Reunion Planning Checklist

Family reunions can be uplifting, rewarding and worthwhile. They can span generations and strengthen kinship. With a little organization and help from some of your relatives, holding a successful family reunion doesn’t have to be a lot of work.

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Keep Everything on track with a Timeline & Checklist. Use our suggestions below or use the space provided to write in tasks unique to your gathering.

1 year before the event:
Confirm interest from family members.
Form committees.
Create a timeline and checklist.
Decide what type of reunion you want.
Pick a date.
Pick a location and reserve the site (if necessary).
Establish a mailing list.
Send out “save-the-date” cards.
6 to 9 months before:
Establish a budget and decide how the gathering will be financed.
Plan a theme.
Delegate responsibilities to committees.
Plan food. Reserve caterer (if required).
Start defining games and activities for the gathering.
Begin compiling family history or family directory for distribution at the event, if desired.
3 to 6 months before:
Send out the first invitation or family reunion newsletter including details on date, location, lodging, transportation, cost and any other relevant information for your gathering. Also be sure to include RSVP information.
Determine and reserve needed equipment (tents, barbecue cookers, tables, etc.).
Determine supplies to be purchased (food, paper plates, first aid supplies, etc.).
Begin design and production of T-shirt, hat or other apparel for the gathering, if desired.
1 to 3 months before:
Send out reminder invitations or follow-up newsletter.
Identify and invite family members who may have been overlooked before.
Determine the decorations that will reinforce the theme at the event.
Reserve lodging for out-of-towners who request it.
Month of event:
Send out reminder invitations or follow-up newsletter.
Purchase required nonperishables. Arrange for their storage and delivery to the site.
Coordinate the bringing of potluck dishes/foods (if applicable).
Finalize list of expected attendees.
Adjust food quantities and supplies accordingly.
Arrange transportation for out-of-towners (if applicable).
Check in with committees to finalize plans.
Final week before:
Make final contacts with family members to ensure attendance.
Prepare reminder list for last-minute details.
Buy perishable foods and begin preparation.
Make sure equipment is delivered and set up.
Pick up arriving out-of-towners (if applicable).
Set up decorations.
During the event:
Keep your camera close by and take lots of photographs and video.
Take care of any last-minute concerns that can be handled, and ignore the rest.
Most important of all: enjoy!
After the event:
Coordinate cleanup and return of equipment.
Make copies of photos, videos and family trees and distribute as requested.
Congratulate yourself for a job well done.
Vow never to do it again. Then immediately start planning your next family gathering!
Pick a committee chair and determine date and timing of next reunion.

 

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Reunion Timeline & Checklist

Family reunions can be uplifting, rewarding and worthwhile. They can span generations and strengthen kinship. With a little organization and help from some of your relatives, holding a successful family reunion doesn’t have to be a lot of work.

Picture

Keep Everything on track with a Timeline & Checklist. Use our suggestions below or use the space provided to write in tasks unique to your gathering.

calendar_icon3

1 year before the event:

  • Confirm interest from family members.
  • Form committees.
  • Create a timeline and checklist.
  • Decide what type of reunion you want.
  • Pick a date.
  • Pick a location and reserve the site (if necessary).
  • Establish a mailing list.
  • Send out “save-the-date” cards.

6 to 9 months before:

  • Establish a budget and decide how the gathering will be financed.
  • Plan a theme.
  • Delegate responsibilities to committees.
  • Plan food. Reserve caterer (if required).
  • Start defining games and activities for the gathering.
  • Begin compiling family history or family directory for distribution at the event, if desired.

3 to 6 months before:

  • Send out the first invitation or family reunion newsletter including details on date, location, lodging, transportation, cost and any other relevant information for your gathering. Also be sure to include RSVP information.
  • Determine and reserve needed equipment (tents, barbecue cookers, tables, etc.).
  • Determine supplies to be purchased (food, paper plates, first aid supplies, etc.).
  • Begin design and production of T-shirt, hat or other apparel for the gathering, if desired.

1 to 3 months before:

  • Send out reminder invitations or follow-up newsletter.
  • Identify and invite family members who may have been overlooked before.
  • Determine the decorations that will reinforce the theme at the event.
  • Reserve lodging for out-of-towners who request it.

Month of event:

  • Send out reminder invitations or follow-up newsletter.
  • Purchase required nonperishables. Arrange for their storage and delivery to the site.
  • Coordinate the bringing of potluck dishes/foods (if applicable).
  • Finalize list of expected attendees.
  • Adjust food quantities and supplies accordingly.
  • Arrange transportation for out-of-towners (if applicable).
  • Check in with committees to finalize plans.

Final week before:

  • Make final contacts with family members to ensure attendance.
  • Prepare reminder list for last-minute details.
  • Buy perishable foods and begin preparation.
  • Make sure equipment is delivered and set up.
  • Pick up arriving out-of-towners (if applicable).
  • Set up decorations.

During the event:

  • Keep your camera close by and take lots of photographs and video.
  • Take care of any last-minute concerns that can be handled, and ignore the rest.
  • Most important of all: enjoy!

After the event:

  • Coordinate cleanup and return of equipment.
  • Make copies of photos, videos and family trees and distribute as requested.
  • Congratulate yourself for a job well done.
  • Vow never to do it again. Then immediately start planning your next family gathering!
  • Pick a committee chair and determine date and timing of next reunion.

Reception Planning…Tips & Savvy Tricks

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