedule, theme, and approximate cost per person.
Send out invitations.
▪ Provide finalized times, locations, maps, driving directions or pickup locations, costs, and a schedule of events.
▪ Include a sign-up option for specific activities, if necessary.
▪ Include assignments for relatives who have volunteered to bring food or other items.
▪ Include a request for photos and/or stories you would include in the family history or video.
▪ Include an RSVP date, along with an e-mail address, phone number, or mailing address to which they can respond. Ask family members to provide their accommodation or arrival information, if appropriate.
Follow up with volunteers and dole out tasks as appropriate.
Set up activities and events.
▪ Secure professionals or locations for your activities. Reserve a softball field, hire charter buses, tour guides or yoga instructors.
▪ Buy items you’ll need for any crafting activities.
Arrange and plan meals.
▪ Establish a list of all the meals you’ll be eating or the food you’ll need.
▪ Appoint one food item to each relative.
▪ Contact restaurants to see if they’ll accommodate large groups and make reservations then if necessary.
– Ask your charter bus company about offering food and alcohol on the coach.
2 Months Before
Start a list of those who have confirmed their attendance, where they’ll be staying, and when they’ll be arriving.
Reserve rental equipment including a podium, microphone, tables, or chairs.
Confirm restaurant reservations and provide your latest guest estimate.
Make final purchases.
▪ Craft supplies
▪ Favors, personalized T-shirts, disposable cameras, or other items you plan to give out at the reunion.
▪ Other _____________________________
Order copies of family history or video.
1 Month Before
Confirm with relatives who are bringing food or other supplies.
Confirm meeting places.
Confirm sleeping accommodations.
2 Weeks Before
▪ Contact restaurants with a final guest count if necessary.
▪ Contact volunteers with specific tasks to confirm times, locations, and the final guest count.
– Verify your itinerary and group numbers with the charter bus company.
▪ Activities coordinator
▪ Decorations and signage
Review your final to-do list.
Get last-minute decorations and supplies.
Design banners and signs.
Make arrangements to donate leftover food to a local shelter or food pantry.
2 Days Before
Review reunion minutiae with committees.
Get any rental equipment, like chairs, tables, etc. Prepare final payments and tips for any professionals and help you’ve hired, like the caterer and wait staff. Put these together in separate envelopes so you can quickly hand them out as needed throughout the event. Consider that you can send extra tips later if their performance was exceptional. Otherwise, a 10 to 15 percent tip is customary if it’s not included in their charge.
The Day Before
Establish and decorate.
Get some sleep!
Within 2 weeks after the event, you’ll need to:
Write thank-you notes to special attendees, relatives who donated time and money, and any other people who helped make your event a success.
Develop film. Be sure to get CDs made so you can upload photos to ofoto.com or shutterfly.com. Through this other family members can purchase copies of your photos.
Donate or distribute leftover favors, decorations, family history pamphlets, etc.
Within 4 weeks of the event:
When materials will be ready for distribution, follow up with videographer and photographer to find out.
Send an e-mail or mass mailing to all who participated in, summarizing the festivities, thanking them for attending, and letting them know where they can buy photos, videos, or some other follow-up items from your event.