Planning the Ultimate Family Reunion
To reconnect with our families at a family reunion is the perfect way to keep in touch. Over the years as we are all growing and changing. It is the perfect time to celebrate your families achievements, new additions, birthdays and history. With families being separated through out the country and world, The Retreat offers a venue which is easy to access from everywhere.
If you’re planning a family reunion for about 100 people, you’ll want to start your planning about six months in advance so you can drum up interest and enlist some deputies to help you pull it off. Here’s a checklist to help you and your family get started!
Family Reunion Accommodation Venue NSW
6 Months Before
Now is when you need to begin the task of determining who will be attending the reunion. With the forever changing world of how we all communicate and stay in touch your invitation sending will need to cover all areas. Our top 5 communication methods are:
- Direct Email
- Create a Facebook messenger group
- Text Message
- Phone call
- Whats app chat group
When making this communication you need to find out:
- How many people would be attending
- Which dates work best
- Which location works best
- Budgets – give a range of costs for how much people are willing to spend
- Are they happy to help with catering or prefer to have it catered for
- Idea of activities they may be interested in
5 Months Before
This is the time to get your army of helpers lined up to get your reunion-planning committee together. You need to choose helpers that are enthusiastic and dependable to help take charge of:
Finding a location
Having a Family Reunion at a Neutral location means that everyone will be helping in some way. You will need to find a location that covers a variety of interests for:
- All age levels
- Physical abilities
- Onsite activities
- Local activities
Finalize the date and location
Find out what amenities will be available: Accommodation, swimming pool, BBQ facilities, indoor space (in case of rain), outdoor tables and chairs and so on.
This is also the time to have all the attending guests pay a deposit as a commitment to the event. This assists with your budget planning and also with the allocating of buildings and rooms for all attendees.
Will the family be self catering for all the meals or will a caterer be required? Perhaps you want the flexibility for a bit of both. Each family can take care of there own breakfast and maybe a lunch or 2 but then have a main evening event which is catered.
Create a plan for each meal advising all the guests on what is happening and specifically what they may need to bring with them. Look for the local supermarkets close by to your venue to assist your family.
Decorations, invitations, and signs
This is given to one person to take charge of. This way a consistent theme will be created for all printed materials.
Activities and entertainment
An energetic relative is best for this to organise and co-ordinate fun games for kids. Also activities that adults can get involved in like Volleyball, Croquet, Table tennis, Soccer, Board and Card Games .
Create a family tree so this can be added to each family reunion. Individual families may also like to keep a record of highlights in recent family event and special facts to share.
Photography and/or video
Family Reunions are an event to record and build memories on. A great idea is to set up an online gallery or Facebook Event where everyone can share their photos from the Reunion for the keepsakes for all the guests.
This can be built up over the years and reflected on at future Family Reunions.
This is not the most fun part of the event but definitely needs to have a small team dedicated.
Always keep in mind the budget for the weekend to keep your costs in check.
4 Months Before
Four months before your family reunion, plan to complete the following tasks:
- Have a timeline or Itinerary for the weekend to ensure that you can do everything which has been planned. This can be handed to all the attendees at the Family Reunion so everyone knows what is happening.
- Finalise the building allocations for all attendees accommodation.
- If you are having a caterer for some or all meals this needs to be confirmed at this time.
3 Months Before
With the main details of your event in place, it’s time to get the word out officially and start to lock in the details of the day.
Create a Facebook Event or create an invitation and text or email copies through to the attendees. This should include the following:
- Timeline Itinerary, location, maps, driving directions, costs, and a schedule of events.
- A sign-up option for specific activities, if necessary.
- A request for photos and/or stories to include in the family history.
- Include an RSVP date, along with an e-mail address, phone number, or mailing address to which they can respond.
Follow up with your dedicated helpers
Meet up to discuss how each helper is going and where someone may need assistance.
Onsite Group Activities
If you would like to have some Onsite Group Activities planned this can be arranged at The Retreat. Ask on enquiry for the range of Onsite Group Activities which are possible and run professionally.
Our games room has a large TV and DVD player if you would like to have a large group movie night.
Purchase items you’ll need for any crafting activities
Schedule and plan meals
- Create a list of all the meals you’ll be eating or the food you’ll need.
- Assign one food item to each relative. Be sure to take advantage of their cooking specialties, like your Aunties special slice or Cousins amazing salad.
- A casual buffet is probably the best way to set up meals, simply because it allows people to eat at their leisure.
- If you plan to hire a caterer, now is the time to secure them. Some caterers will simply manage the kitchen, ensure the buffet is replenished, and keep the drink flowing, so you can enjoy the party.
2 Months Before
Things are starting to come together and the fun is near! Stay on top of these organizational tasks and you’ll be in good shape.
Track on attendee details
Start a list of those who have confirmed their attendance, where they’ll be staying, and when they’ll be arriving.
Reserve any rental equipment such as tables or chairs etc
Make final purchases.
- Craft supplies
- Personalized T-shirts, disposable cameras, or other items you plan to give out at the reunion.
- Order copies of family history or video.
1 Month Before
With 30 days to go before the reunion, the first tasks on your monthly to-do list are simply confirming the details of plans you already have in place.
- Relatives who are bringing food or other supplies.
- Meeting places.
- Sleeping accommodations
Final payment for all accommodation bookings are now due. Final bedding configurations are also required to assist with check-in day and directing of guests.
2 Weeks Before
Now’s the time to check in with volunteers who have been assigned specific tasks to confirm times and the final guest count.
- Online order from Coles or Woolworths for direct delivery to The Retreat.
- Contact caterer with a final guest count if necessary.
- Confirm details with your photographer
- Confirm details with any other service providers you may be using.
Decorations & Signage
- Buy last-minute decorations and supplies.
- Create signs and banners.
- Confirm volunteers
- Make arrangements for who will take home any Cans and Bottles for recycling.
2 Days Before
Review reunion plan and Itinerary with assistance.
Prepare final payments
For any professional service and help you’ve hired, like the caterer.
The Weekend Event
You have arrived and the property is ready for you from 2pm. On arrival you will need to sign in and go through the standard check in procedure as well as Security Deposit process.
Set up and decorate
The area that you would like to use as your main meeting space can be set up and decorated. This will be your main meal area and meeting space. This may be in the Multi-purpose Function space or the Large group BBQ area.
Get some sleep!
So many people to catch up with and talk about it is just as important to get some rest to ensure you enjoy this special family event.
After the event, you’ll have a few more details to take care of. Within 2 weeks of the event, you’ll need to:
Write thank-you notes to special attendees, relatives who donated time and money, and any other people who helped make your event a success.
Upload photos to an online photo service. If you took photos yourself, upload your images to your facebook group. In a couple weeks, you can share the link with attendees and also ask them to add their photos to the album you’ve created so other family members can view your photos. Housing all the photos in one place would also allow you to create a photo book that others can view as a memento of the event.
Donate or distribute leftover favors, decorations, family history pamphlets, and so on.
Within 4 weeks of the event, take care of the following:
Follow up with photographer to find out when materials will be ready for distribution.
Send an e-mail or mass mailing to all who attended, summarizing the festivities, thanking them for attending, and telling them where they can purchase photos, videos, or any other follow-up items from your event.
The perfect Family Reunion Accommodation Venue NSW has to offer is at The Retreat Port Stephens. Exclusive Venue with total privacy for up to 98 guests.