A family reunion requires a lot of communication, planning and preparation – no matter how big or small. Check out these 10 simple tips that will save you precious time and money – and maybe a few headaches.
1. Commit to a Date
No ifs, ands or buts about it! Choose a date beforehand that works with everyone’s schedules, and stick to it. Any date shifting will complicate matters considerably, especially when you’re coordinating a big group.
2. Set Up a Uniform Way of Communicating
Open one (and only one!) form of communication, whether it be a website, private message board or through social media – just make sure everyone has access to view details and participate. This way, if anyone has questions, comments or concerns, they can address them to the entire group. Notes, dates, phone numbers and lists can all be stored and accessed in one place.
3. Get Everyone Involved
Don’t leave all the preparation, food and drinks to just one family: get everyone involved! Music, meals, entertainment, picnic supplies – like Bounty napkins – and other duties can be spread out among the various family members.
4. Keep it Organized
Designate a coordinator to open the lines of communication for the group, calling elderly family members who maybe don’t have access to the internet, booking the location and/or keeping everyone accountable.
5. Have a Plan B, in Case it Rains
Nobody can predict the weather – even during the summer! Be sure to have a back-up plan just in case there is a storm. Picnic shelters, large tents or an indoor facility are three ways you can keep everyone warm, safe and dry in inclement outdoor conditions.
6. Scout Out Accommodation Deals and Discounts
Depending on how large your gathering is, you may want to look into hotel package deals and discounts. Many hotels and motels offer group discounts that can be significant depending on your group size, dates and number of nights you’re staying.
7. Know When to Hire Caterers
If your gathering is too large to manage food and cooking in-house, have everyone pitch in and hire a caterer. It will eliminate many headaches, save tons of time and can be cost efficient if you have many people coming.
8. Stay Hydrated
Make sure you have plenty of coolers filled with water, punch or juice. You can get dehydrated very quickly during the summer, so be sure to have a more-than-adequate supply of hydrating liquids!
9. Make a Quiet Space
Create a separate space, room, tent or area where people can get a little quiet time. Reuniting with so many people can be overwhelming, so it’s good to have a spot where people can take a breather and unwind for a few minutes.
10. Leave the Drama at Home
There is drama in just about every family. Most of it is petty and a source of misunderstanding, pride or a combination of both. Set aside your differences, and keep the arguments and gossip at bay.
11. BONUS TIP: Make Cleanup a Breeze
If your event is outside, bring along Bounty with Dawn paper towels to quickly wipe down tables and chairs.