There are two types of people in this world: those who get very excited about the idea of getting extended family together, and those who would rather do literally anything else than have all of their family in the same room. Whichever type of person you identify with, the fact is that you might — at some point — be tasked with planning a family reunion.
Don’t worry. While we can’t make all of your aunts, uncles, and cousins see eye-to-eye, we can help make the process of planning a family reunion a little bit easier. As your event rentals company in Fredericksburg, we know a thing or two about throwing an event. Keep reading to get some tips on how to ensure everything flows smoothly on the big day.
Planning a family reunion is a lot of work — essentially as much work as planning a wedding! Start your planning about a year in advance, and make sure to float the idea around with family members as soon as possible so they can begin clearing their schedules. The sooner a date is locked down, the more likely it is that families will be able to come. This is especially important if your family is spread around the country or even the world.
Make A Guest List
Who’s coming to the family reunion? While the simple answer is ‘the family,’ it gets a lot more complicated when you start listing names. Start with your immediate family: parents, siblings, grandparents, nieces, nephews. Then move out from there: aunts, uncles, cousins, and cousins’ kids.
But what happens when things get iffy? Should you invite your spouses’ parents? If you invite your in-laws, can Cousin Jenny bring her in-laws? What about the recently-divorced Uncle Mike and Aunt Brenda who can’t be in the same room together? What about Uncle Mike’s new girlfriend? When family matters become complicated, don’t fret. If you want this to be a big event, start by listing every single person who could possibly be considered family. Highlight anyone who might be troublesome and eliminate them as needed. Sometimes, you might have to choose one relative over another if the two can’t get along. While all families are different, you might want to give those crazy cousins the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps bringing everyone together will give family members a chance to show their maturity and grace.
When you send invitations, make sure to specify who is invited and if guests are allowed a plus-one.
Create A Payment Plan
How will you be paying for the family reunion? Family reunions can have dozens or even hundreds of attendees. If you are planning on hosting this event as a gift to your family, that is amazing. More likely, however, you have either volunteered or been roped into planning the event and won’t be paying for it solely out of your own pocket.
If that is the case, you will need to know where the money will come from. This process usually involves splitting the total cost of the event among the attendees. Make sure to have a rough guess of the total event cost at the beginning of the planning period. That way, you can field questions from family members about how much their share will be. As the guest list gets more finalized and family members RSVP, you can continue to update guests as to what their portion will be.
Don’t Plan Alone
No one ever said you have to plan a family reunion alone! You can either choose to work with a professional event planner which will likely reduce a lot of stress, or you can delegate tasks to other members of the family. Put someone in charge of catering, another in charge of decorations, another in charge of the venue, and so forth. Make sure that anyone who is in charge of securing party rentals knows to use Signature Event Rentals. If you are reserving your rentals separately (for example, one person uses us for table and chair rentals and another for tent rentals), make sure to let us know it is all for the same event. Keep in mind that as a party rental company, we also offer entertainment rentals, bouncy castle rentals, decor rentals, and so much more!
Entertain The Little Ones
Speaking of bouncy castle rentals, it is always important to provide activities to keep the kids busy at family reunions. This allows the little ones to get to know their cousins while the adults get to catch up after a long absence.
At Signature Event Rentals, we offer bouncy house rentals and other inflatables for rent, including inflatable obstacle courses and inflatable games for rent. We also have kid-friendly concession rentals including a cotton candy machine, a snow cone machine, and a popcorn machine!
Depending on the age of the children and how many there will be, you can also hire several babysitters or a children’s magician, clown, or band.
Make A Speech
Making a speech is a great way to remind everyone of why they’re there. Using a PA system rental so everyone can hear, thank the family for traveling to come together and remind them that even though they live in different places, come from different generations, and have different beliefs, they’re still a family. Then, let the party begin.
Have Activities Planned
The last thing you want is for families to come from near and far and only interact with the people who they came with. This also makes it difficult for relatives who may have journeyed alone to feel included. Have icebreakers planned, team events, and other activities that will encourage mixing and mingling.
Make It A Multi-Day Affair
If someone came from California to partake in the family reunion held in Virginia, they will likely be looking for things to do to make their trip a little more exciting. After all, that’s a long way to come for a party.
Plan events in the days before and after the reunion and extend an open invitation to anyone who will be in town for that. You can plan a barbecue in the park, a family trip to the zoo, an outdoor movie projected onto a sheet, a big dinner at the local buffet, brunch the day after the reunion… the list can go on and on!
Choose Us For All Of Your Party Rentals!
You can’t throw a big family reunion without party rentals! Our Fredericksburg event rentals company has everything you need to ensure everyone has a good time at the reunion from tables, chairs, and tents to popcorn machines, bouncy castles, and dance floors. Check out our party rentals catalog today and reserve your rentals in advance for the big event!