Tips for Planning Your Next Family Reunion

Tips for Planning Your Next Family Reunion

Posted by Lazy One on 30th May 2023

Whether your family members live next door or are scattered all over the country, trying to figure out how to plan a family reunion to get everyone together isn't easy. Between your work and family responsibilities, it might feel like planning a reunion is overwhelming.

Ideally, you should plan well in advance so everyone can mark their calendars, save the date, and make sure they can get those days off to visit. However, we know that real life doesn't always work out so seamlessly. If you're struggling and feeling like you don't know where to start on how to plan a family reunion, we'd love to help with a few tips and tricks.


Before you begin contacting everyone to settle a date or discuss where to hold the event, grab a few supplies to have on hand before anything is locked in place.

While many tech-savvy or younger members of your family may welcome a calendar invite, text, or email, those less knowledgeable about tech might prefer a physical invitation.

Gather everything you'll think you'll need to begin scheduling, like:

  • Calendar (physical or digital)
  • Planner or Journal
  • Paper and Email Invitations
  • Checklist or Name Tags (if needed)


Attempting to plan a family reunion by yourself probably feels like an enormous task. That's because it is. When it comes time to start planning, don't go it alone if you don't have to. Most family gatherings or reunions are multigenerational; it can be helpful to delegate essential tasks to other family members so that you aren't the only one responsible for all the planning and execution.

  • Choose a representative from each family or each generation. Connect via video chat, emails, or phone calls throughout the planning stages of getting the family together.
  • Toss out 3 options: week-long, weekend, or one-day reunion. Have each family rep explore what dates work for them and make a note of their answers. You may have more options for one-day reunions, such as renting a space in a park or visiting someone’s home, should that be an enjoyable option for everyone.
  • Discuss budget. Bringing up costs and money amongst family members can be a sensitive subject but planning a large family reunion may require a venue where fees or catering could be costly. Have each family representative attend a budget meeting to figure out a reasonable budget for the event. Factor in travel costs, and consider all the money-saving options available, such as booking off-season when renting an event space.
  • Once you've got all information, choose a date and option that seems the most common.


Once the date and times are hammered out, it's time to pick a place. Unless you or someone in your family has a home large enough to host the entire family and don't mind doing so—you might have better luck choosing a destination reunion. Cruises, resorts, and other family reunion destinations generally have a trip planner with a precise outline of costs, which makes it easier for all relatives to be informed beforehand.

One of the easiest ways to decide where to go is to speak with each family rep and ask them to compile a list of possible destinations. Then, designate one person to create and update a free Google Form with all the suggestions—then email each family the form and ask that they complete it by a specific date. Assign a family rep to calculate and announce the results.


The date has been locked, the budget set, and the destination is chosen—now it's time to personalize and send out the invitations. It is best to send them as soon as possible or months before the reunion date to give relatives ample time to clear their work, school, and other schedules so they can attend.

Be sure to include important information like expectations for matching attire or dress codes and make it clear if others are welcome to attend or if the events are strictly family-only.


Once the invites have gone out, it's time to ask other family members to volunteer their help. Have different volunteers do different tasks, like keep track of who RSVPs.

Another may be put in charge of ordering fun items like reunion shirts or memorabilia, and someone else might oversee greeting and helping family members arrive on the day of the event. Make sure each volunteer is able to handle their assigned tasks so all essential details are taken care of and the reunion goes off without a hitch!  


For one-day family reunions or reunions held at a home or park—it's good to have some entertaining activities to keep the kids (and kids at heart) happy and having fun. Here are a few suggestions that your family might enjoy:

  • Ice breaker games
  • Egg and spoon race (If you can, create an obstacle course to make it more challenging!)
  • Burlap sack races
  • Outdoor movie night
  • Family scavenger hunt
  • Who's who photo game (Have relatives send in a baby photo before the reunion, then have a competition to see who can guess who is in each baby photo!)

Create a place for a memory board, signature book, or encourage everyone to sign t-shirts they can take home with them after the reunion. A keepsake from a big family event is a great way to capture the memories and a record of who was able to attend each year.


Sometimes accidents happen, unexpected weather occurs, and emotions can run high. Remember this is perfectly normal and try to come up with contingency plans for alternatives just in case. Plan on something going awry at some point and have backup plans in place so it won't grind everything to a halt. What's important is spending time with family and creating new memories with one another, even if those memories contain a few comedic accidents along the way.

We hope that we've managed to alleviate some of the stress that comes with how to plan a family reunion so that you can focus on the most crucial detail: catching up with loved ones, having fun, laughter, good food, and great memories.