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Tips for Planning a Family Reunion Party

Well-planned parties come relatively naturally for me because that’s what I do for a living. However, if you’re not used to planning large get-togethers on a regular basis they can be incredibly intimidating and overwhelming … especially when it’s for a big family. It always helps to have a few tips for things you may not have thought to do before the planning process begins, so here is my checklist of to-dos when planning your next Family Reunion.

START: Start planning at least 6 months out

TIMELINE: Create a timeline for when you want things to be accomplished and stick to it (i.e, 6 months out – location secured, 4 months out – invitations sent, etc.)

LOCATION:  Secure a location. Oftentimes, if choosing to hold the reunion at a park in the summer months, pavilions and ideal spots within the parks book up quickly so act fast.

DELEGATE: Assign different family members different duties (even hold a meeting if possible) to ensure that the entire thing doesn’t fall into your lap.

INVITE: Send invitations with individual food assignments on them roughly 4 months in advance. When you are coordinating dozens of family members, schedules book up quickly between sporting events, school activities and vacations so let everyone know when it will be held MONTHS in advance. Do not wait until 2 months out. You will most likely be met with several conflicts.

FOLLOW-UP: Follow up with the family about a month after receiving to see who intends on coming, this way you know how many people to roughly plan for and can plan everything else accordingly.

ACTIVITIES: Once you have a handle on who will be coming, start to plan your activities out and delegate who will be in charge of what (games, kids activities, etc.)

ATTIRE & PHOTOGRAPHS: If you’re all planning to wear the same shirt or same color, start planning it now so people have time to find the proper thing to wear, or to order their T-Shirt.

If you’re ordering T-shirts for everyone, create an excel spreadsheet for sizes and start collecting them a couple of months out. Also plan for who will take the photograph of everyone to ensure that every member in attendance is in at least one of the photos.

ENJOY: Don’t forget to enjoy this process. This may give you an opportunity to interact with family members you hardly ever talk to on a regular basis and could rekindle relationships in the process!

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Meet our Writer
Jennifer Geddes
Celebrations Writer

Jennifer Kelly Geddes has hosted Christmas cookie swaps, New Year's open houses, Thanksgiving for 22, and all manner of dinner parties in her Manhattan and Ghent, NY homes.

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