How to organize a family reunion without all the drama?
Family reunions are known for being fun, filled with a lot of activities, and more often than not, very stressful. While many family members love to spend time together, it is undeniable that trying to bring all your family members together for one event can be overwhelming. If you’re preparing to host a family reunion soon, it’s best to have a solid plan in place.
Tips for a fun family reunion
There’s something about bringing the family together that can inspire stress, miscommunication, and even fighting. However, with a solid plan for preparation, you’ll be able to keep all the drama away from your next family reunion. Read on for five tips to keep your family happy during your next gathering.
Create the guest list
Family reunions can easily feel larger-than-life depending on the size of one’s family. Start your planning by focusing on the size of the guest list as well as who you intend to invite. In certain situations, you may want to keep your family reunion on the smaller side. If this is the case, you may want to consider limiting the guest list to your immediate family members, their children, and their partners.
If you plan to go all out with the invitations, consider breaking out the family tree. Go down the list to figure out the names of all your guests. With names in mind, reach out to one person in every branch of the family to get the contact information for each guest.
Organize a reunion committee
Even if you plan to do most of the reunion planning by yourself, you don’t have to do everything alone. Putting together a reunion committee will help you make sure the planning goes smoothly and that all responsibilities are shared evenly. Your reunion committee should focus on tackling major aspects of reunion planning like deciding on social events, the location, mailings, the budget, and record-keeping.
Not sure who to add to the reunion committee? Send out a survey amongst your family members to learn who’s interested in the reunion and to find out if anyone is willing to participate in planning. With this information in mind, carefully select reliable family members that you know you can count on to put the reunion together.
Work out the budget
Family members can dissipate much of their reunion-related stress by having a budget for the reunion in mind. The budget should include expenses like decorations, activities, shirts, commendations, and the like. Whether you plan to have a cost-effective reunion or money isn’t a concern, staying on top of the budget is the best way to keep drama out of the family reunion.
Worried about covering the costs of everything? Consider asking every attendee to pay dues. While some family members sell reunion t-shirts to help pay for reunion expenses, others regularly ask their family to contribute money during the months leading up to the reunion.
Stay in contact
Nothing causes a family reunion to unravel like a failure to communicate. Make sure every family member can stay in contact with one another by making communication as easy as possible. Consider using a mass texting service to keep all family members abreast of your reunion plans. With this type of system, the reunion committee simply needs to send a text to provide all attendees with information.
In your efforts to stay connected, make sure to keep sending out regular details during the weeks and days leading up to the reunion. In addition to texts, consistent emails, and physical letters are a good way to make sure everyone is aware of the reunion details.
Tackle any sensitive issues
No family is perfect. In many families, there are unresolved issues and grudges that keep family members from speaking to one another. While some of these issues can’t be fixed by the reunion, it’s important to be aware of sensitive issues and to make plans accordingly. For example, if it is common knowledge that some of your family members don’t like one another, it’s a good idea to keep them seated separately when the reunion comes.
Family reunions can be fun-filled events. Though you can’t prepare for everything, this guide will help you plan a safe and exciting family gathering.