Pick a date, then a place. Figure out a date where as many people as possible can make it.
Next, location. Take travel time into consideration for everyone invited; the more time to travel, the less time to be with family. Family resort, theme park, private home, campground? Does the group want to meet in the middle, near a well-known attraction or is there one family member that can accommodate the entire group?
How much can everyone afford? How long will you be able to stay?
What will you do with your time? Plan activities everyone can participate in (board games, movie night), and some only not everyone will find appealing. Ideas include a costume contest, talent show, theme dinner, an “everyone’s” birthday celebration, relive family history, hire an expert (take a group painting class or learn line dancing together).
Choose menus that cater to all by serving up a variety of foods. Decide how you will handle meals. Will one group shop, another cook, and still another serve and clean up? How will money be handled? Everyone chipping in at the end requires one person to serve as bookkeeper or treasurer throughout. Breakfast can be simple: lay out cereals and everyone serves themselves. Lunch on the go with dinner the main meal everyone participates in.
Put old family tensions on the shelf during the reunion. Revisit family problems at another time. Hopefully, you will not need to.
Tip from the trenches
Appoint family members to “cover” your reunion like the media would. Choose a photographer, videographer, social network specialist (to post family updates for those who can’t be there or for after-reunion details) and a journalist to record the highlights.
From an article by Doreen Nagle in the Pacific Daily News, Haganta, Guam.