Congratulations! You have just discovered THE event planner checklist for planning family reunions.
It's divided into just 6 solution-oriented chunks with links to additional resources so you can begin right away making decisions, gathering resources and keeping track of people and money.
You won't be able to please everyone. So make sure the date works for YOU. Tell everyone about the family reunion as far in advance as possible.
While a reunion at "Mom and Dad's" is great, I highly recommend a more neutral location for the multi-day family event if you can. If you have everyone stay together in a large vacation home or multiple cabins, the stress on one (or two) families accommodating dozens and dozens of people nearly disappears.
When each individual family unit has a bit of their own space, it's easier to remember that you love each another. There's also less wait time to use the bathroom! (I think a cruise boat would be the ultimate reunion location. Everyone is together - but with their own space. And as an added bonus, all of the food and entertainment is provided.)
Might I suggest you put online technology to work? Use a website to email invitations, monitor attendance, sell tickets, budget expenses, track t-shirt sizes and dietary requests, share photos, swap stories and more! By providing a communications hub for your relatives, you are fostering a community and building relationships before the reunion even starts. Plus, can I just tell you? Planning is SO much easier when you can track the details all in one spot.
Send fun invitations. Set up a Facebook page or group. Post newsletters, family announcements and photos. Develop and share your list of phone numbers and mailing addresses.
The more you can communicate with each other before the reunion, the higher your chances of having that family communication continue long after the reunion.
Family reunions should be FUN! Pick a theme and go crazy with party decorations. Order - or make - matching t-shirts. Give door prizes and favors. Award goofy certificates or make a treasure hunt. Incorporate ice breaker activities and play games!
Unless you make an effort to remember, you will forget your favorite moments with the passing of time. So take lots of photos at the reunion and jot down little notes of the funny things that people do and say. Make your own photo book or calendar after the reunion is over. Just think of it - all of your family Christmas and birthday presents for the year could be centered around the fun you had together as an extended family. Take the free 3-day e-course to discover creative ways to print family reunion memories.