Now that you have guests, a date, a location, and money for your perfect family reunion, what’s next? How will you arrange for everyone at the reunion to be fed? What activities will you plan? How will you make everyone feel welcome? How will you capture all the memories of your reunion? Were do you begin?
Catered Meals – Book well in advance, as large family reunions require much planning on caterers’ parts as well.
Restaurants – Request a confirmation letter from the establishment outlining what is and what is not included in the service. Remember to budget not only for the food, but for tips for the waitstaff.
In-home Catering – Be aware that some catering services provide dishes and utensils, while some do not, so you will want to confirm this with the service in advance. If you are looking for low-cost catering services, consider contacting your local university, as many schools offer low cost catering services.
Potluck Meals – The reunion committee may delegate specific foods to each family group; for instance, some may be assigned to bring desserts, while others may provide side dishes or drinks. For barbecues, it may be easiest to simply have each family group bring its own food. Popular family reunion foods include hamburgers, hot dogs, baked potatoes with fixings, spaghetti, chili, sloppy joes, and s’mores.
Food Allergies and Restrictions – Some family members may be lactose intolerant, and others may have nut allergies, while elderly individuals may have dietary restrictions. Find out this information ahead of time so no one is left hungry.
Games Aren’t Just For Kids – Include three-legged races, egg tosses, tug of war, capture the flag, duck, duck goose, musical chairs, and bobbing for apples.
Include Older Family Members – For instance, many older ones have amusing and interesting family stories to tell, so consider organizing a storytelling session.
Remember The Young Ones – Provide coloring books, sidewalk chalk, or a kiddie pool to keep small children busy while adults are mingling.
Other Activities To Consider – Hold an awards ceremony, with prizes for oldest and youngest family members. Examples: Award for the family member who traveled the greatest distance to attend or the family member who bakes the best apple pie. Host a puppet show, dance, or build a time capsule.
Make Everyone Feel Welcome.
Kick Off The Event With a Speech – Arrange for a brief welcome speech be given to the group. In it, indicate which family lines are present, outline the day’s activities, and thank people for attending.
Name Tags – Some family members may not have seen each other in decades, and spouses who have only recently married into the family may not have met many members, it may be wise to for everyone to have one.
Purchase a Guest Book – Request that each person sign in, so that you can collect names, addresses, phone numbers, and emails so that you can stay in touch with your family members after the reunion.
Disposable Cameras – This can be a great way of capturing candid moments of the event.
Professional Photographer – You may want to consider this option to capture the important moments of the event such as a group shot of everyone together.
Create a Scrapbook – Include pictures, a synopsis of events, and other memorabilia from the event. You may also want to arrange for a family member to post pictures online. Some families have even created family reunion T-shirts, websites, and newsletters.
After The Reunion
Arrange for a Clean-up Crew – They can help clear away dirty dishes and clean up in the aftermath of the party. Finally, remember to send out thank you cards to all who participated in the planning and execution of the event
Whether you have a large or a small reunion, with careful planning, it can be a success! While planning the event can be a lot of work, remember that in the end, what matters most is that family members can come together and enjoy one another’s company.
For help funding your event, enter to win Home Instead’s contest and win $10,000 toward your reunion by sharing the story of how you or someone you love has been touched by Alzheimer’s.
We hope this was helpful. If you have any questions or if you know of a senior that could benefit from our vast array of home care services in Houston, please call us at 832 379-4700 or email us. We accept most long term care insurance as payment and have a full time staff supervising more than 100 quality-trained home care personnel covering the Houston, Texas area.
- Enter the ‘I Will Remember For You’ Family Reunion Contest! (houston.myhomecareblog.com)
- Family Reunion Season Slowing Down; But Reunion Planning Is In Full Swing (prweb.com)