Let’s Get Ready for Your Reunion

A Little Planning Makes for a Great Reunion!

Step-by-step guideline for a perfect reunion. Here are suggestions for a family reunion, but these tips are useful for planning any kind of get-together.

Determine Who You’re Going to Invite

They could be the descendants of your grandparents (maternal, paternal, or both), all the cousins, your siblings and their children (both sides of the family?). The broader your selection, the larger the expected group and the more detailed planning needed.

Make an Invitation List

Let’s say you’re hosting a reunion for all the descendants of your paternal grandparents who had five children. You’ll have five distinct groupings and their descendants (children, grandchildren, etc.). Select someone from each of the five groups to be responsible for obtaining current contact information for members of his/her group. Today, emails and text messages as well as social media are the fastest and most convenient way to reach each group. But you’ll also need addresses and phone numbers for those who may not have access to email and messaging. The person collecting the info for their specific group could be the point person for further communication, lessening the work for whoever is setting up the reunion.

Start the Conversation

Let those in your invitation list know that you’re planning a reunion. Ask who would be interested in participating and who might be willing to assist in planning or coordinating the event. Ask for suggestions concerning specific dates or time of year. Perhaps you have a couple of natural dates you’d like to suggest: a specific holiday (the 4th of July weekend or Christmas week) or a date special to the family, such as the grandparents’ wedding date. Find out how long an event they would like: a weekend…four days…five days? Where would they like the event hosted: the family homestead if there is one…a vacation spot like the mountains or the beach…perhaps a cruise or Disney World? If several participants will need to travel some distance to attend, then consideration should be made for potential weather conditions either at the venue location or the home of those traveling. It might be sunny in Cancun, but if people are flying out of New York, Chicago, or Colorado, wintry weather could wreak havoc on their flight plans.

Set the Date and Location

Once you’ve gotten a consensus of possible dates and location, it’s time to check with outside vendors in your chosen area to see if these dates are available. Then, book as far in advance as possible. You don’t want everyone to book their flights or vacation time at work and find out a few weeks prior that the venue is no longer available. Usually, some kind of deposit will be needed to reserve the event venue or lodging.

Set a Theme

This could be based on the family ethnic heritage, such as Irish, with decorations, food, and games reflecting Irish traditions. Or it could be based on the history surrounding the family or the location of the venue. Use your imagination.

Plan the Menu

This is a major contributor to the success of any reunion. You can have each meal catered, have a pot-luck meal, make reservations at a nearby restaurant, or a combination of these. As an example, for a weekend reunion, the Friday night could be a pot-luck. Saturday lunch could be a cookout, and Saturday evening could either be catered or at a nearby restaurant. Remember, if you plan on eating at a restaurant, you’ll need to contact them ahead of time so they can properly staff, arrange group seating, and prepare an adequate amount of food. If you’re staying at a resort or country inn, they can provide you with all or most of your meals and assist in arrangements with outside venues as desired.

Determine How to Cover Costs

You can charge each family a registration fee to cover decorations, gifts, and the event location fee while the individual families are responsible for lodging and meals. If the event venue is handling meals, their cost should be figured into your registration fee.

What Activities Should I Plan?

Icebreakers are a great way of starting a reunion weekend, particularly if it’s multi-generational, so guests can get acquainted with each other. These should be fun and reflect again your particular theme or family heritage. It’s a great way to learn about your family history or about other family members you don’t know or haven’t seen in years. Age-appropriate games and activities should also be a part of your time together: bocce, volleyball, badminton, sack-races, pinata-breaking, family history story-telling, photo sharing, movie night of home movies, karaoke, sock-hop, building a family tree, scavenger hunt, developing a family cookbook, creating a family calendar of birthdays and anniversaries, and family skits. Depending on your location, there are other attractions and area activities like hayrides, mountain biking, hiking, sailing, miniature golf, swimming, kayaking, shopping, museums, golf, etc. The options are endless. Check with your venue for suggestions.


Some families like to have T-shirts or ball caps available to unify the group. These can be ordered online or through a local retailer. If doing T-shirts, get sizes ahead of time and place the order at least one month in advance. Unless you want to cart these to the reunion, check with your venue to see if the vendor could drop-ship to your event location.

we’re ready to help

Give Us a Call…

We’d be honored to host your family or group reunion here at The Vermont Inn. Just give us a call or send an email and we’ll walk you through the process.

802-775-0708 or email us at [email protected]