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10 Steps To Family Reunion Success

Written by Mary Snyder of Family Tree Magazine. Published on June 9, 2019,

Follow these 10 steps to ensure a successful and fun reunion for the whole family.

Whether you’re expecting a dozen cousins or several hundred relatives, planning a meaningful, memorable and fun family reunion is a challenge. It takes time, organizational skills and a sense of humor. These 10 steps will help make your reunion a success—and keep you sane.

1. Make a plan.

Start by picking a date and location. Professional planner Bill Gunkel of Reunions Unlimited recommends you begin planning at least 12 months ahead. Your best first step, he says, is sending questionnaires to family members to get input on when, where and what they want.

Gather a committee to select three possible dates and locations. Send questionnaires asking family members to rank the options. While you can’t meet everyone’s needs, a survey is the best tool for finding out what works for most relatives.

2. Recruit and delegate.

No one person can manage all aspects of a family reunion. Surround yourself with capable and enthusiastic committee members. As the chairperson, you’ll oversee the event, handle communications between committees, coordinate the volunteers—and occasionally play peacemaker.

For small events with 20 or 30 people, you’ll need only a few volunteers. Large events require more volunteers and committees. Here’s a brief list of reunion jobs:

  • Finance director: handles the reunion check