How do you make a Family Reunion a success?!


How do you make a Family Reunion a success?

I'm planning our first family reunion and need ideas. Any info would be great on things to do, not to do, ect. We have never had a "family reunion" with everyone, and I have never planned one myself. Any ideas would be great if you have experiences to share too.

1. timing - if people can't come it won't be much of a reunion. Find out when most people have some free time.

2. location, location, location - similarly if they can't get there or there's not enough room it will spoil things

3. food: have each family bring a dish to pass (something special to them). This makes for great conversation over recipes, how the dish came about etc. Helps break the ice sometimes (i.e. if you feed them they will come).

4. Provisions: let people know what you're providing and what they have to bring (like chairs, pop, beer, etc. depending on your budget and lcoation)

5. Entertainment: it's nice to have music, and a must to have games and activities to keep children from being bored -- they should have something to look forward to rather than the outting being a chore

6. a set up and clean up crew - see if you can get a few people to help out (this can be a HUGE task)

7. invitations and thank you notes (also a sign up sheet for those who want to be invited for future family events that includes email, addy, phone numbers etc.).

8. covering - weather happens.

give everyone a silly hat
plan lotsa games
conversation pieces
name tags
get everyone involved in a poll, survey, questionaire, facts about ancestors

1.) Plan dishes with some parents to bring to the family reunion.
2.) Create games & prizes for kids for entertainment
3.) Make a person in charge of beverages,paper plates,silverware,etc.
4.) Prepare for the worst & best.

Good Luck & Best Wishes~

Take care to remember likes and dislikes of all the people expected to attend.The likes of maximum people should be catered for and the dislikes of maximum should be avoided.Also a gift to everyone of the items they like would be a nice idea and should be given right at the end

this is what my family did one year

we all payed our way at an amusement park and used money from the previous reunion to rent a pavillion everyone did their own thing and/or took off in groups to enjoy themselves in the park at a set time our whole family ( some 300 of us! ) met at this pavillion ( all amusement parks have them i think ) and had lunch

when everyone first arrived they all broght a gift bag with something to auction off during or after the lunch to raise money for the next year ( which was this year ) this will take the entire day up for you and everyone will give you the credit!!

if you do not like that idea this year we all gathered at a public park and rented a pavillion ( always have to do that :P ) i have a family memeber that sold some cookbooks that he wrote and published and it was based all on the kids there were games and prizes for them - the adults ( with supervision for the kids ) had their own crazy events going on ..our family always does things with couples it keeps people intrested :P

hope i helped a little :D

Have everyone bring in some photo albums to share with the others, and have it be a potluck. Make sure there are plenty of drinks and chairs. Have games set out for adults and kids, like horseshoes, bocce, volleyball, croquet, etc. Have music in the background, something upbeat.
Also make sure there are plenty of ashtrays and garbage cans/bags.
Don't forget to have fun!

We are planning a reunion for September.
Name tags are a must. That way everyone knows who they are talking too. Lots of games for the little kids and music. Be friendly and try to talk to everyone. If you can't have someone at each table be elected to start new conversation topics.
We always do guessing games too. Like how many jellybeans are in the jar and stuff like that. It makes it a little fun and kills some time. Also you can have everyone bring pictures and set up a table to put them all on display.
Whatever happens....have fun and don't stress out.

All of these are wonderful ideas. But you also asked about what "not to do" - this may not be an issue with some people because family reunions are supposed to be a time of fun and learning about each other. BUT - there are some families with some pretty dramatic history. Case in point - a father married and had two children. Divorced his wife and remarried. Had three more children. In the second marriage - had one outside child with 'girlfriend'. Didn't divorce second wife, but still has 'relations with girlfriend. First wife sponsored family reunion. Big argument ensued. Ex husband wanted EVERYBODY to come. Big mistake - One ex, one wife and one girlfriend and all their kids. Needless to say, coupled with a little alcohol (I would not recommend), the reunion was never forgotton. Be careful with invitations and know who you 're inviting. Not all families are this extreme, but we do live in a society where folks are all over the place and many families are broken with outside children and others. Just a thought.

Bring kiddie food,too!Always lots more kids that get real bored.

Serve lots of booze

Family t-shirts are fun. order them from one place, and get the money in advance. Send out a order blank with the details about the shirt, have the families select sizes, and put a line on the order form about check or money order enclosed.
what not to do: anything less will have you paying for a lot of shirts.
Have everyone bring a baby picture, or a copy of one, and post them. Everyone has to guess who it is, the winner gets a prize.
My Dad's family had theirs at a city park, there were screened, enclosed shelters for the pot-luck picnic., a playground, a swimming pool, and a big slab of concrete for skating.The kids could run and play, the adults could talk. Everybody brought their own plates, utensils, and a potluck dish. The locals divided up the hot dishes and meat, the from far away brought or bought what they could.
My Mom's family had their's at her parents house, they had a huge, big yard. They packed the kids up after the meal, and sent them to the movies, so the adults could talk. It worked for us kids, too.
Some people have old fashioned games, like a threelegged sack race, or relay races, others have a softball game. Let the ages of the attendees dictate the activities.

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