Family Reunions

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Having a Family Reunion?

A family reunion is an occasion when many members of an extended family congregate. Sometimes reunions are held regularly, for example on the same date or time every year. A typical family reunion will assemble family, siblings, cousins, uncles, aunts, grand parents, or even great-grandparents for a meal, a visit, with a likely chance of some recreation or other discussions.

If you have had a family get together for a birthday, wedding, funeral or a Holiday like Christmas then you have had a family reunion. This means someone you know already has the experience of organizing some type of reunion!

Truthfully, a more traditional family reunion can be as simple or as complex as you wish it to be. The complications come into play because of timing, location, activities and numbers. The larger it gets the more organized it needs to be.

And there must always be someone in charge and with their core supporters. And please remember that like any children’s birthday party, there will be things that happen not according to the best laid plans. Be willing to be flexible and have a sense of humor!

For those who wish more information to get more ideas there are books and articles on planning, executing and completing a Family Reunion. See list below. And, of course, do not forget those on line sources.

There are web pages that go through the steps of organizing, selecting the type of reunion, dates, guest list, location, budget and many nifty ideas. This includes how to keep people busy and focused on the reunion theme. And you can even buy a family reunion organizer computer program or use online versions.

But I also know other groups that started small and grew based on what their extended family likes to do. They did it based on their life experiences. Remember to focus on what the majority will like to do while having alternate options. Not everyone will enjoy a raw egg toss or a quilting bee!

I know one small extended family that spent time together going on annual cruises or vacations to places like Disneyland and other places. It really helped that a few older members of the family were better off financially. One of them said to me that they were spending their children’s inheritances by building memories. I thought that was rather thoughtful! But very few of us have rich uncles, aunts or grandparents willing to do this.

Are there trick and gimmicks that work for one family that does not work for others? That is an honest truth. While you can find examples of family reunions and what worked for them, be aware of your target audience. Keep focused on your budget, and what it will cost for the people attending. Do not forget transportation to and from with all those living and sleeping issues.

The list below is not everything on the subject. I do not endorse any item on the list. But, it will give you some ideas. Some offer free and some paid material.

What ever type of reunion you have, please enjoy!


William Douse: A family reunion taps into history

8 Tips for a Great Family Reunion by Amy Goyer

The Purpose of a Family Reunion by Kristeen Cherney, Demand Media

Family Reunion Survival Guide: 26 Tips for Success - It's easy to plan, with our expert tips from A to Z By Chanize Thorpe

How to Organize a Family Reunion - The Family Reunion Institute – Temple University


Family Reunion Planning Kit for Dummies by Cheryl Fall – Available in paperback (324 pages) and Kindle format. This is the most complete reference to planning a family reunion. The accompanying CD features planning tools, genealogy software, and more. … ISBN-10: 0764553992 ISBN-13: 978-0764553998

Family Reunion by Jennifer Crichton - Available in paperback (280 pages). Planning a reunion is a pleasurable but complicated undertaking that requires foresight and planning, and here to assist is Family Reuinion, an indispensable guide and sourcebook that shows how to organize and conduct four basic reunions: … ISBN-10: 0761105859 ISBN-13: 978-0761105855

Your Family Reunion: How to Plan It, Organize It, and Enjoy by George G Morgan – Available in hardcover (180 pages), paperback (200 pages) and Kindle format. This book is a guide for organizing a successful and exciting reunion, regardless of whether it is a casual backyard barbecue, a get-together at a hotel or resort, or a weeklong cruise. … ISBN-10: 0916489973 ISBN-13: 978-0916489977

The Reunion Planner: The Step-by-Step Guide Designed to Make Your Reunion a Social and Financial Success! by Linda Johnson Hoffman and Neal Barnett - Available in paperback (198 pages) and Kindle format. The Reunion Planner, How to Make Your Reunion a Social and Financial Success, is now in its 4th and completely updated Edition. … ISBN-10: 0974726583 ISBN-13: 978-0974726588

Fimark's Family Reunion Planner A Reunion Planning Guide Workbook & Keepsake by Mark A Askew – Available in paperback (130 pages) and Kindle format. Family reunion planning at it's best. Everything you need to plan organize and manage a family reunion event. Scores of fun family activities. This complete family reunion event planning guide is a workbook and keepsake heirloom for generations to come. … ISBN-10: 1461124239 ISBN-13: 978-1461124238

How To Plan Your African-American Family by Krystal Williams - Available in paperback (224 pages) – out of print available used only. All the guidance readers will need for planning a perfect family reunion, from the simplest to the most elaborate. ISBN-10: 0806520973 ISBN-13: 978-0806520971

A Family Affair: How to Plan and Direct the Best Family Reunion Ever (National Genealogical Society Guides) by Sandra MacLean Clunies and The National Genealogical Society - Available in paperback (320 pages) – out of print available used only. "Paperback: 320 pages Publisher: Rutledge Hill Press (June 25, 2003) Language: English ISBN: 1401600204 Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 7.5 x 9.2 inches Whether planning a small annual get-together or a once-in-a-lifetime gathering of hundreds" ISBN-10: 1401600204 ISBN-13: 978-1401600204

Planning programs online

Mister Spiffy’s Reunion Planner. You can get a reunion organizer program for $29.95.

FamilyReunion® the family social network™ You can sign up for free, but there are different levels of cost depending on what you use.

Places catering family reunions and family gatherings

Branson FamilyReunion (Branson, Missouri) An example of a place that provides free information and pay for use facilities.

The Ranch at Rock Creek (Philipsburg, Montana) An example of a facility that hosts, weddings and family activities.